Hans Blix, Chairman of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission.
In a Burkle Forum at UCLA, the diplomat and arms control expert best known for his United Nations mission to uncover the truth about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, a mission cut short by the U.S.-UK invasion, considers the perils of "cold peace" after the Cold War. Listen to a podcast of his talk.
Hans Blix came out of retirement to lead weapons inspections in Iraq in the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and he never went back. As chairman of the international Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, based in his native Sweden, he issued a report in 2006 that called on the world to revive arms control and disarmament efforts.
And this week, on April 3, 2008, Dr. Blix came to Kerckhoff Hall Grand Salon to discuss the substance of his new book Why Nuclear Disarmament Matters (2008), as part of the Burkle Center’s Burkle Forum series of lectures.
“Today, paradoxically,” said Blix in prepared remarks, “some of the most worrisome tensions appear not to be linked to issues of substance. Rather, they appear to be about possession of military means to settle issues of substance that do not currently exist. About the possession of the most modern weapons, and accurate weapons. About the development of a missile shield or the placement of weapons in space.”
On the day of the talk, NATO ministers meeting in Romania endorsed U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.
“Rather than re-launching themselves into new arms races,” Blix said, “the U.S. and the other nuclear weapons states should take the initiative to resume détente and disarmament. And that is what I am pleading for in this book.”
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