Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States
Appendix III: Unclassified Working Papers
Kenneth Katzman 1 : "Iraq's Long Range Missile Capabilities"
Iraq has consistently frustrated U.S. and international attempts to assess
its weapons of mass destruction capabilities. It has almost always advanced
further and faster than originally believed. This is partly because Iraq is
a regimented society politically, and its Ba'th regime has shown a unique
ability to organize sectors of Iraqi society to accomplish a specific
national goal. In the 1980's that goal was to develop weapons of mass
destruction and defeat the more numerous Iranians in an all-out eight year
war. Iraq accomplished that goal. Most recently, that goal has been to
deceive and obfuscate the work of U.N. weapons inspectors (UNSCOM) in an
effort to preserve key aspects of its weapons of mass destruction programs.
A case in point is Iraq's pre-Gulf war ballistic missile capabilities. The
core of Iraq's missile force consisted of Scud-B missiles purchased from
the Soviet Union. Iraq was able to extend the range of those missiles and
make them into a strategically, if not strictly militarily, significant
terror weapon. Iraq's claims that it had indeed accomplished this
technological breakthrough were initially discounted, but later proven.
There are disagreements among analysts over how much of this progress to
attribute to outside assistance, but there is a consensus that Iraqi
ingenuity and organizational skills played a role in these successes.
Iraq's technological prowess means that its ability to indigenously develop
long range ballistic missiles can develop quickly if the current package of
restraints were to erode significantly. At the time of the Gulf war, when
Iraq's long range missile programs were interrupted, Iraq was well on its
way to developing long range missiles, although it had not yet
unequivocally succeeded in doing so. There is no evidence Iraq is able to
significantly advance its long range missile capabilities while UNSCOM's
inspections regime remains robust, but UNSCOM's presence in Iraq has not
completely precluded Iraq from conducting long range missile research
U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991), which set up UNSCOM
and required Iraq to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction, gives Iraq
an important loophole. Under the Resolution, Iraq can continue to build and
field missiles with a range of up to 150 km (93 miles). A missile of that
range might not be strategically significant in itself, but the provision
allows Iraq to keep its missile research teams and facilities intact and
functioning. Iraq's long range missile programs, therefore, would be the
easiest of all its WMD programs to reconstitute, if the inspection regime
were to erode significantly.
Iraq is a unique case among countries posing a potential ballistic missile
threat to the United States or its interests. It is the only country in
which long range ballistic missile capabilities are prohibited by a U.N.
sanctions regime and which is subject to comprehensive inspections of those
capabilities by U.N. weapons inspectors (the U.N. Special Commission in
One might assume, therefore, that Iraq should pose virtually no long range
ballistic missile threat to the United States or its allies for the
foreseeable future. However, Iraq's record of compliance with the UNSCOM
inspection regime has been checkered. There has been some selective
compliance, but much materiel, particularly equipment and precursors for
manufacturing chemical and biological weapons, remains unaccounted for
seven years after the inspection regime began (April 1991).
The missile field is also the only one in which UNSCOM has caught Iraq
"red-handed" attempting to import banned components. In December 1995,
UNSCOM literally fished out imported gyroscopes, which could only be used
for extended-range ballistic missile production, from the Tigris River.
Iraq had dumped the components in the river in an attempt to avoid
Perhaps most important, Iraq has been able to preserve much of its missile
production infrastructure, quite legally within the U.N. inspection
framework. This is because Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991), which set up the
inspection regime, allows Iraq to continue producing missiles with a range
of up to 150 km (93 miles). The Department of Defense has said that Iraq is
likely using this legal effort to support a future long range missile
effort, and that Iraq could restart limited missile production within one
year, if sanctions and monitoring were lifted. 2 It should be noted,
however, that Iraq's missile facilities are monitored by UNSCOM under the
long term monitoring regime approved by Resolution 715 and accepted by
Iraq. There is also a question as to whether or not cruise missiles are
banned by Resolution 687, although UNSCOM has interpreted Resolution 687 to
ban cruise missiles.
Overview of UNSCOM's Work Thus Far
UNSCOM's work on Iraq's missile programs can be analyzed in three distinct
parts. First and foremost, UNSCOM has attempted to account for the 819
Scud-B missiles sold to Iraq by the Soviet Union during the Iran-Iraq war
(1980-1988). According to UNSCOM, those 819 Scuds constitute the "core" of
Iraq's missile force. The second major task has been to determine the
extent of Iraq's capability to produce ballistic missiles indigenously.
Third, UNSCOM has attempted to account for chemical and biological warheads
to fit its missile force.
UNSCOM has made significant progress in its first missile task. Its October
1997 report to the Security Council stated that it had now accounted for
all but two of the 819 Scuds sold to Iraq by the Soviet Union. UNSCOM has
made that determination by examining known Soviet/Russian records of
missile sales to Iraq and comparing that number (819) with (1) records of
missile firings and tests during the Iran-Iraq war; (2) missile firings
during the 1991 Gulf war; (3) missiles destroyed under UNSCOM supervision;
and (4) extensive unearthing and research on missiles unilaterally
destroyed by Iraq, without UNSCOM supervision.
However, the United States and the United Kingdom believe there are
discrepancies in this accounting, 3 because the records of actual missile
firings were provided by the Iraqis. The US and UK believe Iraq might still
be concealing a small force of perhaps ten to twelve Scud-type missiles.
Somewhat less progress has been made in ferreting out chemical and
biological warheads to fit the Scud missiles provided by the Soviet Union.
UNSCOM still has a significant amount of uncertainty about Iraq's past
efforts to produce missiles and missile components indigenously. There are
also questions as to the extent of Iraq's clandestine research on long
range missiles since the Gulf war, in contravention of U.N. resolutions.
Firm understanding of these capabilities and efforts is especially crucial
to making predictions about Iraq's missile capabilities should the
inspection regime unravel.
Pre-Gulf War Missile Research and Development
UNSCOM and outside analysts appear to agree that the core of Iraq's missile
force was 819 Soviet-made Scud B missiles supplied during the 1980-88
Iran-Iraq war. Bound by a 1972 Treaty of Friendship, Iraq was one of
Moscow's most important clients in the Arab world, and the Soviet Union was
Baghdad's principal arms supplier. The Soviet Union was one of the few
non-Arab states Saddam Husayn has ever visited; he traveled there during
his time as Vice Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council (1968-1979).
As supplied, the standard Scud-B missile is a single-stage, liquid-fueled
ballistic missile with a range of about 300 km (187 miles) range and 1000
kg (2200 lb.) payload, based on World War II German technology. The Scud B,
by itself, was not capable of reaching Tehran, located 380 miles from
Iraq's eastern border with Iran. In order to reach the Iranian capital, a
goal that Iraq believed could give it a large psychological advantage in
the war--Iraq had to either purchase longer range missiles or itself extend
the range of the missiles Moscow had supplied.
One such effort to indigenously produce missiles was carried out in concert
with Argentina and Egypt. The missile, the Badr 2000, consisted of a 1,000
km (580 mile) range, two-stage solid fuel missile capable of carrying a 500
kg (1100 lb.) warhead. 4 The Badr 2000 originated as the Condor II program
developed in concert with Egypt and Argentina, beginning in late 1985. The
Condor II was one motivation for the United States and its allies, in 1987,
to establish the Missile Technology Control Regime to prevent missile
technology transfers to ambitious Third World regimes. Following the
establishment of the MTCR, Egypt withdrew from the program, and Argentina
withdrew in 1989. According to Eisenstadt's account, Iraq reportedly
continued work on the program by itself, but it was never tested before the
Gulf war and the establishment of UNSCOM effectively ended the program.
Much of the first stage apparently had been built before the Gulf war, but
not the second stage or the warhead. It is likely that Iraq de-emphasized
the project because it had already succeeded in producing an extended-range
Scud (see below). According to other accounts, some of the organizations
and individuals associated with the original Condor II program (West German
and Italian engineers) helped Iraq develop the related Project 395. Under
that project, Iraq received, by early 1989, a plant to manufacture the
chemicals needed for solid fuel rocket motors, a factory to produce
components and assemble the missiles, and a rocket test stand. 5
The Al Husayn Missile
In August 1987, Iraq claimed to have successfully produced and tested a
ballistic missile with a range of 650 km (about 400 miles). It called the
missile the al-Husayn. At first, analysts believed that the Soviet Union
had simply supplied Iraq with a longer range missile or, alternatively,
that Iraq was exaggerating the capability of the al-Husayn. However, Iraq
proved its claims in early 1988 when it successfully fired the al-Husayn at
Tehran and other cities. Iranian analysis of the missiles found that they
were Iraqi-modified Scud B missiles. The Iraqis had cannibalized the Scud
B's sold to them by the Soviet Union and used the extra components to
extend the range of some of the missiles. 6 The Iraqis also needed to
reduce the weight of the warhead in order to boost the range, making the
missile less potent. The payload of the al-Husayn was only about 500 kg
(1100 lbs.), about half that of the Scud B. The circular error probable
(CEP) of the missiles was 500 meters, although earlier versions apparently
had CEP's of over 2,000 meters at maximum effective range.
By April 1988, and admittedly with outside help, the Iraqis were producing
three al-Husayn missiles per day, 7 and firing about eleven per day at Iran
during the peak of the "War of the Cities," in April 1988. Iraq's deputy
minister of Industry and Military Industrialization acknowledged that the
more sophisticated components of the missile, such as guidance, were
acquired from outside, but he claimed that Iraq indigenously made parts of
the guidance system, using components acquired from abroad or adapted from
other missile systems. Although it was relatively inaccurate, carried a
small explosive payload, and broke apart in flight, the al-Husayn
accomplished its key goal--Iraq was able to inflict punishment and terror
on the civilian population of Iran and weaken Iran's resolve to continue
prosecuting war until victory.
Outside Assistance to the Al Husayn Program
Through some combination of underestimated ingenuity and outside
assistance, Iraq's extension of the range of the Scud-B caught the analytic
community off guard. According to Eisenstadt, by 1991 Iraq was able to
produce most of the components for the al-Husayn indigenously, including
warheads, airframes, and motors. However, there is a substantial record of
outside assistance to the program, apparently unbeknownst to host-country
authorities. After the 1991 Persian Gulf war, German and other European
authorities investigated several firms and persons that helped Iraq's
missile efforts. For example:
* Iraq was unable to produce turbopumps for missile motors, and the
German government alleged that a September 1990 search of Thyssen Gmbh
offices showed company officials were aware that turbopumps sold to
Iraq could be used in rocket motors. 8
* Documents seized by German authorities showed that the Inwako Corp.
Sold missile parts to Iraq. 9
* The German government alleges that Gildemeister Projecta falsified
information to obtain export licenses for sales of electronic
equipment and other gear.
* A German engineer, Holger Beaugean, was investigated by German
prosecutors for developing a missile testing facility and a plant for
mixing UDMH (unsymmetric dimethyl hydrazine) rocket fuel. 10
* A French firm, SAGEM, reportedly supplied guidance components for the
al-Husayn. The French assistance might have been indirect, in the form
of a retransfer to Iraq via Brazil or Argentina 11
Another report claims that North Korean and East German specialists helped
Iraq assemble the extended-range missiles at a facility outside Baghdad
Al Husayn Follow-Ons
During the latter stages of the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq also experimented with
an even longer range missile, the al-Abbas, which was apparently an
improved version of the al-Husayn. The missile reportedly was to have a
range of 900-950 km (about 600 miles) and a payload of 300 kg (660 lbs.).
The payload was about 60% of the al-Husayn, and one third that of the Scud
B. It was first tested, apparently successfully, on April 25, 1988. Iraqi
claimed it had a CEP of about 300 meters, 13 ten times the accuracy of the
Scud-B. This suggests that Iraq was able, to some extent, to upgrade the
Scud-B guidance system, probably using some of the outside assistance
discussed above. One report indicates that Iraq adapted special fuel tanks
of W. German origin to make the al-Abbas. 14 However, Iraqi officials admit
that the missiles range was only 800 km, not the planned 900-950. 15 It was
never produced on a significant scale and was not known to have been used
On December 8, 1989, Iraq again surprised the analytic and U.S. policy
community by claiming to have tested a rocket--the al-'Abid
(Worshipper)--capable of carrying a satellite into orbit. The al-'Abid
consisted of a booster stage of five clustered Scud-B rocket motors, a
second stage consisting of a Scud-B rocket motor, and a third stage
consisting of a modified SA-2 missile. The total weight of the rocket was
48 tons. However, despite Iraq's claims of a successful test, the test
flight of reportedly was unsuccessful. 16 There was no evidence that the
separation of the first stage ever took place, or that the second stage
motor was ignited. If the launch was intended to test only the first stage
clustered motor, then the test might have been considered successful.
According to Carus and Bermudez, Iraq's ability to develop a clustered
motor (first stage) was an "impressive technical achievement." 17
A second announcement that day claimed Iraq had produced two different
missiles with a 2,000 km (1250 mile) range, called the Tammuz 1 (July,
month of the Ba'th revolution and Saddam's 1979 takeover). The Tammuz 1
reportedly had an extended range Scud-B booster and a modified SA-2 second
stage. Iraq claimed that the missile was produced without any outside help,
although Iraq did not claim to have actually conducted a test, successful
or otherwise. Although these programs, with the benefit of hindsight, point
to substantial weaknesses and official Iraqi exaggeration of its
capabilities, at the time the announcements caused some analysts to call
the developments "alarming," and an indication that Iraq's missile programs
had "accelerated faster than some analysts have expected." 18
The literature mentions several other Iraqi programs to modify imported
missile systems. According to Eisenstadt, 19 the Al Faw cruise missile was
an extended-range HY-2 Silkworm anti-ship missile. However, the maximum
range for the Al Faw program was 200 km (125 miles), and appeared intended
for use against ground targets. Iraq also apparently had a program for
modifying Soviet-supplied surface-to-air missiles for use against ground
targets. The SA-2 was to be modified into the Fahd 300 and 500; the SA-3
was to be used to produce the Baraq, and the SA-6 was to be used to produce
the Kasir. The effort to extend the ranges of not only the SA-2 and HY-2
but also the Scud-B was designated Project 144. The effort to reverse
engineer the engines for these systems was known as Project 1728, located
at the Shahiyat liquid-fuel motor plant and test facility at al-Rafah.
UNSCOM Findings on Iraq's Past Programs
The literature analyzing Iraq's past missile production appears to have
been at least partly confirmed by UNSCOM's work in Iraq. UNSCOM found parts
or all of the programs mentioned above, although some under different names
or designations. As noted above, the largest area of UNSCOM uncertainty in
the missile field involves Iraq's ability to manufacture an entire
ballistic missile indigenously. UNSCOM began making some progress in its
discovery efforts on this capability following the August 1995 Husayn Kamil
defections. Following the defection--which resulted in Iraqi release of a
large cache of WMD documentation--Iraq, for the first time, admitted work
on advanced rocket engines, including those with increased thrust or using
UDMH (unsymmetric dimethyl hydrazine) fuel. Iraq also admitted to producing
rocket engines with indigenously-made or imported parts and without
cannibalizing imported Soviet Scud engines.
According to UNSCOM reports to the Security Council in 1995 and 1996, the
defections also enabled UNSCOM to gauge the extent of Iraq's indigenous
missile production efforts. According to UNSCOM's October 1995 report,
documents were turned over to UNSCOM in August 1995 that discussed "Project
144"--the modification and production of missile systems (see above); the
"Karama Project"--the production of missile guidance and control systems;
"Project 1728"--the production of liquid-propellant rocket engines (see
above); and the Badr 2000/Condor II program--production of a two-stage
solid propellant missile (see above).
During a second post-defection visit to Baghdad, then UNSCOM Chairman Rolf
Ekeus obtained additional information about Iraq's indigenous missile
production capability. Iraq disclosed to Ekeus several additional designs
of long range missile systems; development and testing of new
liquid-propellant engine designs; and development and successful testing of
a warhead separation system. According to UNSCOM, some of the newly
disclosed designs, such as the multistage and clustered-engine designs,
were for missiles that had a range of 3,000 km (1875 miles), sufficient to
reach parts of Western Europe if fired from Iraq. None of the pre-Gulf war
literature on Iraq's missile programs, nor did any of Iraq's pre-war
claims, mention a missile of that range. Ekeus was also told that Iraq had
been developing a special missile that could deliver a nuclear explosive
device. Such a program also apparently escaped discovery by outside
analysts before UNSCOM began its work in Iraq.
A February 17, 1998 US government white paper adds that additional gaps
exist about Iraq's indigenous long range missile production capabilities.
These gaps include the following:
* Iraq has admitted producing Scud-variant missile airframes, but has
not yet provided verifiable information to back up its declaration of
having destroyed the systems; and that
* Iraq "may have pieced together a small inventory of missiles by
integrating guidance and control systems it [imported and then]
concealed with indigenously produced parts."
A significant proportion of the US air effort in Desert Storm was directed
against Iraq's missile launch systems. However, these targets proved
difficult to find, and no missile launchers are known to have been
destroyed by coalition air attacks. UNSCOM has accounted for ten imported
and four Iraqi-produced Scud launch vehicles. However, the United States
and the United Kingdom believe that "Iraqi concealment efforts suggest that
more" launchers are unaccounted for. 20 In one such concealment effort,
Iraq was able to hide from UNSCOM for four years an SS-21 short-range
ballistic missile launcher it acquired from Yemen before the Gulf war.
Chemical and Biological Warhead Development
Iraq has admitted to possessing a total of 75 missile warheads that could
carry chemical or biological agents. UNSCOM has verified Iraq's unilateral
destruction of 30 chemical warheads, and says it still needs an accounting
of the remaining chemical/biological warheads, which might total as many as
None of Iraq's biological warheads have yet been accounted for. Following
the defection in August 1995 of Iraq's WMD czar (and son-in-law of Saddam)
Husayn Kamil al-Majid, Iraq admitted to having filled 25 missile warheads
with biological agents. Sixteen were filled with botulinum toxin, four were
filled with aflatoxin, and five were filled with anthrax, according to a
U.S. government white paper released February 17, 1998. Iraq also has
admitted flight to conducting three flight tests, in 1990, of long range
missiles with chemical warheads (sarin nerve agent), including a live
chemical warhead on an al-Husayn missile. 21
According to Seth Carus, the CBW warheads represented an intelligence
surprise. It was assumed that Iraq had such warheads, but the intelligence
community apparently had little information to confirm the supposition.
According to Michael Eisenstadt, Iraq's biological warhead was probably a
relatively crude adaptation of its chemical warhead. Because UNSCOM has not
actually found and examined an Iraqi biological warhead, it is uncertain
whether or not it can deliver a biological agent effectively.
Iraq's retained ballistic missile capabilities consist of two major parts.
The first is the research and development of short range missiles (under
150 km range) that Iraq is permitted to continue under Resolution 687.
UNSCOM and outside analysts fear that Iraq is using this permitted activity
as a cover for a significant clandestine effort to continue work on
missiles of prohibited ranges. The other part is the clandestine,
prohibited missile activity Iraq reportedly has carried out since the Gulf
war, including importation of prohibited missile components.
The permitted missile programs are headquartered in a facility at Ibn al-
Haytham, which Iraq has continued to expand since the Gulf war. According
to the US government white paper issued February 17, 1998, two new
fabrication buildings at the facility are large enough to house the
construction of longer range ballistic missiles, although the white paper
does not allege that such construction is taking place. However, the white
paper says that Iraq's claim that the buildings at Ibn al-Haytham are
intended for computer and administrative facilities is inconsistent with
the facility's "inherent size and capacity." It should be noted, however,
that the Ibn al-Haytham facility is monitored at all times through UNSCOM's
remote surveillance equipment and is subject to frequent in person UNSCOM
Resolution 687 allowed Iraq to retain its Ababil-100 short range ballistic
missile program. The Ababil is mentioned in the pre-Gulf war literature as
based on the Yugoslav M-87 artillery rocket. 22 The missile has a range of
130-140 km (81-88 miles) range, and can carry a 300 kg (660 lbs.) payload
(the same payload as the long range al-Abbas missile, see above). The
Ababil uses liquid propellant.
Another program is the Al Samoud (Steadfast) missile, with a range of up to
the allowed 150 km (93 mile) limit. UNSCOM reported the missile program to
the Security Council in November 1997, based on an Iraqi test of the Al
Samoud on October 22, 1997. Iraq's Foreign Minister acknowledged the test
of the Al Samoud during a visit to Egypt in February 1998, at the height of
the crisis with the U.N. and United States over UNSCOM access to sensitive
sites. One outside account of the Al Samoud indicates that it uses a
reverse engineered SA-2 engine, with Iraqi modifications to the guidance
and other systems. In the view of this analyst, it is a "mini-Scud." 23
According to McCarthy, Iraq does not intend to actually produce the
missile, but it is primarily intended to keep Iraq's missile engineers
working on new designs and techniques that could be used if the inspection
regime were terminated.
No discussion of Iraq's missile capabilities is more politically and
strategically significant than that of clandestine Iraqi missile activities
since the Gulf war ended and such activities were proscribed. This
forbidden activity has taken the form of illicit importation of missile
components, production or design work on missiles of proscribed ranges, and
failure to declare certain missile programs. However, according to a
November 19, 1997 UNSCOM briefing paper, "recent UNSCOM inspections have
revealed no indications that Iraq undertook proscribed activity after 1995
in the missile field." 24
Illicit Importation. On the issue of importation, the incident of
particular note involves Iraq's importation of a large number of
sophisticated missile guidance and control components in July 1995.
According to UNSCOM's April 1996 report to the Security Council, "it is
assessed that such components are used in missiles with ranges over
thousands of kilometers." The components apparently were stripped off
Russian SSN-18 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, designed to have a
range of 4,000 miles, that Russia is destroying under various treaty
obligations with the United States. Some of the components were seized in
Jordan before delivery to Iraq, while others were fished out of the Tigris
River by UNSCOM, after Iraq attempted to conceal their presence by dumping
Iraq received the components through a network of middlemen in Iraq and
Russia. Russia reportedly began a criminal investigation of the matter in
April 1996. However, despite reports that the Moscow-based Mars Rotor Plant
tested some of the gyroscopes before delivery to Iraq, the investigation
was closed in October 1997 with no prosecutions. 25 This suggests official
complicity in the shipment, as do reports that Iraqi technicians have
repeatedly visited Russian military industrial sites since 1993. 26
According to analysts, the clandestine importation of the guidance
components represented convincing evidence that Iraq was still attempting
to produce longer range missiles. Such components would not be needed for
short range missiles. The are more important for long range missiles, in
which small initial errors in guidance are magnified by the time the
missile reaches its intended destination. 27
Undeclared Programs of Permitted Ranges. Iraq has also violated U.N.
sanctions on its WMD programs by working on missiles of allowed ranges but
without declaring the programs to UNSCOM. One such program, noted in
several UNSCOM reports, is an effort to modify an SA-2 surface-to-air
missile to a surface-to-surface application with a range of over 100 km
(within the allowed limit). According to UNSCOM's April 1996 report, the
program included research and development activities, flight tests, and
prototype production of some components. After that report, UNSCOM
undertook several missions to tag the missiles and carried out subsequent
inspections of the program.
Prohibited Research and Development Activity. As noted in a U.S. government
white paper (February 17, 1998), UNSCOM has discovered evidence that Iraq
has continued long range missile research even after the imposition of
sanctions banning such activity. Iraq has also been caught working covertly
on a program known as G-1. It is believe to be a missile, similar to the
Fahd program (above) that would have a range above the 150 km allowed by
applicable U.N. resolutions. Iraq conducted several covert flight tests up
until April 1993, two years after UNSCOM was established. UNSCOM also found
computer simulations of long-range missiles, performed after the sanctions
were imposed on software Iraq denied possessing. 28
The consensus in the open literature is that Iraq could quickly
reconstitute its long range missile programs if the inspection and
monitoring regime were to end and it were able to import components to the
degree it was able before the Gulf war. Iraq could get back at least to
where it was before the war in perhaps a year or two, if these conditions
obtained. From there, Iraq would be soon able to go beyond its pre-war
state of capability, because its missile development teams are intact and
they have apparently done some clandestine research and design work since
the Gulf war.
Assuming Iraq were able to pursue a long-range missile capability with no
interference, it is difficult to determine a time frame for Iraq to
actually produce a long range missile capable of hitting Western Europe. As
noted above, its test of the Al-'Abid space launch rocket was either
incomplete or a failure in December 1989, and it does not appear to have
conducted a test of a 2,000 km range missile (the Tammuz 1). If those
programs were as far along as Iraq claimed, then it could pose a serious
long range missile threat very soon after its programs fully resumed. If,
on the other hand, Iraq's pre-Gulf war claims were exaggerated, it might
take Iraq several years after its programs resumed to produce a working
missile capable of reaching outside the Middle East. What is certain is
that Iraq has been somewhat successful at the project management and
systems integration needed to produce a long-range missile, even if Iraq
cannot produce all the necessary technology itself.
There is no clear indicator of official U.S. thinking about Iraq's
long-range ballistic missile potential. Statements by U.S. officials about
Iraq's missile programs tend to focus on what has or has not been
accomplished by UNSCOM inspectors attempting to keep Iraq's missile program
suppressed. One press report, quoting a 1993 CIA report, indicated that
Iraq has the technical capability to indigenously produce an ICBM capable
of carrying a WMD warhead within ten to fifteen years from the time a
decision is made to begin development. 29 Even if that assessment, as
reported, is accurate, Iraq would still be many years away from achieving
an ICBM capability, because the UNSCOM inspections remain sufficiently
robust that Iraq could not implement a political decision to implement such
development, if that political decision were made. Discovery of such an
Iraqi program, if it were attempted, would likely invite U.S. military
action to curtail the program, because such missile development is clearly
contrary to the cease-fire resolutions adopted after the Gulf war.
Key Findings: Iraq
1. Dr. Ken Katzman currently analyzes U.S. policy and legislation on the
Persian Gulf region for members of Congress and their staffs. Served in
government and the private sector as an analyst in Persian Gulf Affairs
with special emphasis on Iran and Iraq.
2. Department of Defense Proliferation Report. The Middle East and North
Africa. November 26, 1997. P.10.
3. Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs. U.S. Government White
Paper. February 17, 1998.
4. Much of this paragraph is drawn from the discussion of the Badr 2000 in
Eisenstadt, Michael. Like a Phoenix From the Ashes? The Future of Iraqi
Military Power. Policy Paper Number 36. Washington Institute for Near East
5. Carus, Seth, and Bermudez, Joseph. "Iraq's Al-Husayn Missile Program."
Jane's Intelligence Review, May 1, 1990.
6. See testimony of W. Seth Carus before the Subcommittee on International,
Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services of the Senate Governmental
Affairs Committee. September 22, 1997.
7. Speech by Tim McCarthy, Senior Analyst at the Center for
Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International
Studies, before the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. February 13,
8. Smith, R. Jeffrey and Fisher, Marc. "German Firms Primed Iraq's War
Machine." Washington Post, July 23, 1992.
10. "Aid To Iraq On Missile Projects Reported." Hamburg Der Spiegel,
October 15, 1990, pp. 148-9, in JPRS-TAC-90-029, October 22, 1990.
11. "Confidential Report on Sales to Iraq Detailed." Paris Les Echos,
February 1, 1991, in JPRS-TAC-91-004, February 12, 1991.
12. Der Spiegel Report. JPRS-TAC-91-004, February 12, 1991. P.46.
13. See Eisenstadt, Michael. The Sword of the Arabs: Iraq's Strategic
Weapons. Policy Paper Number 21. The Washington Institute for Near East
14. Der Spiegel Report. JPRS-TAC-91-004, February 12, 1991. P.46.
15. Carus, Seth and Bermudez, Joseph. "Iraq's Al-Husayn Missile." Jane's
Intelligence Review, June 1, 1990 (Part Two of a two part series.)
16. See Lowther, William. Arms and the Man: Dr. Gerald Bull, Iraq, and the
Supergun. New York: Ivy Books, 1991. Pp. 174-176, 200, 207, 250-1.
17. Carus and Bermudez. JIR, June 1, 1990.
18. See Bruce, James. Assessing Iraq's Missile Technology. Jane's Defense
Weekly, December 23, 1989.
19. Like a Phoenix From the Ashes? pp. 37-38.
20. White House Fact Sheet: Iraq's Program of Mass Destruction. November
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23. Speech of Tim McCarthy before the Washington Institute for Near East
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25. Potter, William. "The Case Russia Forgot." New York Times (op-ed),
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27. Testimony of William Graham before the Senate Governmental Affairs
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28. McCarthy. Washington Institute presentation. February 13, 1998.
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Washington Times, December 24, 1993. P.A3.