Train Wreck: The U.S. Violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention

This article parses the problem of noncompliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention’s (CWC) dismantling obligations as a case study in the operation (or non-operation) of international law. How did the United States, the leading exponent of the rule of law and a prime mover in negotiating and implementing the CWC, fall into such conspicuous violation? What can be done at this point to extricate ourselves and the Russians from this grisly political and legal predicament? And what can we do in the future to avoid other similar international law train wrecks?

By David Koplow

Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center


  1. Aside from the disorder to be managed, there seems to be no “wreck”, just that the train is not running on time. Absent a situation where the untimeliness is causal of a further disaster, what is the problem? The issue for the author seems to be a belief in an authority higher than the sovereignty of the United States, (see “D.Go to a higher authority.” on page 393). I would argue that as long as the destruction continues in a manner that preserves the reasons that no country chooses to employ these weapons, the purpose of the treaty is met and inviting more cooks is just an invitation to spoil the broth.

  2. I didn’t read your article, ma’am, but if you are implying that we shouldn’t be bombing the crap out of those cave monkeys whom want anyone who is not a Muslim to be beheaded, where is your thought process?

    As a staunch supporter of Israel, I hope to G-d Netanyahu has the ba@@s to bomb Iran and make it a parking lot and have that be just the beginning. It would actually put a smile on my face knowing nukes were heading those rotten thugs.

    Obama has no spine, and is an anti-semite himself, therefore, of course would never do anything like put our soldiers back in Iraq AND Afghanistan and finish the job that Bush had the kahonaes to do, even when it was unpopular. At least he stood by his convictions and still does to this day. Pulling our troops out of the Middle East was the first step towards a Sharia state and has set the Middle East on fire.

    I can’t wait to see Obama, Holder and his gang of cronies in shackles one day.

    Thanks for listening. 🙂

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