In This Review

The Greatest Threat: Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Growing Crisis of Global Security
The Greatest Threat: Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Growing Crisis of Global Security
By Richard Butler
PublicAffairs, 2000, 304 pp
Purchase

Butler, the former head of the U.N. Special Commission that inspected and largely dismantled Iraq's weapons of mass destruction after the Gulf War, is understandably bitter about many of his former associates. From a U.N. secretary-general too ready to cave in to Saddam Hussein to a subordinate who publicized America's covert intelligence assistance, Butler found himself coping with insurmountable problems -- among which the unyieldingly deceptive and hostile Iraqi dictatorship was only one. A diplomat by profession and a blunt-spoken Australian by birth and breeding, Butler presided over an effective inspection regime until it cracked apart under the strains of cunning opposition and international disagreements. The book concludes with ominous warnings about the dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction and a fervent (but unrealistic) call for the United Nations to supervise and enforce the dismantling of all such arsenals.