CBW Events -- November 2017 selections
Each month, entries for a few anniversaries of notable CBW Events are posted. All will appear in the relevant final versions of the chronologies.
15 years ago:
1 November 2002 US Under-Secretary of State John Bolton alleges Iraq "has rebuilt its civilian chemical infrastructure and renewed production of chemical warfare agents, probably including mustard, sarin and VX. It actively maintains all key aspects of its offensive BW program. And in terms of its support for terrorism, we have established that Iraq has permitted al-Qaeda to operate within its territory". He says further: "our greatest fear is that terrorists will find a shortcut to their mad ambitions when an outlaw regime supplies them with the technologies to kill on a massive scale’. His comments are made at the Second Global Conference on Nuclear, Bio/Chem Terrorism: Mitigation and Response at the Hudson Institute in Washington DC.
20 years ago:
18 November 1997 In the United Kingdom, excerpts from a formal intelligence assessment are released by the Foreign Office. This states that the possibility cannot be ruled out of Iraq having successfully hidden "a handful" of largely complete guided-missiles as well as CBW weapons. "In a crisis these could be available for use within a matter of weeks or perhaps even days". The assessment continues: "Provided it still has key components — and that is unclear — Iraq could within a few months build, with little risk of detection, missiles capable of hitting Israel and key targets in Saudi Arabia. ... If the UN Special Commission were to be removed or prevented from operating for a sustained period, Iraq could produce within a matter of months a small number of chemical or biological weapons, including missile warheads". Large-scale production of CW agents would, however, "almost certainly" be detected.
25 years ago:
10 November 1992 The British government announces an independent judicial inquiry, to be headed by Lord Justice Scott, to investigate the operation of export licensing policy in relation to Iraq. The inquiry follows the collapse of the prosecution case in the trial of three Matrix Churchill executives amidst indications of ministerial and official connivance in illegal arms sales to Iraq, including sales of equipment destined for Iraqi chemical-weapons factories [see 12 October]. The terms of reference of the inquiry are subsequently extended to cover all British arms sales to Iraq, including supergun technology [see 11 April 1990], from 1984 to August 1990. Findings are not expected much before the end of 1993.
65 years ago:
4 November 1952 In the UK House of Commons, during the "Debate on the Address" which follows the Queen's Speech, backbench MP Emrys Hughes says: "I now want to say a few words about the germ warfare controversy. Everybody in China believes that the allegations about germ warfare in Korea have been proved. I went to the bacteriological warfare exhibition in Pekin [sic], and it was impressive. I did not express any opinion in the visitors’ book, as was I asked to do. I am not a biologist or a biochemist and I should not like to commit myself in a foreign country to something which might be used as propaganda against my own country.