Banning chemical warfare

In 1993, some 130 governments were to sign an agreement to ban all forms of stockpiling and use of chemical arms worldwide and to destruct all existing stocks and production facilities. The [Chemical Weapons Convention] was a remarkable achievement, particularly in its drastic provisions for verification and inspection. A government that suspects another of making gas weapons can demand an international inspection anywhere on 24 hours' notice. No other arms control agreement has inspection provisions approaching this one. The Convention not only affects the military sector but also civilian consumption of chemicals that are considered relevant to the objectives of the Convention.
1. Those countries that do not sign the [Chemical Weapons Convention] will find themselves cut off from a wide range of chemicals and chemical technologies. Those that sign can expect the benefit of the doubt in buying technologies with dual uses, because the doubters can always come and see how the plants are actually being used.

2. The fear of chemical weapons during the Gulf War accelerated the completion of the [Chemical Weapons Convention].

3. The [Chemical Weapons Convention] is designed to isolate nations that are determined to retain chemical weapons, and to deter acquisition of chemical weapons by other nations. Opponents like to criticize the convention for not doing more but no one has proposed a better vehicle for international action against a threat that cannot be controlled by any one nation alone. The convention is just one element, albeit a key one, in a complex strategy including national intelligence and potential counterforce, legitimized by the international norm that the convention upholds. Verification can never be perfect, but under the convention there will always be uncertainty in the mind of a potential proliferator as to whether a violation would be detected. This will deter some and force greater difficulty, expense and risk on those determined to violate the norm.

Counter Claim:
1. The Arab nations were the only significant bloc of countries refusing to support the [Chemical Weapons Convention] in 1993. They said they would not sign as long as Israel had nuclear weapons.

2. International treaties banning chemical weapons are of little use. A group of terrorists could produce enough toxic chemicals in a small laboratory to do significant damage in any of the countries that have officially banned the production.

Chemical warfare
Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies