This is the timely and gripping inside story of one of the most dramatic and dangerous detective investigations in international history, told by a leading participant: how the UN weapons inspectors uncovered Iraq's clandestine nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes and exposed the culture of deceit at the heart of Saddam Hussein's regime.
In a lucid and authoritative narrative that begins with the creation of the UN Special Commission for Iraq (UNSCOM) out of the ashes of the Gulf War, Tim Trevan - a British expert on biological warfare and strategist and spokesman for the Commission - describes the cat-and-mouse tactics employed against a master of brinkmanship and a merciless opponent who had not hesitated to use chemical weapons against both Iran and his own Kurdish people.
The UNSCOM inspectors were faced with Iraqi stonewalling, intimidation, obstruction and death threats; yet, under their formidable Swedish chairman Rolf Ekeus, they devised a strategy to defeat Iraq's repeated attempts to divide the Security Council, and set up a foolproof monitoring system which, if maintained, would detect Iraqi efforts at rebuilding its banned weapons programme.
Aided by superior intelligence information, new sensor technology, infrared satellite imagery, the help of high-level Iraqi defectors and their own unswerving dedication, the inspectors succeeded to a very large extent in nailing Iraq's lies. Yet, as the author warns, Iraq remains today a menace to international peace and security as it continues to claim deceitfully that it is fully complying with the 1991 ceasefire terms. This book is an invaluable guide to one of the most threatening conflicts of the late twentieth century.