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Research Report

Fighting proliferation — European perspectives

Mark Smith
Bruno Tertrais
Jean Pascal Zanders
Edited by Gustav Lindstrom
Edited by Burkard Schmitt
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2003
Pages: 112
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 7-10)
    Gustav Lindstrom

    Curbing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is important to European policy-makers. This has been especially evident throughout 2003. On 6 June 2003, the European Union unveiled its basic principles for an ‘EU Strategy against the proliferation of WMD’. Among its first principles, the EU underscores that ‘the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction (i.e. biological, chemical and nuclear weapons) and means of delivery such as ballistic missiles constitutes a threat to international peace and security’.

    The basic principles were quickly followed up by an action plan identifying practical measures to boost EU non-proliferation policies. The plan...

  2. (pp. 11-37)
    Mark Smith

    Missile proliferation has moved up and down the international security agenda over the past decade. Events such as the Scud attacks on Saudi Arabia and Israel in the 1991 Gulf War, the publication of the Rumsfeld Commission Report and its apparent vindication by North Korea’s launch of a Taepo Dong missile in August 1998, and the missile diplomacy of India and Pakistan in the late 1990s, all helped to give prominence to missile proliferation, even as 9/11 gave a brutal reminder of other technologies and other enemies, and warned us not to overstate the missile issue. The latter, and the...

  3. (pp. 37-59)
    Bruno Tertrais

    Exactly what is nuclear proliferation? For the purposes of this paper, nuclear proliferation is considered to have occurred when a state embarks on a programme that is liable to result in the manufacture of operational nuclear weapons.¹ The situation where one state acquires weapons made by another is also here considered to be proliferation. Today states are deemed to be ‘proliferant’ if they have a military nuclear programme but are not parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), or are parties to it as non-nuclear states.

    From a technical point of view there is no clear...

  4. (pp. 59-88)
    Jean Pascal Zanders

    Given the number of wars mankind has fought, chemical and biological weapons (CBW) have been used in only a tiny fraction of them. Chemical warfare as it is understood today – the military use of the toxic properties of certain chemical compounds against man or his environment – began in 1915 as a means to overcome the stalemate on the Western front. By the end of the First World War in November 1918, this novel mode of warfare had caused over a million casualties, including more than 100,000 fatalities. Since then, chemical weapon (CW) use was confirmed in some colonial...

  5. (pp. 89-92)
    Burkard Schmitt

    The EU Security Strategy has identified the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction as ‘potentially the greatest threat to our security’. However, the fight against it is not at all a lost cause. This is the main conclusion that can be drawn from this Chaillot Paper.

    In fact, an assessment of the different areas of proliferation allows us to highlight a number of encouraging facts.

    1. The number of active ‘proliferators’ and their technological capabilities remain limited. Existing regimes have thus far been fairly successful in reducing both the scope and the pace of proliferation.

    2. Deproliferation is possible: both Iran’s decision...