The Use of Force Against States That Might Have Weapons of Mass Destruction

This Article argues that the most difficult future crises for which this legal debate is most consequential will not resemble those described by Prime Minister Thatcher or Director ElBaradei. Rather, in confronting potentially hostile and aggressive states believed to pose a WMD threat, decisionmakers contemplating the use of force will face an intelligence picture that is open to reasonable debate (contra Thatcher) and irresolvable to high levels of certainty (contra ElBaradei). This paper examines how competing legal approaches deal with this epistemic problem.