Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Thursday, January 06, 2005

Weapons inspections do not work
Written by: Beck

Weapons inspections had the potential to work in Iraq when the program was first instituted. The reason they could have worked is that Iraq had just suffered a military defeat and surrendered. As part of the surrender, Iraq ceded many aspects of its national sovereignty. Now, here's comes the real lesson of this post. Should you get nothing else from it, remember this:

As long as a country retains its sovereignty, inspections of any type by any outside agency will not work. Period.

By definition, a sovereign nation can do as it pleases within its borders. That's the definition of sovereignty. Other nations can apply pressure of various types in an attempt to encourage or coerce certain behaviors, but action can ultimately only be compelled via military force. Inasmuch as it's neither moral nor feasible to invade or bomb everyone suspected of behaving in a manner contradictory to our national interests, we will never effectively prevent nations from developing WMD--including nuclear weapons--so long as they are sufficiently determined to do so.

Take the example of North Korea. Much of Bill Clinton's second term was spent trying to negotiate a settlement with North Korea which would both allow them to have plenty of nuclear power generation and prevent them from developing nuclear weapons. The final agreement hammered out was very generous to North Korea, with South Korea essentially volunteering to foot the bill for construction of enormous & expensive power plants. North Korea, nonetheless, developed nuclear weapons.

Now consider the current day example of the IAEA and Iran. The IAEA wants to conduct inspections to verify whether or not Iran is in compliance with the non-proliferation treaty. Iran blocked them for a long time, and has just recently announced that they will allow inspections at a site the IAEA has long wanted to get a look at.

Obviously, Iran would not be allowing this were there anything left for them to hide. More importantly, the IAEA wouldn't even know there was a site which needed inspection were it not for American intelligence hinting at the existence of clandestine nuclear research. The EU and the UN have been working for months to get Iran to comply, but they haven't been able to now. And now, they will find nothing.

Why? Because inspections can only work if the inspectors have absolute, unabridged access to all areas of an entire nation, including both public and private property. That sort of access can only realistically exist in cases where a nation has ceded some or all of its sovereignty, and no nation on Earth will voluntarily cede such a huge slice of its sovereignty.

Therefore, weapons inspections do not--and never will--work.

(Hat tip: Captain's Quarters)

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