The International Atomic Energy Agency's Decision  to Find Iran in
Non-Compliance, 2002-2006

Nima Gerami and Pierre Goldschmidt
WMD Case Study 6, December 2012
The public revelations of Iran's clandestine nuclear activities in August 2002 unleashed one of the most intensive and highly publicized inspections in the history of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  As the debate ensued over Iran's nuclear program, deep divisions emerged within the IAEA that delayed its decision to find Iran in non-compliance with its safeguards obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  This case study describes the role and response of the IAEA to a state's safeguards violations and examines how the Agency decided to formally find Iran in non-compliance more than two years after its investigation began.

The Presidential Nuclear Initiatives of 1991-1992

Susan J. Koch
WMD Case Study 5, October 2012
In September 1991, President George H.W. Bush announced nuclear weapons reductions and associated measures that were unprecedented in their scope and scale.  These Presidential Nuclear Initiatives were unilateral, but coupled with calls for Soviet reciprocity.  The September announcement was quickly followed by comparable Soviet steps, and a few months later by further U.S. and Russian ones.  This case study discusses the historical context, concerns, and goals that underlay the initiatives, and the domestic and international processes that made them possible.

U.S. Ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention

Jonathan B. Tucker
WMD Case Study 4, December 2011
The United States signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in January 1993, but the U.S. Senate did not ratify the treaty until April 1997. This case study describes the ratification process in detail and examines how the U.S. Senate finally came to ratify the CWC, who the key players were, and how the shifting political landscape shaped the process and outcome.

The Origins of Nunn-Lugar and Cooperative Threat Reduction

Paul I. Bernstein and Jason D. Wood
WMD Case Study 3, April 2010
The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 gave rise to concerns over the future security of the Soviet nuclear arsenal. Anticipating the possibility of loosely controlled nuclear weapons inside the former Soviet Union, key leaders in Congress and experts in the policy and academic communities began to assess the nature of this threat and to consider approaches to reducing the danger it posed to U.S. and global security. Out of these investigations emerged the initial Nunn-Lugar legislation and the broader Cooperative Threat Reduction program. This case study describes the origins of this unprecedented effort to reduce nuclear dangers by securing or eliminating Russian weapons systems and related materials and capabilities using aid from the U.S. government.

U.S. Withdrawal from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty

Lynn F. Rusten
WMD Case Study 2, January 2010
The ABM Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union (later Russia) barred both superpowers from deploying national defenses against long-range ballistic missiles in order to curtail the nuclear arms race. This case study describes the decision making process of the National Security Council for the U.S.’s eventual withdrawal from this treaty.

President Nixon’s Decision to Renounce the U.S. Offensive Biological Weapons Program

Jonathan B. Tucker and Erin R. Mahan
WMD Case Study 1, October 2010
On November 25, 1969,  President Richard Nixon announced the end of the U.S. offensive biological weapons program. This case study, the first in the WMD Center Case Study Series, sheds light on the interagency policymaking process at multiple levels of the U.S. national security bureaucracy and shows how the BW decision emerged from a confluence of international, domestic, bureaucratic, and personal factors.