Scott Ritter


The resignation of Scott Ritter as chief weapons inspector for UNSCOM in August 1998 made front-page news around the world. Now Scott Ritter draws on his seven years' experience hunting Saddam's weapons of mass destruction to take readers inside Iraq and show that country as it has never been seen by outsiders before. In Endgame, he dissects the failure of U.S. policy in Iraq and reveals a bold new approach to endirg the ongoing Iraq crisis.

Ritter describes Saddam Hussein's rise to power, painting a damning portrait of a dictator who ruthlessly eliminated rivals as he fought his way to the top. Ritter explains how Saddam cleverly drew on tribal and family connections to consolidate power and then outmaneuver and often execute opponents.

Once he had become the uncontested strongman in Iraq, Saddam began planning the domination of the Persian Gulf region, fighting a war with Iran, threatening Israel, and finally invading Kuwait, the action that provoked the Gulf War. Along the way Saddam repeatedly purged Iraq's military, putting his own key allies and relatives in charge. He also discovered the value of chemical weapons and ballistic missiles, which he used to turn the tide in the war against ]ran.

When the U.N. Security Council authorized inspections of Iraqs chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons facilities following the conclusion of the Gulf War, Saddam put in place a concealment program designed to preserve his weapons capabilities. It was this concealment mechanism that UNSC0M spent seven years trying to penetrate in its search for Iraqs weapons of mass destruction. Ritter takes us with him inside some of Iraq's most carefully guarded sites as he describes what it was like to conduct these inspections. He tells stories of dramatic face-offs by unarmed inspectors with hostile Iraqi guards and officials.

Endgame criticizes current U.S. policy toward Iraq, pointing out that the U.S. has squandered an international consensus and now find herself virtually isolated over her Iraq policy. Scott Ritter offers a way out of the Iraqi morass, proposing a bold and innovative solution to the current crisis. He argues that the U.S. should again take a leadership position on Iraq if we are to avoid facing a rearmed and emboldened Saddam on another battlefield in the future.

SCOTT RITTER was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1984 and served for eight years as an intelligence officer, reaching the rank of major. He served as an arms control inspector in the former Soviet Union and on the staff of General Norman Schwarzkopf during the Gulf War before taking his position with UNSCOM. Ritter currently resides with his family in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

Reviews and Opinions

I paticipated in more than 30 UNSCOM inspections in Iraq partly as chief inspector partly shoulder by shoulder with Scott Ritter. Herewith I testify that each and every word written by Scott Ritter is true. This book is more than worth to read!
Dr. Reinecke (Germany), Review in Amazon.com, April 5, 2000
"Yesterday's resignation by Scott Ritter, perhaps the most determined, and courageous of the U.N. weapons inspectors, assigned to ferret out Scaddom Hussein's chemical, biological, and nuclear weopons programs, stands as a damning indictment of U.S. policy on Iraq - or perhaps more precisely, the collapse of our policy." 

The Washington Post, August 27, 1998
"In seven years as a key U.N. inspector searching out Soddam Hussein's concealed capabilities to make weapons of mass destruction, Scott Ritter had to coll on all the physical courage in him. Then . . . he summoned up all his moral and intellectual courage, and resigned.

I hope someday his twin five-year-old girls read this job assessment of their father:

"Brave in service against state terrorism, even braver in resigning to speak truths, and admirable in the faith that his countrymen will recognize awaiting dangers, if told by those who know."

A. M. Rosenthal, The New York Times, August 28, 1998
"In altering its approach to Iraq, the Clinton Administration is blundering into a policy that allows Saddam Hussein to rebuild a deadly arsenal of chemical and biological weapons. That makes it all the more repugnant that the Administration is trying to discredit and intimidate Scott Ritter, a former top United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq who is rightly sounding an alarm about the developments in Baghdad."
The New York Times, October 4, 1998
"America nearly went to war last weekend in defense of weapons inspections in Iraq that U.S. diplomacy surreptitiously subverted last summer. That subversion provoked an American rarity, a resignation on principle, by an American rarity, Scott Ritter."
George F. Will, The Washington Post, November 17, 1998


Intelligence reveals location of 10 crates of missile guidance and control equipment, not declared by Iraq. UNSCOM 255 inspection of this loation is called off due to international diplomatic pressure.
1 A Journey of Discovery
UNSCOM's inspection results and Saddam's method of concealment: period 1991 - 1992 (further reading: Jonathan Tucker, Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) Monitoring and Verification in a Noncooperative Environment: Lessons from the U.N. Experience in Iraq", Nonproliferation Review, vol. 3, No. 3, 1996, covering the period 1991 - 96).
2  The Road to Auja
Iraq missile program (Al-Hussein), Al-Husseins on Teheran and Israel. Defection and disclosures of Hussein Kamal, Saddam's son-in-law, supervising minister for military industry, demonstrate Saddam's massive concealment mechanism (some 40 tons of documents, videotapes, photographs, computer diskettes, technical drawings, and prohibited hardware components retrieved on his farm).
3  "He Who Confronts"
Saddam Hussein's rise to power, a damning portrait of a dictator who ruthlessly eliminated rivals as he fought his way to the top. Explains how Saddam cleverly drew on tribal and family connections to consolidate power and then outmaneuver and often execute opponents.
4  School for Weapons of Mass Destruction
Iran-Iraq war, chemical warfare, Scuds on Baghdad, Soviet Russia KGB's assistance for Iraq, Iraq's 1987 successful extension of the Scud-B range to 650 km, missile then called Al-Hussein (further reading: 'Gotcha': U.N. Team Finds Germans Engaged In Missile Proliferation, Iraqi Missile Abstracts 1992, Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS)). 45 Al-Husseins on Teheran, war's end.
5  "Dr. Germ" and "The Chemist"- A Family Business
Hussein Kamal becomes head of Military Industrial Commission in 1988, orders a major build-up of the chemical (CW) and biological weapons (BW) of mass destruction (WMD) capabilities, including WMD missile warheads. Adnan Khayr Allah (head, chemical technology, opposes Nuclear, Chemical and Biological WMD development, killed on May 5, 1989 in helicopter crash), Rihab Taha (head, bio-technology).
6  The Two-Day War
Saddam's aspirations to become pan-Arabic leader, British interception of Iraqi ordered shipment of components of nuclear bomb triggers and components of 1000 km range super-gun firing 500 kg warheads. Invasion of Kuweit, Gulf war. (Further reading: Jonathan Tucker, Evidence Iraq Used Chemical Weapons During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Nonproliferation Review, vol. 4, no. 3, 1997).
7  Burying Treasure
UN Resolution 687 to disarm and monitor Iraq specifies cease-fire conditions, mandates the dismantling of Iraq's WMD and ballistic missiles with a range exceeding 150 kilometers, together with the infrastructure needed to produce them. 3 phases of joint UN-Iraq efforts: discovery, destruction, monitoring and verification. Saddam's emergency evacuation of weapons technology and Concealment Operations Committee. David Kay, Hans Blix of International Atomic Energy Agency investigate Iraq's nuclear industrial complex, find nuclear weapons program - components and millions of pages of documentation (further reading: D. Kay, Iraqi Inspections, Lessons Learnt, Eye on Supply, Winter 1993, Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS)).
8  The Year of the Gun
1996 tribal feuds in Saddam's entourage.
9  Fortress Saddam and the Concealment Mechanism
Institutionalized terror. Saddam's attempt to elude UN inspections team and hide classified Secret Service (Mukhabarat) plans for terrorist operations, many against the Kurds. Details of the WMD Concealment Mechanism. UNSCOM inspection results (see also APPENDIX, below).
10  The Ghost in the Machine
Iraq opposition (Iraq National Congress, INC, head: Achmed Chalabi). INC-CIA cooperation. CIA contributes to UNSCOM inspections after Kamal's defection: Nine CIA paramilitary covert operators enter UNSCOM 150 team, and resulting 1996 Ekeus (UNSCOM)-Aziz (Iraq) Plan and "Agreement for the Modalities of Sensitive Site Inspections", stating respect for the "sovereignty, security and dignity" of Iraq, averting possible war. U-2 reconnaissance helps UNSCOM 155 inspection: sites emptied 2 hours before UNSCOM's arrival. Ekeus-US controversy about "Modalities", goal of UN Security Council Resolution 687.
11 The Lean, Mean Politics of Sanctions
Sanctions redirected by Saddam against Iraqi people, UN Resolution 986: oil for food, medicine and other humanitarian goods results in larger oil sales ($ 5.2 billion in 1998) than in 1986 (pre-war) Iraq, still Saddam uses only about 2/3 of the sales allowed by UN program and manages to circumvent sanctions, procuring illicit material worth hundreds of million dollars (further reading: M. Ignatieff, Bush's first strike, New York Review of Books, March 29, 2001). Struggle between UNSCOM and Iraq is a watershed event in the history of international WMD control (for details see R.A. Zilinskas, Verifying Compliance to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, Critical Reviews in Microbiology, Special Issue: Biological Weapons, Vol. 24, Issue 3, 1998, and J. Tucker, BW Proliferation: Reasons for Concern, Courses of Action (Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5): Vol. 5 "Verification Provisions of the CW Convention and Their Relevance to the BW Convention", Henry L. Stimson Center).
12  What's in the Briefcase: The Anatomy of an Inspection
Iraq's non-compliance with UNSCOM 207 (September 1997), Dianne Seaman of UNSCOM discloses existence of a program testing the bacterium Clostridium perfringens, a highly toxic biological agent weaponized by Iraq in the late 1980's. Iraq refuses access to inspect potential site.
13  Black-Umbrella Days
Coalition against Iraq weakens (Germany is not a member, further reading: Questions and Answers released by the Bureau of Political Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State, February 24, 1998), as does international support for military action. Russia's Foreign Minister Primakov's friendly relationship with Iraq give rise to doubt whether Russia was conducting fair and objective diplomacy ("The [intelligence] reports indicated that Primakov had been receiving personal payoffs from Iraq. ... I was informed repeatedly that the reports were verifiable and, a year later, was told that fresh evidence further confirmed the accusation." pp 106-107, R. Butler, The Greatest Threat, Public Affairs, New York, 2000). Iraq denies UNSCOM access to "presidential sites". UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Tariq Aziz sign Memorandum of Understanding Between the UN and Iraq on Inspections (text available at Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS)). U.S. ambassador to UN, Bill Richardson, encourages Richard Butler (Chairman of UNSCOM) to keep Ritter as UNSCOM's chief weapons inspector. Inspection of the Ministery of Defense. Probable removal of document prior to inspections.
14  The End of UNSCOM As We Know It
Memo of Understanding severely  restricts UNSCOM inspections. By 1998: Iraq ceases cooperation with UNSCOM, international coalition of Desert Storm falls apart, viewing Iraq as less threatening, U.S. isolated with its strategy goals: (1) Control of Iraq trade while maintaining a massive relief effort under "oil for food", (2) Disarmament of Iraq through UNSCOM work, (3) Containment of Iraq through regional and international isolation, (4) Destabilization or overthrow of the Saddam regime (for details see M. Ignatieff's review in the New York Review of Books). UNSCOM 255 inspections cancelled. UNSCOM 258 obstructed by Iraq (delays, blockages, evacuated buildings). Desert Fax bombing in response to Iraq's non-compliance.
15  Trumping Saddam
Ritter suggests diplomatic initiatives, mediated by Bill Richardson, Richard Holbrooke or George Mitchell.
(A) Core values:
  1. Iraqi recognition of Kuwait, Kuwait/Iraq border.
  2. Pladge by Iraq not to posess any WMD and to permit monitoring.
  3. Acceptance of Kurdistan autonomy within the state of Iraq.
  4. End of state of war between Iraq and Israel
  5. Cease-fire between Iraq and Iraqi opposition groups.
(B) U.S. would have to put some collateral on the table, including
  1. US support to immediate lifting of economic sanctions after  (A 2).
  2. Creation of an Iraqi Marshall Plan to rebuild Iraq infrastructure.
  3. Military-to-military contacts to assist modernization and training of the Iraqi military
  4. Allowing Iraq to resume peaceful nuclear activity under IAEA safeguard inspections (further reading on problems: D. Kay, Iraqi Inspections, Lessons Learnt, Eye on Supply, Winter 1993, Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS)).

APPENDIX: Iraq's Arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Iraq has
  1. at a minimum, the capability to conduct active research and development in the field of gaseous centrifuge enrichment and the weaponization of a nuclear device,
  2. capability to produce, weaponize (into artillery, aerial bombs, 150 - 600 km range missiles), store, and employ chemical weapons,
  3. at least the capability to produce, weaponize, store, and employ biological weapons. This activity appears to revolve around the maintenance of the capability to produce agent using civilian biological laboratories, as well as making use of retained equipment that is outside UNSCOM's control,
  4. a limited operational capability for using long-range (i.e. over 150 kilometers) ballistic missiles.

Bibliographic Data
Rockefeller Center
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
Copyright @ 1999 by Scott Ritter All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Simon & Schuster and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster Inc. Designed by Edith Fowler Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available. ISBN 0-684-86485-1

Of Related Interest: Richard Butler on WMD Control

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