Iraq: Former Regime Weapons Programs, Human Rights Violations, and U.S. Policy

CRS Report for Congress
Iraq: Former Regime Weapons Programs,
Human Rights Violations, and U.S. Policy
Updated October 15, 2004
Kenneth Katzman
Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

Iraq: Former Regime Weapons Programs,
Human Rights Violations, and U.S. Policy
After asserting that Iraq had failed to comply with U.N. Security Council
resolutions that required Iraq to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the
Bush Administration began military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003, and the
regime of Saddam Hussein fell on April 9. Since then, U.S. teams have been
attempting to find WMD and the pre-2003 war state of WMD production programs.
Only minor finds of actual WMD have been made thus far, and a major report
(September 30, 2004) by U.S. experts performing post-war WMD searches (the
“Duelfer report”) has concluded that pre-war U.S. assessments of Iraq’s WMD
capabilities were mostly incorrect but that analysis of Saddam’s WMD intentions was
probably accurate.
Part of the pre-war debate over U.S. policy centered on whether Iraq’s WMD
programs could be ended through U.N. weapons inspections. During 1991-1998, a
U.N. Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) made considerable progress in
dismantling and monitoring Iraq’s WMD but was unable to verify Iraq’s claim that
it had destroyed all its WMD and related equipment. Iraq’s refusal of full
cooperation with UNSCOM eventually prompted U.S.-British military action — a
series of air strikes designated as Operation Desert Fox — in December 1998. All
inspectors withdrew and Iraq was largely uninspected during 1998-2002, leaving
uncertainty as to the status of Iraq’s WMD programs. At the start of military action
in 2003, many of the questions about those programs remained unresolved. U.N.
Security Council resolution 1483, adopted May 22, 2003, lifted sanctions on Iraq and
provided for the possibility that U.N. inspectors could return to Iraq, although the
United States, not the United Nations, has conducted the post-war WMD searches.
On November 10, 1994, Iraq accepted a U.N.-designated land border with
Kuwait (confirmed by Resolution 833) as well as Kuwaiti sovereignty. The U.N.
border monitoring effort, begun after the 1991 Gulf war, ended after the 2003 war.
Prior to the start of the 2003 war, Iraq did not detail the fate of about 600 Kuwaitis
still missing from the first Gulf war and did not return all Kuwaiti property taken.
U.S.-led teams in Iraq have resolved some cases of missing Kuwaitis since the fall
of Saddam.
Saddam Hussein’s regime was widely deemed non-compliant in other areas,
especially human rights issues. He and his close associates are now undergoing legal
proceedings that will lead to their trial on crimes against humanity. Since the fall of
the regime, U.S. teams have confirmed at least 50 mass graves containing primarily
Shiites and Kurds that Saddam Hussein had characterized as a threat to the regime.
This report will be updated as warranted by developments. Please see CRS
Report RL31339, Iraq: U.S. Regime Change Efforts and Post-Saddam Governance.

History of Weapons Inspections......................................2
1997-1998 Crises..........................................2
Operation Desert Fox and Resolution 1284......................3
“Axis of Evil” and U.S. Policy...............................3
Resolution 1441...........................................4
Post-War WMD Search.....................................4
September 30, 2004, ISG Report..............................6
Post-War Fallout/Investigations...............................6
Nuclear Program..............................................8
Post-War/Duelfer Report Findings............................9
Chemical Weapons............................................9
Post-War/Duelfer Report Findings...........................10
Biological Weapons...........................................10
Post-War/Duelfer Report Findings...........................11
Ballistic Missiles/UAV’s.......................................12
Post-War/Duelfer Report Findings...........................12
Human Rights/War Crimes Issues....................................13
Post-War Findings........................................13
War Crimes Issues........................................14
Support for International Terrorism...................................16
Post-War Status..........................................16
Iraq-Kuwait Issues................................................16
Border Issues/Kuwaiti Sovereignty...........................16
Kuwaiti Detainees and Property.............................17
Post-2003 War Findings and Developments....................18
Unwinding the Containment Policy ..................................18
Lifting International Sanctions/Reparations Payments................18
Reparations Payments.....................................18
U.S. Military Deployments.....................................19
Post-War Redeployments and Residual Military Issues...........20
Costs of Containment......................................21

Iraq: Former Regime Weapons Programs,
Human Rights Violations, and U.S. Policy
Saddam Hussein’s regime had been considered a threat to U.S. interests since
its August 2, 1990 invasion of Kuwait, although there had been disagreements within
the U.S. government over whether that threat could be managed through
containment. The Administration of George W. Bush asserted the threat could not
be contained and needed to be removed militarily in an operation to change Iraq’s
regime and replace it with a democratic government.
In response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, U.N. Security Council Resolution 678
(November 29, 1990) authorized the use of force to expel Iraq from Kuwait. The
United States put together a coalition consisting of about 500,000 U.S. personnel and
225,000 non-U.S. personnel from 35 nations, of which about 100,000 were from
Arab/Islamic nations. The United States incurred about $61.1 billion in incremental
costs of “Operation Desert Storm” (January 16 - February 28, 1991), which liberated
Kuwait, but foreign contributors offset almost about $54 billion of the U.S. costs.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates contributed about $37 billion
of that figure. In the 2003 war to overthrow Saddam Hussein (Operation Iraqi
Freedom, OIF), U.S. personnel in the invasion force were about 230,000, joined by
over 20,000 forces from 34 other nations. No foreign nations pledged cash
reimbursements to offset U.S. incremental costs of OIF.
After the 1991 war, a cease-fire was declared in Security Council Resolution
686 (March 2, 1991). A more permanent cease-fire resolution was Security Council
Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991), which required Iraq — in return for a graduated
easing of sanctions — to end its weapons of mass destruction programs, recognize
Kuwait, account for missing Kuwaitis, return Kuwaiti property, and end support for
terrorism. Iraq accepted the resolution. Iraq was required by Resolution 688 (April
5, 1991) to end repression of its people. In forty reviews (at 60-day intervals) of Iraqi
compliance from the end of the Gulf war in 1991 until August 20, 1998, the U.N.
Security Council maintained the comprehensive international sanctions on Iraq’s
imports and exports imposed by Security Council Resolution 661 (August 6, 1990).
After the breakdown of the original weapons inspections regime in December 1998,
two additional major resolutions (1284 of December 17, 1999 and 1441 of November
8, 2002) were adopted in an effort to resume U.N. disarmament efforts. Including
Resolution 1441, a total of 17 U.N. resolutions required Iraq’s complete
dismantlement of its WMD programs.

History of Weapons Inspections
From April 1991 until December 1998, a U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM)
and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) attempted to verify that Iraq had
ended all its prohibited WMD programs and to establish a long-term monitoring
program of WMD facilities (Resolution 715, October 11, 1991). The monitoring
program, accepted by Iraq in November 1993, consisted of visitations and technical
surveillance of about 300 sites. Under Resolution 1051 (March 27, 1996), U.N.
weapons inspectors monitored, at point of entry and at end-use destination, Iraq’s
imports of any dual use items.
Confrontations over access to suspected WMD sites began almost as soon as
UNSCOM began operations in April 1991, prompting adoption of Resolution 707
(August 15, 1991) requiring unfettered access to all sites and disclosure by Iraq of
all its WMD suppliers. During March 1996 - October 1997, Iraq impeded inspectors
from entering Iraqi security service and military facilities, and it interfered with some
UNSCOM flights. These actions, which were not resolved by a March 1996 side
agreement between UNSCOM and Iraq governing pre-notification of inspections of
defense and security sites, prompted Resolution 1060 (June 12, 1996) and other
Council statements (such as on June 13, 1997) demanding Iraqi cooperation.
Resolution 1115 (June 21, 1997) threatened travel restrictions against Iraqi officials
committing the infractions, and Resolution 1134 (October 23, 1997) again threatened
a travel ban and suspended sanctions reviews until April 1998.
1997-1998 Crises. Six days after that vote, Iraq barred American UNSCOM
personnel from conducting inspections, and two weeks later, expelled American
inspectors. In response, Resolution 1137 ( November 12, 1997), imposed travel
restrictions on Iraqi officials. (On November 13, 1997, the House adopted H.Res.
322, backing unilateral U.S. military action as a last resort. The Senate did not act
on a similar resolution, S.Con.Res. 71, because some Senators wanted it to call for
the United States to overthrow Saddam Hussein.) In November 1997 and February
1998, Russia and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, respectively, brokered
temporary compromises that enabled UNSCOM to resume inspections. The
February 23, 1998 U.N.-Iraq agreement provided for access to eight “presidential
sites” by inspectors and diplomats. Resolution 1154 (March 2, 1998) accepted that
agreement, threatening “the severest consequences” if Iraq reneged. Iraq allowed
presidential site inspections (1,058 buildings) during March 26-April 3, 1998, the
travel ban on Iraqi officials was lifted, and sanctions reviews resumed.
Iraq subsequently refused to implement an UNSCOM plan for completing its
work and, in August 1998, restricted inspections. The Senate and House passed a
resolution, S.J.Res. 54 (P.L. 105-235, signed August 14, 1998), declaring Iraq in
“material breach” of the ceasefire. The Security Council adopted Resolution 1194
(September 9, 1998) demanding full unfettered inspections access and suspending
sanctions reviews. On October 30, 1998, the Security Council offered an easing of
sanctions if Iraq resumed full cooperation with UNSCOM, but Iraq demanded an
immediate end to sanctions and ceased cooperation with UNSCOM (but not the
IAEA). The U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1205 (November 5, 1998),
deeming the Iraqi action a “flagrant violation” of the February 1998 U.N.-Iraq

agreement. On November 14, 1998, with the United States about to launch airstrikes,
Iraq pledged cooperation, averting strikes but prompting President Clinton to openly
declare a U.S. policy of regime change.
Operation Desert Fox and Resolution 1284. After a month of testing
Iraq’s cooperation, UNSCOM reported on December 15, 1998 that Iraq was still
obstructing its work. All inspectors withdrew and a 70-hour U.S. and British
bombing campaign followed (Operation Desert Fox, December 16-19, 1998),
directed against Iraqi WMD-capable facilities and military and security targets. In
an attempt to persuade Iraq to allow a resumption of inspections, after almost one
year of negotiations, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1284 (December 17,
1999) by a vote of 11- 0 (Russia, France, China, and Malaysia abstained). It
provided, subject to a vote of the Security Council, for the suspension of most
sanctions if Iraq “fully cooperates” with a new WMD inspection body (UNMOVIC,
U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission). The resolution called
for inspectors to determine, within 60 days of reentering Iraq, what WMD tasks
remain and to issue reports every three months. In January 2000, former IAEA
director Hans Blix was named head of UNMOVIC. In the absence of Iraq’s
agreement to allow in-country inspections during 1999-2002, UNMOVIC’s staff of
about 60 — all employees of the United Nations and not their individual
governments — reviewed WMD-related documents and imagery, interviewed
informants, and scrutinized civilian imports to ensure that no sensitive technologies
entered Iraq without U.N. approval.
“Axis of Evil” and U.S. Policy. After the September 11, 2001, attacks on
the United States, there was a debate over whether to expand the post-September 11
“war on terrorism” to Iraq, based largely on concerns that Iraq might use WMD
against the United States or provide WMD to terrorist groups. On December 20,
2001, the House passed H.J.Res. 75, by a vote of 392-12, calling Iraq’s refusal to
readmit U.N. inspectors a “material breach” of its international obligations and a
“mounting threat to peace and security.” The resolution, not taken up in the Senate,
did not explicitly authorize U.S. military action. In early-mid 2002 the Bush
Administration began to build a case that the United States must act preemptively to
change Iraq’s regime. Assertions that Iraq possessed WMD and had active ties to
terrorist groups including Al Qaeda formed the core of the Administration case for
invading Iraq. However, in several speeches, senior Administration officials,
including the President, maintained that regime change would end horrific regime
human rights abuses and pave the way for democracy in Iraq that would spread
throughout the region and deprive terrorist groups of fertile ground for recruitment.
After an internal debate, the Administration decided to work through the U.N.
Security Council to give Iraq a final opportunity to cooperate with U.N. inspections.
In a September 12, 2002 speech before the United Nations, President Bush implicitly
threatened U.S. military action, unilateral if necessary, if the United Nations did not
enforce existing resolutions on Iraq. Four days later, Iraq pledged to admit
UNMOVIC inspectors without conditions, reversing a position taken during several
meetings with the United Nations in early 2002. On October 11, 2002, Congress
completed work on a resolution (H.J.Res. 114, P.L. 107-243) authorizing the use of
U.S. armed forces against Iraq. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 296-133 in
the House, and 77-23 in the Senate.

Resolution 1441. After several weeks of negotiations, on November 8, 2002
the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1441 that (1) declared Iraq in
material breach of pre-existing resolutions; (2) gave Iraq until December 8, 2002 to
provide a full declaration of all WMD programs; (3) required new inspections to
begin by December 23, (4) declared all sites, including presidential sites, subject to
unfettered inspections; (5) gave UNMOVIC the right to interview Iraqis in private,
including taking them outside Iraq, and to freeze activity at a suspect site; (6) forbade
Iraq from taking hostile acts against any country upholding U.N. resolutions, a
provision that appeared to cover Iraq’s defiance of the “no fly zones;” and (7)
provided for the Security Council to consider how to respond to Iraqi non-
compliance. This was interpreted by France and some other countries as requiring
a second resolution to authorize force, although the United States disputed that
Iraq accepted the resolution on November 13, 2002, in a defiant letter, and
inspections began on November 27, 2002. Blix said the inspectors received full
access in their inspections of about 450 sites (over 300 by UNMOVIC and 140 by the
IAEA). On December 7, 2002, Iraq submitted its required declaration, but after
comparing the Iraqi declaration to U.S. intelligence assessments, the Bush
Administration said shortly thereafter that there were material omissions that
constituted a further material breach of Iraq’s obligations. Blix criticized the
declaration as offering “little new information,” but he did not call it a material
breach. In briefings on the inspections to the Security Council on January 27,
February 14, and March 7, 2003, Blix and IAEA head Mohammad Baradei said that
Iraq had not fully complied with Resolution 1441 but that Iraq had been providing
more active cooperation after February 2003 and that there had been some
substantive disarmament (destruction of Al Samoud II missiles).
Maintaining that the inspections process would not lead to Iraq’s full
disarmament, the United States, Britain, and Spain called for a Security Council vote
on a resolution to set a short deadline for Iraq to clearly demonstrate full cooperation
and voluntary disarmament or face use of force. After a few weeks of unsuccessful
diplomacy, on March 17, 2003, the three countries withdrew their draft resolution.
That night, President Bush issued an ultimatum for Saddam Hussein and his sons
Uday and Qusay to leave Iraq or face military action. At the same time, Secretary
General Annan ordered the U.N. inspectors out of Iraq. Saddam rebuffed the
ultimatum, and on March 19, U.S. military action (Operation Iraqi Freedom) began.
On April 9, 2003, the regime vacated Baghdad.
Post-War WMD Search. With all of Iraq under the control of U.S.-led forces
as of mid-April 2003, U.S. military-led “Mobile Exploitation Team (MET)” began
to search for and catalogue any WMD uncovered. After about a month of
operations, the teams announced no confirmed finds of WMD stockpiles, although
they did discover chemical weapons protection equipment and some other equipment.
In May 2003, the MET turned over its mission to a larger (about 1,500 personnel)
“Iraq Survey Group (ISG).” The ISG is led by the U.S. military (the group’s head is
Brig. General Joseph McMenamin, who replaced Maj.Gen Keith Dayton in July
2004) but consists partly of civilian technical experts, including some from other
countries, who served in previous U.N. inspection missions in Iraq. The chief WMD
investigator of the group holds the title of “Special Advisor to the Director of Central

Intelligence on Iraq’s WMD.”1 The first special advisor was former UNSCOM
nuclear inspector David Kay. He was replaced in January 2004 by former UNSCOM
deputy chief Charles Duelfer. The ISG is also tasked with uncovering information
on the relationship, if any, between Saddam Hussein’s regime and Al Qaeda and
cataloguing findings of mass graves and other human rights abuses by the Saddam
regime. UNMOVIC is still in existence, but neither it, nor the IAEA, have been
given a formal role in the post-conflict WMD search in Iraq, even though both bodies
have said they would like to assume a post-war role to formally complete the U.N.
disarmament work in Iraq begun in 1991.
For the first few months after Saddam’s fall, the search effort focused on
investigating and exploiting about 1,000 previously suspected WMD sites, a process
that yielded few results. After that time, the ISG focused on identifying and
interviewing Iraqis who could provide information on previously unknown sites and
documents or who had direct knowledge of Iraq’s WMD programs. On October 2,
2003, Kay visited Washington to present to Members and others the highlights of
his “Interim Progress Report.” The major findings, which did not include an
announcement of findings of weapons but did say evidence of hidden programs was
found, were presented in his congressional testimony.2
In late October 2003, press reports said the Administration was shifting some
personnel and other resources from the WMD search to counterinsurgency missions
against an increasingly active and sophisticated resistance. Kay has said this shift of
resources contributed to his decision to resign before completing the WMD search.3
In congressional testimony (Senate Armed Services) on January 28, 2004, Kay
referred to the failure to find actual WMD weapons, saying U.S. pre-war intelligence
on Iraq’s WMD was “almost all wrong” and adding that it is “highly unlikely that
there were large stockpiles of deployed militarized chemical and biological weapons
[in Iraq].” He also testified that Iraq concealed information and activities and
therefore clearly violated Resolution 1441 and that Iraq “certainly had the intentions
at a point to resume their programs.”
On March 30, 2004, Duelfer briefed the Senate Intelligence Committee and the
Senate Armed Services Committee on the continuing WMD search effort. He told
Members that the ISG had made no new breakthroughs but that some new
information suggested that Iraq might have been developing a capability to make
WMD on short notice. He also said that the ISG would focus on Iraq’s intentions

1 The title of the position is the “Director of Central Intelligence’s Special Advisor for
WMD in Iraq.”
2 Statement by David Kay on the Interim Progress Report on the Activities of the Iraq
Survey Group before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House
Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense, and the Senate Select Committee
on Intelligence.
3 Zakaria, Tabassum. “U.S. Weapons Hunter Won’t Return to Iraq.” Reuters News Wire,
Jan. 15, 2004.

and the whole range of questions about what happened to Iraq’s WMD programs.4
Blix, who retired from UNMOVIC on June 30, 2003, has since criticized the United
States for being impatient about his mission and, in his view, failing to weight
intelligence information that contradicted the prevailing U.S. judgment on Iraq’s
WMD. Three U.S. personnel from the ISG were killed in a bombing in late April

2004 as they were investigating a tip on a hidden chemical facility.

September 30, 2004, ISG Report.5 On September 30, 2004, the ISG
released its “comprehensive” report (referred to heretofore as “The Duelfer Report”)
on its findings, based on its work in Iraq since the fall of Saddam. The report largely
restated previous ISG findings — that Iraq lacked actual WMD stockpiles and
production efforts but retained the intention to erode and evade international
sanctions to position itself to eventually resume WMD production. According to the
report, Saddam believe that Iran remained a vital threat to Iraq’s national survival and
that WMD could deter Iran and that the U.S. perception that Iraq retained WMD
could deter a potential U.S. attack on Iraq. The report detailed Saddam regime
efforts to use loopholes in the U.N.-run “oil-for-food” program and other trade
agreements to buy political support around the world for the lifting of sanctions and
to procure dual use items that could be used to resume WMD efforts.
The specific findings of the Duelfer report in each WMD category are discussed
in the corresponding sections below. The Duelfer report’s findings on the alleged
abuses of the oil-for-food program will be discussed in CRS Report RL30472, Iraq:
Oil-For-Food Program, International Sanctions, and Illicit Trade.
Post-War Fallout/Investigations. The early ISG findings, coupled with the
apparent discrepancy between pre-war assertions and on-the-ground WMD findings,
prompted a number of inquiries. Shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein, then CIA
Director George Tenet said the CIA had begun to compare its pre-war intelligence
to actual on-the-ground WMD findings on WMD to determine the quality of the pre-
war assessments. The U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of Iraq’s pre-war
WMD was outlined in an October 2002 white paper entitled Iraq’s Weapons of Mass
Destruction Programs (referred to below as “the CIA white paper”), which was
based on a classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE).
There have been six inquiries and/or research efforts into pre-war intelligence
on Iraq, including the internal CIA inquiry and an inquiry (announced by the Bush
Administration February 2, 2004) by a separate nine-member bipartisan commission
to look into U.S. intelligence performance on Iraq, Iran, Libya, and North Korea.
That commission, headed by former Senator Charles Robb and appeals court judge
Laurence Silberman, has begun meeting and is to report its findings in March 2005.
The congressional inquiries include the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Senate
Armed Services Committee, and a majority and minority inquiry at the House

4 Pincus, Walter. “Weapons Inspector Testifies on Hill; Suspected Iraqi Bid to Produce
Arms on Short Notice Noted.” Washington Post, March 31, 2004.
5 “Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence on
Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. The text of the nearly 1,000 page report can be found
at []

Intelligence Committee. A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, a product
of that committee’s inquiry, was released July 9, 2004. It was highly critical of the
intelligence community’s pre-war assessments,6 citing the community for
misinterpreting ambiguous evidence to fit a pre-conceived presumption about Iraq’s
WMD (“group think,” p.18). The report said the Committee did not find evidence
that Administration officials “pressured” CIA analysts to skew their judgments, and
the report did not examine how senior policymakers portrayed or used the
intelligence assessments. The report also asserted that the intelligence community
suffered from a lack of sources close to the regime and relied too heavily on
information from Iraqi exiles who had an interest in whether the United States took
military action against Saddam Hussein.
Some senior officials, including Secretary of State Powell and then CIA Director
George Tenet (in a speech given at Georgetown University, February 5, 2004,
available online at []), have cited
information from the ISG’s October 2003 interim report to assert that WMD
programs were present in pre-war Iraq and that U.S. pre-war intelligence was not
necessarily completely wide of the mark. A late October 2003 press report quoted
General James Clapper, head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, as
expressing his own view that Iraq might have moved some WMD materiel to Syria
prior to the March 2003 start of the war, although no other U.S. officials have
presented evidence to credit that theory.7 Some believe that the few chemical
munitions found in Iraq since May 2004, discussed further below, might yet
demonstrate that Iraq had more substantial WMD stockpiles, although the Duelfer
report casts doubt on that possibility.
The failure to find substantial WMD in Iraq has led to renewed debate over the
justification for the 2003 invasion. Secretary of State Powell told journalists on
February 2, 2004, that he does not know whether he would have recommended
invasion of Iraq had he known what he now knows about the state of Iraq’s WMD
programs,8 and he has since pressed the CIA to account for why the information
given him for his February 5, 2003 U.N. presentation has proved wide of the mark.
Most other senior officials, including the President, say that the Duelfer reports
findings that Saddam retained intentions to restart WMD programs provides
justification for the war.
The following summarizes outstanding issues on Iraq’s WMD, U.S.
assessments, and U.S. post-war findings.

6 Report of the Select Committee on Intelligence on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s
Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq. July 9, 2004.
7 Jehl, Douglas. “Iraqis Removed Arms Material, U.S. Aide Says.” New York Times, Oct.

29, 2003.

8 Kessler, Glenn. “Powell: Arms Doubts Might Have Affected View on War.” Washington
Post, Feb. 3, 2004.

Nuclear Program
From 1992-2003, successive Administrations asserted that Iraq retained the
expertise (about 7,000 scientists and engineers) and intention to rebuild its nuclear
program. The “CIA white paper” said that Iraq “if left unchecked, probably will have
a nuclear weapon during this decade.” The white paper pointed to Iraq’s efforts to
procure aluminum tubes that could be used in a nuclear weapons program. IAEA
chief Mohammad Baradei said March 7, 2003, that the IAEA believed the tubes were
for use in conventional rocket programs, although their importation was not legal
under the international sanctions regime. Then CIA director Tenet asserted in
February 2004 that the issue of aluminum tube procurement is still open, because the
tubes found thus far do not match precise Iraqi specifications. Another allegation,
contained in President Bush’s January 2003 State of the Union speech but not in the
white paper, said Iraq had tried to buy large quantities of uranium from Africa
(Niger), but the IAEA said in a March 2003 report that documents alleging this
procurement of uranium from Niger were “not authentic.” The White House stated
in July 2003 that the allegation should not have been included in the State of the
Union speech because of CIA doubts about that information, although some British
officials maintain that the allegation may still be valid. The IAEA said on January

27, 2003, that it had found no evidence Iraq had restarted a nuclear program,

repeating that assessment on March 7, 2003.
During 1991-1994, despite Iraq’s initial declaration that it had no nuclear
weapons facilities or unsafeguarded material, UNSCOM/IAEA uncovered and
dismantled a previously-undeclared network of about 40 nuclear research facilities,
including three clandestine uranium enrichment programs (electromagnetic,
centrifuge, and chemical isotope separation) as well as laboratory-scale plutonium
separation program. Inspectors found and dismantled (in 1992) Iraq’s nuclear
weapons development program, and they found evidence of efforts to develop a
radiological weapon (“dirty bomb”), which could scatter nuclear material. UNSCOM
removed from Iraq all discovered nuclear reactor fuel, fresh and irradiated.
Following the defection of Hussein Kamil (Saddam’s son-in-law and former WMD
production czar) in August 1995, Iraq revealed it had launched a crash program in
August 1990 to produce a nuclear weapon as quickly as possible by diverting fuel
from its reactors for a nuclear weapon. The IAEA report of December 1, 1995, said
that, if its crash program had succeeded, Iraq estimated it might have been able to
assemble a nuclear explosive device by December 1992.
In 1997, the IAEA said that Iraq’s nuclear program had been ended and that it
had a relatively complete picture of Iraq’s nuclear suppliers. A May 15, 1998,
Security Council statement reflected a U.S.-Russian agreement to close the nuclear
file if Iraq cleared up outstanding issues (nuclear design drawings, documents, and
the fate of some nuclear equipment). An IAEA report of July 1998 indicated that
some questions still remained, and the United States did not agree to close the file.
In May 2000, the IAEA destroyed a nuclear centrifuge that Iraq had stored in Jordan
in 1991. In January 2002, as it had in each of the past three years, IAEA inspectors
verified that several tons of uranium remained sealed, acting under Iraq’s
commitments under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Post-War/Duelfer Report Findings. The September 30, 2004, Duelfer
report largely reiterated but also expanded on early findings released by the ISG. The
Duelfer report said the ISG had “discovered further evidence of the maturity and
significance of the pre-1991 Iraqi nuclear program but found that Iraq’s ability to
reconstitute a nuclear weapons program progressively decayed after that date...” and
that the ISG “found no evidence to suggest concerted efforts to restart the program.”
The report adds that “the ISG found a limited number of post-1995 activities that
would have aided the reconstitution of the nuclear weapons program once sanctions
were lifted.” The report referred specifically to regime efforts to retain nuclear
scientific talent in their jobs. There were some unconfirmed press reports in October

2004 that equipment from Iraq’s nuclear sites was looted after the fall of the regime,

raising questions about whether or not U.S. forces had properly secured the sites as
the regime fell in April 2003.
Chemical Weapons
During its 1991-1998 tenure, UNSCOM destroyed all chemical weapons
materiel uncovered: 38,500 munitions, 480,000 liters of chemical agents, 1.8 million
liters of precursor chemicals, and 426 pieces of production equipment items; the
destruction operation formally ended on June 14, 1994. In February 1998 UNSCOM
discovered that shells taken from Iraq in 1996 contained 97% pure mustard gas,
indicating it was freshly produced. However, the fate of about 31,600 chemical
shells and 550 mustard gas bombs remains unknown. UNSCOM’s main outstanding
chemical weapons questions centered on VX nerve agent, which Iraq did not include
in its initial 1991 declarations and of which no stockpile was ever located. Iraq did
not prove it destroyed the chemical precursors. By 1995 UNSCOM had uncovered
enough circumstantial evidence to force Iraq to admit to producing about 4 tons of
VX, but UNSCOM believed that Iraq had imported enough precursor — about 600
tons — to produce 200 tons of the agent. In late June 1998, UNSCOM revealed that
some unearthed missile warheads, tested in a U.S. Army lab, contained traces of VX,
contradicting Iraq’s assertions that it had not succeeded in stabilizing the agent.
Separate French and Swiss tests did not find conclusive evidence of VX. In March
2003, Iraq proposed a technical method to prove its assertions that it destroyed its VX
in 1991. About 170 chemical sites were under monitoring. Iraq did not sign the
Chemical Weapons Convention effective April 29, 1997.
The October 2002 CIA estimate said Iraq “is expanding its infrastructure, under
cover of civilian industries, that it could use to advance its chemical weapons agent
production capability,” and that the totality of evidence “strongly suggest that Iraq
maintains a stockpile of chemical agents, probably VX, sarin, cyclosarin, and
mustard.” A British assessment, released September 2002, said Iraq had distributed
chemical weapons to its field units and could deploy chemical weapons on 45
minutes’ notice.
In January 2003, during the pre-war round of U.N. inspections, UNMOVIC
found 16 chemical artillery munitions, believed empty. Iraq included an Iraqi Air
Force document in its December 7, 2002, declaration that indicated that 6,500
chemical bombs were unaccounted for (13,000 bombs the document says were used
versus 19,500 bombs Iraq previously said were used). An UNMOVIC workplan,

submitted March 7, 2003, said UNMOVIC had found in Iraq previously undeclared
cluster munitions that could deliver chemical or biological agents.
Post-War/Duelfer Report Findings. Within weeks of beginning their
searches of post-Saddam Iraq, U.S. teams found chemical weapons protection gear
and antidote vaccinations (atropine), but no chemical weapons stockpiles or
precursor materials were found, casting substantial doubt on the British assertion
that chemical weapons had been distributed to field units. In May 2004, insurgents
attempted to detonate munitions against U.S. forces, munitions that were
subsequently determined to contain sarin nerve agent and mustard gas. At least a
dozen additional shells containing chemical weapons were discovered in June and
July 2004 by Polish troops. Some of the shells contained cyclosarin, a nerve agent
far stronger than sarin. The origin of the munitions is not known, but they are
believed by many experts to be left over shells from the Iran-Iraq war or other
munitions not discovered by 1991-2003 U.N. arms inspections. U.S. officials
continue to be concerned that Iraq’s insurgents are seeking chemical munitions left
in Iraq and technical assistance from Iraqi technicians who were involved in Iraq’s
chemical weapons programs.9
The Duelfer report noted the finding of a small number of “old, abandoned
chemical munitions” but added that the “ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed
its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991...” and that “There are no credible
indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a
policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered
ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered.” The report
added that Iraq “conserved[d] the knowledge base needed to restart a CW (chemical
weapons) program, conduct a modest amount of dual-use research, and partially
recover from the decline of its production capability caused by the effects of the
[1991] Gulf war and U.N.-sponsored destruction and sanctions.” According to the
report, “Iraq’s historical ability to implement simple solutions to weaponization
challenges allowed Iraq to retain the capability to weaponize CW agent when the
need arose.”
Biological Weapons
According to UNSCOM, there were more unresolved questions about Iraq’s
biological weapons than about any other WMD category. UNSCOM said it
considered Iraq’s biological declarations during 1991-1998 neither credible nor
verifiable. Iraq did not initially (1991) declare any biological materials, weapons,
research, or facilities, and no biological weapons stockpile was ever uncovered.
UNSCOM focused its investigation initially on the major biological research and
development site at Salman Pak, but Iraq partially buried that facility shortly before
the first inspections began. In August 1991, Iraq admitted that it had a biological
weapons research program.

9 Gertz, Bill. “Iraqi Insurgents Seek Saddam’s Chemical Arms.” Washington Times, June

25, 2004.

In July 1995, Iraq modified its admission by acknowledging it had an offensive
biological weapons program and that it had produced 19,000 liters of botulinum,

8,400 liters of anthrax, and 2,000 liters of aflatoxin, clostridium, and ricin.

According to UNSCOM, Iraq imported a total of 34 tons of growth media for
producing biological agents during the 1980s, of which 4 tons remained unaccounted
for. Iraq did not give UNSCOM information on its development of drop tanks and
aerosol generators for biological weapons. UNSCOM had 86 biological sites under
long-term monitoring. UNSCOM discovered and dismantled the Al Hakam facility
on June 20, 1996.
The October 2002 CIA white paper said that “all key aspects — research and
development, production, and weaponization — of Iraq’s offensive biological
weapons program were active and that most elements are larger and more advanced
than they were before the Gulf war. The white paper added that Iraq was developing
unmanned aerial vehicles that probably could be used to deliver biological weapons.
Very little new was apparently included in Iraq’s December 7, 2002, WMD
declaration provided to UNMOVIC. During the pre-war round of U.N. inspections,
in February 2003, Iraq dug up, under UNMOVIC’s supervision, fragments of more
than 100 R-400 biological bombs (anthrax, botulinum, and aflatoxin) destroyed in

1991 and declared in August 1995.

Post-War/Duelfer Report Findings. As noted above, the CIA published
an assessment in June 2003 that two trailers discovered in Iraq in April 2003 were
those purported biological labs, although no biological agents were found in them.
Kay said in January 2004 that the trailers were likely used to produce hydrogen gas
or possibly rocket fuel, but CIA Director Tenet said in his Georgetown speech that
more study is needed.
According to the Duelfer report, the “ISG judges that in 1991 and 1992, Iraq
appears to have destroyed its undeclared stocks of BW (biological weapons) and
probably destroyed remaining holdings of bulk BW agent.” However, ISG lacks
evidence to document complete destruction.” The report adds that the “ISG judges
that Iraq’s actions between 1991 and 1996 demonstrate that the state intended to
preserve its BW capability ...” but that the “ISG found no direct evidence that Iraq,
after 1996, had plans for a new BW program or was conducting BW-specific work
for military purposes.” The ISG also found a network of labs and safehouses, run by
Iraq’s intelligence services, containing biological-capable equipment.
On the specific issue of the alleged trailer BW production vehicles, the Duelfer
report says that “In spite of exhaustive investigation, the ISG found no evidence that
Iraq possessed, or was developing BW agent production systems mounted on road
vehicles or railway wagons.” The report adds that the ISG judges that the two trailers
found were “almost certainly designed and built...exclusively for the generation of

Ballistic Missiles/UAV’s
Resolution 687 required the destruction of all Iraqi ballistic missiles with a
range greater than 150 km. After seven years of inspections, UNSCOM accounted
for 817 of 819 Soviet-supplied Scud missiles (300 km range), 130 of which survived
the Gulf war, as well as all 14 declared mobile launchers and 60 fixed launch pads.
During the 1990s, U.S. analysts believed Iraq might have been concealing as many
as 12 Scud-like missiles and that it was manufacturing propellants for missiles of
ranges longer than those allowed. There was also evidence of Iraqi cheating on
missile issues. In December 1995, after Jordan reported seizing 115 Russian-made
missile guidance components allegedly bound for Iraq, UNSCOM said Iraq had
procured some missile components since 1991, a violation of sanctions. (That
month, UNSCOM retrieved prohibited missile guidance gyroscopes, suitable for a
2,000 mile range missile, from Iraq’s Tigris River, apparently procured from Russia’s
defense-industrial establishment.)
UNSCOM’s October 1998 report said it had been able to account for at least 43
of the 45 chemical and biological (CBW) warheads Iraq said it unilaterally destroyed
in 1991. (The warheads were unearthed in mid-1998.) An additional 30 chemical
warheads were destroyed under UNSCOM supervision. UNSCOM also accounted
for all but 50 conventional Scud warheads and said it made progress establishing a
material balance for Scud engine components. Unresolved issues included missile
program documentation, 300 tons of special propellant, and indigenous production
(30 warheads and 7 missiles).
Iraq was developing permitted-range missiles — the Ababil and Samoud
programs and, prior to Operation Desert Fox, UNSCOM had been monitoring about
63 missile sites and 159 items of equipment, as well as 2,000 permitted missiles. The
October 2002 CIA white paper said that Iraq “has developed a ballistic missile
capability that exceeds the 150 km range limitation established by U.N. Security
Council Resolution 687.” Iraq’s December 7, 2002 declaration said some flight tests
of these missiles did exceed the allowed range by about 50 km, and Blix ordered the
destruction of the Al Samoud (about 120 missiles) and related production equipment.
Iraq began the destruction by the deadline of March 1, 2003, and about half of the
missile force was destroyed by the time the war started. Iraq’s “Fatah” program was
being studied to see if its range exceeded allowed limits. Some of these missiles
were fired by Iraq into Kuwait during the 2003 war, although there were no
confirmed firings of Scud-range missiles, which were banned under Resolution 687.
Most Iraqi missiles fired were intercepted by U.S. or Kuwaiti Patriot systems.
Post-War/Duelfer Report Findings. According to the Duelfer report,
“Desert Storm and subsequent U.N. resolutions and inspections brought many of
Iraq’s delivery programs to a halt ...” and that “The ISG has uncovered no evidence
Iraq retained Scud-variant missiles, and debriefings of Iraqi officials in addition to
some documentation suggest that Iraq did not retain such missiles after 1991.” The
report adds that “The ISG assesses that Saddam clearly intended to reconstitute long-
range delivery systems and that the systems potentially were for WMD.” According
to the report, Iraq did develop the Al Samoud and Fatah missiles, discussed above,
“and was pursuing a series of new small UAV systems. The report adds that the
“ISG uncovered Iraqi plans or designs for three long-range ballistic missiles with

ranges from 400 to 1,000 km and for a 1,000 km range cruise missile, although none
of these systems progressed to production and only one reportedly passed the design
phase.” The report added that the ISG found evidence that Russian experts helped
Iraq develop the Al Samoud and that Iraq imported missile-related equipment from
Belarus, Poland, Russia, and Serbia.
Human Rights/War Crimes Issues
U.S. and U.N. human rights reports after the 1991 Gulf war repeatedly
described Saddam Hussein’s regime as a gross violator of human rights.
International organizations estimate that more than 400,000 Iraqis were killed by
regime security forces during Saddam’s rule, but some estimates are as high as 1
million. In 1994, the Clinton Administration said it was considering presenting a
case against Iraq to the International Court of Justice under the 1948 Genocide
Convention. Then U.N. Rapporteur for Iraq Max Van der Stoel’s February 1994
report said that Convention might have been violated by Iraq’s abuses against the
Shiite “Marsh Arabs” in southern Iraq, including drainage of the marshes where they
live. In February 2002, Iraq allowed the U.N. human rights rapporteur for Iraq,
Andreas Mavromatis of Cyprus, to visit Iraq, the first such visit since 1992. On
October 20, 2002, sensing the United States was trying to build a case to oust him
from power militarily, Saddam Hussein granted an amnesty and released virtually all
prisoners in Iraq. He called the move gratitude for his purported “100%” victory in
a referendum (no opponent) on his leadership on October 15, 2002. Some in the
Bush Administration have blamed some of the post-war unrest in Iraq on criminals
released by Saddam during this amnesty.
U.S. State Department documents also discuss reports of women who were
raped by Iraqi personnel while in custody, in an effort to extract information and10
force confessions from their family members. Some human rights groups, such as
Amnesty International, have reported that the former regime beheaded over 200
women accused of prostitution. Detainees, both male or female, were routinely and
systematically tortured, including by electric shock and burnings, according to
Administration documents. U.S. and other accounts say the former regime conducted
a decades-long campaign of murder, execution, and arrest of Shiite religious leaders,
and that the families of supporters of Shiite Islamic political parties were often
denied food ration cards. Shiite religious commemorations, broadcasts, and
publications were banned. It was widely alleged that Saddam’s elder son, Uday, who
served as a sports official, threatened or beat athletes following soccer game defeats
and that he dismissed hundreds of members of the Iraqi Union of Journalists for not
praising the regime sufficiently.
Post-War Findings. About 270 mass graves have been reported by Iraqis and
U.S. investigators since the fall of the regime, but about 50 have thus far been
confirmed by Iraq’s Human Rights Ministry. Most of the mass graves are believed
to contain the bodies of Shiite Muslims killed in the post-1991 war uprisings against

10 Department of State. Office of Women’s Issues. Iraqi Women Under Saddam’s Regime:
A Population Silenced. Mar. 20, 2003.

Saddam Hussein. Some of the mass graves are located in al-Mahawil, a small town
outside the city of al-Hilla, about 60 miles south of Baghdad. In October 2004, nine
mass graves were discovered at Hatra, in Kurdish-inhabited northern Iraq, containing
several hundred bodies, including those of women and children. The victims are
believed to be Kurds killed during the Anfal campaign of 1987-1988, a forced
displacement of Kurds from their villages.
The FY2004 supplemental (P.L. 108-106) contains funding for several human
rights-related functions, but particularly investigations into the human rights practices
of the former regime. From the over $18.4 billion in reconstruction funds
appropriated by the supplemental, $75 million has been allocated for investigations
of former regime crimes against humanity, a function that includes the trial of
Saddam Hussein and his associates (discussed below). An additional $15 million is
allocated for “human rights,” mostly for the establishment of a human rights
commission (provided for in Iraq’s transitional administrative law, or provisional
constitution signed in March 2004) and to assist the operations of the Ministry of
Human Rights, which is headed by Bakhtiar Amin. Other activities funded by the
$15 million are forensic training and a project to record information on human rights
violations by the former regime in preparation for the creation of a “Truth
War Crimes Issues. An issue related to regime change but somewhat
separate is the trial of Saddam Hussein and his associates on charges of war crimes
and crimes against humanity. During the 1990s, the war crimes issue was addressed
by previous U.S. administrations and the international community. U.N. Security
Council Resolution 674 (October 29, 1990) calls on all states or organizations to
provide information on Iraq’s war-related atrocities to the United Nations. The
Foreign Relations Authorization Act for FY1992 (P.L. 102-138, October 28, 1991,
Section 301) stated the sense of Congress that the President should propose to the
U.N. Security Council a war crimes tribunal for Saddam Hussein. Similar legislation
was later passed, including H.Con.Res. 137 (passed the House November 13, 1997);
S.Con.Res. 78 (passed the Senate March 13, 1998); and a provision of the Iraq
Liberation Act (see ILA above).
A U.S. Army report on possible war crimes was released on March 19, 1993,
after Clinton took office. In August 2000, the Clinton Administration’s
Ambassador-At-Large for War Crimes, David Scheffer, said that the United States
wanted to see an Iraq war crimes tribunal established, focusing on “nine major
criminal episodes.” These included the use of chemical weapons — sarin and tabun
— against Kurdish civilians at Halabja (March 16, 1988, killing 5,000 Kurds); the
forced relocation of Kurds in the “Anfal” campaign (February 1988, in which an
estimated 50,000 to 182,000 Kurds died); the use of chemical weapons against Iran;
post-1991 crimes against humanity (suppression of uprisings by the Kurds and the
Marsh Arabs after that war); war crimes against Kuwait (including oil field fires) and
coalition forces during the 1991 war; and other allegations. In FY2001 and again in
FY2002, the State Department contributed $4 million to a U.N. “Iraq War Crimes
Commission,” to be spent if a U.N. tribunal for Iraq war crimes is formed.
In the year prior to the 2003 war, the Administration was gathering data for a
potential trial of Saddam and 12 of his associates. Those it had sought for trial

include Saddam; his two sons Uday and Qusay (killed after discovery by and a
firefight with U.S. forces in Mosul on July 22, 2003); Ali Hassan al-Majid, for
alleged use of chemicals against the Kurds (captured August 21, 2003); Muhammad
Hamza al-Zubaydi (surrendered in mid-April 2003); Taha Yasin Ramadan; first Vice
President and number three in the regime (captured August 19, 2003); Izzat Ibrahim,
Vice Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council and formally number two
in the regime (still at large); Barzan al-Tikriti, Saddam’s half brother (captured in
mid-April 2003); Watban al-Tikriti (captured in April 2003) and Sabawi al-Tikriti,
both other half brothers of Saddam and former leaders of regime intelligence
bureaus; Tariq Aziz, deputy Prime Minister and foremost regime spokesman
(surrendered in May 2003); and Aziz Salih Noman, governor of Kuwait during Iraq’s
occupation of that country (captured May 2003). Others not on the list of twelve, but
part of a list of 55 former regime officials sought by the United States for questioning
and possible arrest, have been captured or surrendered. As of August 2004, 45 of
the Iraqis on the list of 55 are now in custody or were killed.
On July 15, 2003, the “Governing Council” of 25 Iraqis that was appointed by
the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority decided to form a war crimes tribunal
for former regime members including Saddam Hussein, who was captured on
December 13, 2003. The legal process for those in custody began after the June 28,
2004, handover of sovereignty. Twelve of the most senior captives, including
Saddam, were formally charged with crimes against humanity on July 1, 2004. They
are under Iraqi legal control but U.S. physical control. Saddam was captured on
December 13, 2003, in the town of Dur, nine miles south of his hometown, Tikrit.
Saddam, who had been hiding in a tiny cellar on a farm with $750,000 and a pistol
(now on display in the Oval Office), surrendered to U.S. forces. He was held at an
undisclosed location in Iraq and was interrogated, although U.S. officials have
publicly said Saddam was uncooperative. According to U.S. commanders in
Baghdad, documents captured with Saddam have led to the arrests of several former
At his arraignment hearing on July 1, 2004, Saddam was charged with seven
major crimes against the Iraqi people and humanity, some of which are the same as
those alleged crimes that the United States had researched previously. The seven
formal charges against Saddam include (1) invading Kuwait; (2) killing Iraqi
religious in 1974; (3) using chemical weapons against the Kurds at Halabjah; (4)
killing members of the Kurdish Barzani clan in 1983; (5) killing members of various
“political parties” over the last 30 years; (6) the “Anfal campaign” discussed above;
and (7) the suppression of the 1991 uprisings by the Shiites and the Kurds. Saddam
remains in physical custody of U.S. forces in a prison near Baghdad International
Airport, spending his time reading, writing, and tending a small garden, according
to press reports.11 (See CRS Report RS21705, Options for Trying Saddam Hussein
for International Crimes.)

11 Mcallester, Matthew. “Quiet Life for Saddam.” Newsday, July 26, 2004.

Support for International Terrorism
U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991) required Iraq to end
support for international terrorism, and Iraq made a declaration that it would do so
in 1991. Despite that declaration, some known terrorists lived in Iraq up until the
time of the 2003 war. Palestine Liberation Front leader Abu Abbas, whose
organization committed the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro, was
arrested by U.S. forces in Iraq on April 15, 2003, during the war. He died in U.S.
custody, apparently of natural causes, in early March 2004. In August 2002 aging
terrorist organization leader Abu Nidal died (committed suicide or was killed) as
Iraqi police went to arrest him for alleged contacts with foreign governments opposed
to Baghdad. During 2000 - 2003, Iraq was paying the families of Palestinian suicide
bombers $25,000, and Iraq reportedly invited Arab volunteers to fight against the
United States in the course of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Post-War Status. The former regime’s pre-war ties to Al Qaeda have been
a subject of debate within the Bush Administration and among outside experts. Little
evidence has come to light since major combat ended that linked the Baathist regime
to Al Qaeda, and several post-war reports, including the final report of the 9/11
Commission, have found no evidence of an operational linkage between Saddam’s
regime and Al Qaeda. However, U.S. commanders in Iraq believe that foreign
fighters, possibly linked to or supportive of the ideology of Al Qaeda, are
participating in the insurgency against U.S. forces in Iraq. Iraq was removed from
the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism on September 17, 2004. For information
on the former regime’s alleged ties to Al Qaeda, see CRS Report RL32217, Iraq and
Al Qaeda: Allies or Not?
Iraq-Kuwait Issues
Resolution 1284 required reports on the issues discussed below but, unlike
Resolution 687, did not link the easing of any sanctions to Iraqi compliance on
Kuwait-related issues. Resolution 1441 did not impose any new Kuwait-related
requirements on Iraq.
Border Issues/Kuwaiti Sovereignty. Resolution 687 required Iraq to
annul its annexation of Kuwait, directed the U.N. Secretary-General to demarcate the
Iraq-Kuwait border, and established a demilitarized zone (abolished after the 2003
war) 10 kilometers into Iraq and 5 kilometers into Kuwait. Resolution 773 (August
26, 1992) endorsed border decisions taken by the Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Demarcation
Commission (established May 2, 1991) that, in November 1992, finished
demarcating the Iraq-Kuwait border as described in an October 1963 agreement
between Iraq and Kuwait. The border took effect on January 15, 1993. The new line
deprived Iraq of part of Umm Qasr port and a strip of the Rumaylah oil field, which
straddles the border. On March 18, 1993, the Commission determined the sea
border, allowing both countries access to the Gulf. Resolution 833 (May 27, 1993)
demanded that Iraq and Kuwait accept the final border demarcation. On November

10, 1994, Iraq formally recognized Kuwait in a motion signed by Saddam Hussein.

At the Arab summit in Beirut (March 27-29, 2002), Iraq reaffirmed its commitment

to Kuwait’s territorial integrity and pledged to cooperate to determine the fate of
missing Kuwaitis (see below). On December 7, 2002, Saddam Hussein issued an
“apology” to Kuwait for the invasion, but Kuwait rejected it as insincere.
Until it ended operations just after the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the
32-nation U.N. Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM), established by
Resolutions 687 and 689 April 9, 1991, monitored border violations. The United
States contributed 11 personnel to the mission, which was considered a U.N.
peacekeeping operation. Under Resolution 806 (February 5, 1993), passed after
Iraqi incursions into the demilitarized zone in January 1993 (and other incidents), a
908-member Bengali troop contingent supplemented the 197 observers. Kuwait
furnished two-thirds of UNIKOM’s $51 million annual budget. The United States
contributed about $4.5 million per year to UNIKOM.
Kuwaiti Detainees and Property. Security Council Resolutions 686 and
687 required Iraq to account for Kuwaiti and other nationals detained in Iraq during
the Persian Gulf crisis. After January 1995, Iraq and Kuwait had met monthly on the
Iraq-Kuwait border, along with U.S., British, French, and Saudi representatives, but
Iraq boycotted the meetings after Operation Desert Fox. Of an initial 628 Kuwaiti
cases, 608 were unresolved (ICRC figure as of May 2000) at the beginning of the
2003 war, as were the cases of an additional 17 Saudi nationals. Iraq admitted to
having arrested and detained 126 Kuwaitis, but did not provide enough information
to resolve their fate. Only three cases were resolved during 1995-2003.
In February 2000, retired Russian diplomat Yuli Vorontsov was appointed to a
new post (created by Resolution 1284) of U.N. coordinator on the Kuwait-related
issues. The regime did not allow him to visit Iraq, and the U.N. Security Council
issued several statements of concern about the lack of progress. On December 12,
2002, Iraq invited Vorontsov to visit, but no visit occurred. In January 2003, Iraq
held a few meetings with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on the issue, pledging to bring
forward new information on the fate of the missing, but no outstanding cases were
resolved. Resolution 1483, adopted on May 22, 2003, directed Vorontsov to attempt
to clear up the issue of missing Kuwaitis and Kuwait property.
U.N. Security Council Resolutions 686 and 687 required Iraq to return all
property seized from Kuwait. In the first few years after the cease-fire, Iraq returned
some Kuwaiti civilian and military equipment, including U.S.-made Improved Hawk
air defense missiles, and U.N. reports and statements in June 2000 noted that Iraq had
returned “a substantial amount of property.” However, in 1994, U.S. officials
accused Iraq of returning to Kuwait some captured Iranian equipment that was never
part of Kuwait’s arsenal and of using Kuwaiti missiles and armored personnel
carriers during Iraq’s October 1994 troop move toward the Kuwait border. The
United Nations and Kuwait said Saddam Hussein’s Iraq did not return extensive
Kuwaiti state archives and museum pieces, as well as military equipment including
eight Mirage F-1 aircraft, 245 Russian-made fighting vehicles, 90 M113 armored
personnel carriers, one Hawk battery, 3,750 Tow anti-tank missiles, and 675 Russian-
made surface-to-air missile batteries. Iraq claimed the materiel was left behind or
destroyed when Iraq evacuated Kuwait. In July 2002, an agreement was reached on
a “mechanism” for Iraq to return Kuwait’s state archives (six truckloads of
documents) to Kuwait. Saddam’s regime began the return of tons of documents on

October 20, 2002, although Kuwait said key archives were not returned. Iraq
returned some additional property in early February 2003.
Post-2003 War Findings and Developments. In July 2004, Iraq and
Kuwait restored diplomatic relations during a visit to Kuwait by interim Iraqi Prime
Minister Iyad al-Allawi. Through a Humanitarian Operations Center, Kuwait is
providing substantial humanitarian aid to Iraqis, primarily in the Shiite south, as part
of the reconciliation process and as an attempt by Kuwait to promote stability in12
Iraq. As of October 2004, the bodies of 82 of the missing Kuwaitis had been
uncovered by U.S.-led forces in Iraq; they were mostly found in graves just north of13
Kuwait’s border with Iraq. Additional potential remains are being tested, such as
remains that have been found in some of the mass graves uncovered by U.S.-led
forces. U.S.-led forces have not announced any finds of Kuwaiti property. On the
case of missing (1991) Gulf war U.S. Navy pilot Michael Speicher, U.S. investigators
reportedly have determined that he is dead, but his remains have not been found to
date. 14
Unwinding the Containment Policy
The United States is attempting to support and stabilize an Iraqi government,
move Iraq to a normalized economy, and restructure the U.S. military posture that
had been in place to contain Saddam Hussein after the 1991 Gulf war. The latter of
these issues is analyzed below, and overall U.S. stabilization efforts in Iraq are
discussed in CRS Report RL31339, Iraq: U.S. Regime Change Efforts and Post-
Saddam Governance.
Lifting International Sanctions/Reparations Payments
During the 1990s, as international concerns for the plight of the Iraqi people
grew, the United States had increasing difficulty maintaining support for international
sanctions. The oil-for-food program, established by Resolution 986 (April 15,
1995) and in operation since December 1996, was progressively modified to improve
Iraq’s living standards, and the United States had been easing its own sanctions to
align them with the program. The program ended November 22, 2003, as mandated
by Resolution 1483 of May 22, 2003, which also lifted most post-1991 Gulf war
U.N. sanctions on Iraq. (See CRS Report RL30472, Iraq: Oil-for-Food Program,
International Sanctions, and Illicit Trade.)
Reparations Payments. Reparation payments are another legacy of the
former regime resulting from the 1991 Gulf war. After that war, the U.N. Security
Council set up a mechanism for compensating the victims of Iraq’s invasion of

12 For information on Kuwait’s assistance to U.S. operations and to stability in Iraq, see CRS
Report RS21513. Kuwait: Post-Saddam Issues and U.S. Policy.
13 Information provided by Embassy of Kuwait in Washington D.C., Mar. 15, 2004.
14 Scarborough, Rowan. “U.S. Team Concludes Navy Pilot Died in Gulf War.” Washington
Times, July 22, 2004.

Kuwait (individuals, governments, and corporations), using 25% (reduced from 30%
in December 2000) of the proceeds from Iraqi oil sales. That figure was reduced to

5% of Iraq’s revenues by Resolution 1483 of May 22, 2003. As of October 2004,

the Compensation Commission (UNCC) has approved claims worth about $48.6
billion, of a total asserted value of $350 billion claims submitted. Of that amount,
about $18.4 billion has been paid out. The UNCC is currently paying about $800
million per year on claims, with priority going to individual claims.
Of the latest awards, in December 2003, the UNCC awarded Kuwait and Saudi
Arabia a total of $1.1 billion for environmental claims, about 10% of what the two
countries had claimed. In June 2003, the UNCC awarded $1.5 billion to the Kuwait
Investment Authority for losses incurred due to Iraq’s invasion, far below the asserted
$86.7 billion claimed. Kuwait was awarded $700 million in October 2002 to cover
the cost of removing Iraqi mines laid in the Gulf war. In September 2000, Kuwait
was awarded $15.9 billion for oil revenues lost because of the Iraqi occupation and
the aftermath of the war (burning oil wells). Awards to U.S. claimants thus far total
over $704 million, of which about $260 million has been paid. Of those awards, over
$600 million has been awarded to U.S. firms and $13 million to the U.S. government
(damage to the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait and other claims).15
Several legislative proposals (“Iraq Claims Act”) to distribute Iraq’s frozen
assets (about $2.4 billion) in the United States (separate from the U.N. compensation
process) were not enacted, because of differences over categories of claimants that
should receive priority. On March 20, 2003, President Bush issued an executive
order for the U.S. government to confiscate approximately $2.4 billion in frozen Iraqi
assets, for use in post-war reconstruction. (See CRS Report 98-240, Iraq:
Compensation and Assets Issues.)
U.S. Military Deployments
From the end of the 1991 war until the 2003 war, U.S. military deployments
in the Gulf region, approximately 20,000 personnel, focused on containing Iraq.
Numbers of personnel sometimes increased at times of crisis with Saddam’s regime
primarily over U.N. WMD inspections. The United States and Britain enforced two
“no fly zones” to protect Iraq’s Kurdish minority (Operation Northern Watch, ONW)
and its Shiite population (Operation Southern Watch, OSW), as well as to monitor
Iraqi forces. France was originally a part of the enforcement operations but dropped
out in 1997 and 1998 due to opposition to what it considered an overly punitive
policy toward Saddam Hussein’s regime. ONW, established in April 1991, extended
north of the 36th parallel. Turkey provided basing rights at Incirlik Air Base for the
24 American aircraft and about 1,300 U.S. forces (plus allied forces) that policed the
northern zone. However, Turkey feared that ONW protected the anti-Turkish
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which takes refuge in parts of northern Iraq, and
Turkey made repeated attacks against the PKK after May 1997. OSW, established
on August 26, 1992 to protect the Shiites, extended south of the 32nd parallel. The
United States and the United Kingdom expanded that zone to the 33rd parallel on
September 4, 1996, after Baghdad’s move into northern Iraq.

15 Information provided by the U.S. State Department. Oct. 9, 2003.

To enforce the no-fly zones, the two allies invoked U.N. Resolution 678
(November 29, 1990, authorizing use of force to expel Iraq from Kuwait), 687 (the
main ceasefire resolution), 688 (human rights), the Safwan Accords (the March 3,
1991 cease-fire agreements between Iraq and the coalition forces that banned Iraqi
interference with allied air operations), and P.L. 102-1 of January 12, 1991, the
congressional resolution authorizing U.S. military action to expel Iraq from Kuwait
after its 1990 invasion. Resolutions 678 and 687 were written under Chapter VII of
the U.N. Charter (peace and security issues) — interpreted as allowing military action
for enforcement. Resolution 688 was not written under Chapter VII; neither that or
any other resolution specifically established no fly zones. In response to Iraq’s
movement of troops toward Kuwait in October 1994, Security Council Resolution

949 (October 15, 1994) demanded Iraq not deploy forces to threaten its neighbors.

The United States and Britain interpreted this as authorizing military action if Iraq
enhanced (numbers or quality of armament) its forces below the 32nd parallel,
including any movement of air defense equipment into the zones.
The several years prior to the 2003 war were characterized by occasional U.S.
strikes on Iraqi military emplacements. During March 2000-March 2001, Iraqi air
defenses fired at or targeted allied aircraft enforcing both zones on 500 occasions, in
many cases provoking U.S. strikes on the activated missile batteries. On February
16, 2001, the United States and Britain struck parts of that network north of the
southern no fly zone, although the striking aircraft did not go beyond the zone.
During 2002, Iraqi air defenses and related infrastructure were bombed about 60
times in response to about 200 provocations. During the run-up to the war, the target
list was expanded to include systems, such as surface-to-surface missiles, that could
be used against U.S. forces.
Post-War Redeployments and Residual Military Issues. With Saddam
Hussein’s regime overthrown, U.S. officials said in mid-April 2003 that no fly zone
enforcement had ended and many of the U.S. aircraft involved in those operations
have now been redeployed. The Defense Department announced in September 2003
that the United States has drawn down its personnel in Saudi Arabia, estimated at
about 6,000 before the war, to the few hundred that were there prior to the 1990
invasion of Kuwait. Those forces had been a source of some strain in light of the
resentment of Saudi citizens to the presence of non-Muslim forces in the Kingdom.
Many of those forces were redeployed to a new U.S. air command center in Qatar.
For more information on the U.S. military posture in the Gulf, see CRS Report
RL31533, Persian Gulf: Issues for U.S. Policy, 2004.
U.S. military teams are securing Iraq’s conventional military infrastructure,
including an estimated 130 ammunition storage sites in Iraq, some of which exceed

50 square miles in size and hold more than 600,000 tons of artillery shells, rockets,

bombs, and other explosive ordnance. Some of these sites were not secured
immediately after the regime fell and some remain unsecure, leading to speculation16
that the Iraqi resistance obtains its explosives from these sites. There is also
uncertainty as to the location, and even the total number, of all such storage sites. In

16 Bergman, Lowell and Eric Schmitt. “Vast, Unsecure Iraqi Arms Depost Could Take
Years to Dispose Of.” New York Times, Sept. 30, 2003.

Anbar Province, which contains the restive Sunni Muslim cities of Fallujah and
Ramadi, there are 103 known former regime ammunition storage sites, of which 35
have been declared completely clear of both unexploded munitions and captured
ammunition, as of July 2004.17
U.S. forces reportedly have not been able to locate a large number of shoulder-
fired anti-aircraft missiles once part of Saddam Hussein’s arsenals, leading to fears
for aviation over Iraq. U.S. forces have located a number of combat aircraft buried
under sand dunes by the former regime prior to the war; it is not known whether they
might be made operational for a future Iraqi air force. Another unresolved issue is
that of 22 combat aircraft Iraq flew to Iran at the beginning of the 1991 Gulf war, to
protect them from U.S. air strikes in that war. Iraq’s interim government is
demanding that Iran return the planes.
U.S. forces are also guarding 4,000 fighters from the Iranian opposition People’s
Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) at the “Ashraf Camp” in central Iraq, near
the border with Iran. The PMOI is named as a terrorist organization by the United
States, but the United States announced in July 2004 that the PMOI fighters are
“protected persons,” meaning they will not be sent back to Iran or forced to leave by
U.S. forces. U.S. forces also have pledged to remove PKK fighters (who could
number as many as 10,000) from northern Iraq, but this apparently has not been
accomplished or attempted to date.
Costs of Containment. From the end of the 1991 Gulf war until the start of
the 2003 war, the Defense Department incurred about $12 billion in costs to contain
Iraq and provide humanitarian aid to the Kurds. About $1.2 billion was spent in
FY2002. The Department of Defense assisted UNSCOM by providing U-2
surveillance flights, intelligence, personnel, equipment, and logistical support, at a
cost of about $15 million per year.

17 Marines, Soldiers Destroy Mountains of Munitions, Making Many Safer in Iraq. U.S. Fed
News, July 28, 2004.