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Volume 2, Issue 1
January-February 2003

The Real Target in Iraq

By Kelly Motz

As the debate rages over gaps in the recent Iraqi weapon declaration, it is worthwhile to take a step back from the fray, and to remember what the inspectors are looking for. The answer is: things that the West supplied. The real targets in Iraq - whether of inspectors now or of soldiers later - are the West's own exports.

Before the Gulf War, Iraq received sensitive, dual-use equipment useful for making mass destruction weapons from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. German firms supplied over half of the total; the rest of the world shared the remainder. Much of what came from America went with the blessing of the US Commerce Department, which approved the sale of more than $1.5 billion worth of dual-use goods. An honest assessment of the problem we face in Iraq is that we are still trying to rectify our past indiscretions. The fact that US troops may one day lay down their lives to destroy these exports is the price we may have to pay.

The following table lists some of the sites that the inspectors have visited recently and shows some of the sensitive items the sites received from the West. The inspectors managed to destroy a good deal of the equipment imported in the 1990s, but much of it still remains for the Iraqi sites to use. The West's companies and governments are more guilty than most people remember.

Site What Site Did What the West Supplied
Nassr State Enterprise - Helped extend the range of Iraq's SCUD missiles so they could strike US troops in Saudi Arabia and Israelis in Tel Aviv.

- Also helped Iraq's secret effort to enrich uranium.

- Machine tools and high-speed computers: Leybold Vacuum Systems, Hewlett Packard (US); Matrix Churchill Ltd., MEED International (UK); Heinrich Mueller GmbH (Germany); International Computer Systems (UK)

- Components and know-how for a plant intended for missile production: Anlagen Bau Contor (Germany)

- Missile guidance components: Inwako, C. Plath (Germany)

- Equipment to make missile combustion chambers: H&H Metalform, Leifeld and Co. GmbH (Germany)

- Magnets for centrifuges for enriching uranium: Rhein-Bayern Fahrzeugbau GmbH & Co KG (Germany)

- Magnets for calutrons for enriching uranium: Voest-Alpine AG (Austria)

- Turbopumps for the engines of SCUD missiles: Thyssen Maschinenbau GmbH (Germany)

- Glass fiber plant useful for making rocket motor casings: Matrix Churchill Corp. (US/UK); Glass Inc. International (US)

Al-Qaqaa - Developed explosive lenses for nuclear weapons - High-speed computers: Cerberus, Perkin Elmer Corporation (US)
University of Mosul - Site of Iraq's major missile development center

- Research on chemical and nuclear weapons

- Equipment for enhancing satellite images: E.Z. Logic Data Systems (US)

- Infrared electronic imaging equipment useful for aerial reconnaissance and missile tracking: International Imaging Systems (US)

- Computers and mass spectrometers useful for nuclear weapon work: Finnigan-MAT (US)

Al Kindi - Modification and production of SCUD-B/Al Hussein missiles

- Production of the "supergun"

- Research on missile components and fuel

- High-precision coordinate measuring machines: Mauserwerke Oberndorf GmbH, Zeiss, Mauser (Germany)
Samarra Drug Industry - Prime production facility for Iraqi mustard gas and nerve agents, according to U.S. intelligence sources

- Reported in 2001 by August Hanning, the director of German intelligence (BND), to be developing new chemical weapons

- Parts for the Samarra chemical weapon complex: Water Engineering Trading (Germany)

- Site construction services: Heberger Bau (Germany)

- Equipment for six separate chemical plants, including facilities and construction components: Karl Kolb and Pilot Plant (Germany)

- Equipment for chemical, physiological and biological analysis (Germany)

- According to Hanning, "important components for the production of poison gas" (Germany)

Hutteen State Establishment - Built testing facility at Iraq's main nuclear weapon development site - Artillery ammunition for chemical payloads: Treblan (Spain)

- High-speed computers: E.Z. Logic Data Systems (US); International Computer Systems (US/UK)

- Machine tools and equipment: Matrix Churchill Ltd., MEED International (UK)

Salah al Din - Military electronics factory which produced three-dimensional early warning radars, electronic countermeasures and inertial guidance components

- Also produced equipment for making nuclear weapon fuel

- Turn-key factory built by Thomson-CSF (France)

- Lasers, laser systems, and "communication/ detection/tracking equipment:" Spectra Physics (US)

- Quartz crystals and electronic assemblies for use in radar systems: Zeta Laboratories Inc. (US)

- Frequency synthesizers for developing surveillance radar: Hewlett Packard (US)










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