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Case Study 4

U.S. Ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention


The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), an international agreement signed in Paris in 1993, was the culmination of a 70-year global effort to ban chemical arms. The United States was one of the 130 original signatories to the CWC, but it would not become a full party to the convention until the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty by a two-thirds majority vote. Achieving a supermajority of 67 votes is one of the most challenging tasks facing any administration. Moreover, for various reasons described in this case study, the CWC proved to be far more controversial than originally anticipated. In April 1997, however, the Senate finally ratified the treaty. This study examines the long ratification process in fascinating detail, addressing such questions as who the key players were, what positions they staked out in advance, and how the shifting political landscape shaped the outcome.

for the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction

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Author:Tucker, Jonathan B.
Publication:Joint Force Quarterly
Article Type:Periodical review
Date:Apr 1, 2012
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