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Friday, November 07, 2003

European planning against WMD threats

Last week, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace released a synopsis of the European Union's Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which the EU released back in June.

Have the Europeans offered a viable alternative to the Bush Doctrine? It looks like it to me. I doubt the administration would agree.

The document primarily emphasizes the EU commitment to existing arms control and disarmament regimes. They want to provide more resources to strengthen the IAEA and other inspection processes.

Moreover, in the case of chemical and biological weapons the EU wants to "work towards declaring the bans on these weapons to be universally binding rules of international law."

This is quite significant.

Typically, international law only applies to the states that agree to it. The International Criminal Court attempts to apply jurisdiction to states that do not assent, on the theory that dictators and genocidal criminals might not agree to ICC jurisdiction in advance. The US opposition to the ICC based on sovereignty would thus suggest potential opposition to this EU proposal to criminalize WMD.

If those fail, they call for the UN Security Council to employ coercive measures:
Political and diplomatic preventative measures and resorts to the competent international organizations form the first line of defense. When these measures have failed, coercive measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and international law (sanctions, selective or global, interceptions of shipments and, as appropriate, the use of force) could be envisioned. The UN Security Council should play a central role....

The EU will place particular emphasis on defining a policy reinforcing compliance with the multilateral treaty regime. Such a policy must be geared towards enhancing the detectability of significant violations and strengthening enforcement of the norms established by this treaty regime. In this context, the role of the UN Security Council, as the final arbiter on the consequences of non-compliance-as foreseen in multilateral regimes-needs to be effectively strengthened.
Again, given the way the US reacted to the UN Security Council this past year in regard to Iraq, this doesn't seem to indicate US-European agreement.

The final main proposal concerns the assurance of regional security so as to reduce the motives for state proliferation. Given that the Bush Doctrine is a reaction to WMD after-the-fact, this really isn't a competitive policy. However, the EU does say this could include providing security guarantees to states that feel threatened. This reliance upon the logic of deterrence, rather than the threat of preemption is directly at odds with the Bush approach.

Carnegie's webpage has a lot more detail, but this is all I have time for right now.

I may update later as time allows.

1/12/05 Update: I added the link to the report from the EU webpage. The link on the Carnegie webpage was out-of date.