Policy Paper

The Battle to Obtain US Ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention

in Program

Essays by Michael Krepon, John Parachini, and Amy Smithson assess how the CWC became a surrogate fight to define the Republican Party’s approach to defense and foreign policy. A narrow bipartisan victory for ratification was possible only with an intense, eleventh-hour push from the Clinton administration, with critical support from Majority Leader Trent Lott, Senator Bob Dole, General Colin Powell, and other prominent Republicans. Still, Republican senators nearly repudiated the handiwork of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, supporting the CWC by a narrow 29-26 margin. The Battle to Obtain U.S. Ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention provides a compelling, behind-the-scenes account of the treaty fight and offers valuable lessons for the treaty ratification battles that lie ahead.

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