COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY
Contact: Kristi Clemens
Office of Strategic Communications
CPA PROVIDES NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO IRAQI SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS
December 20, 2003, Baghdad, Iraq – The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) has announced another step forward in harnessing the expertise of Iraqi scientists and engineers to rebuild the country and protect against future creation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Under the leadership of Ambassador Paul Bremer, the CPA will administer the $2 million project, with the possibility of an additional $20 million in the future.
“The knowledge and skills of these individuals are one of Iraq’s most valuable resources, and badly needed for the reconstruction of Iraq. It is essential that we give them an opportunity and a source of income, not only to prevent them from being tempted to sell their services to the highest bidder but, to rebuild their country,” Ambassador Paul Bremer said in a statement.
The project is modeled after one implemented to prevent Russian and other scientists from selling their talents to other nations after the Soviet Union's demise. It will provide opportunities for the redirection and training of Iraqi scientists and engineers.
Many Iraqi scientists had little or nothing to do with the Saddam’s regime and its brutal and illegal activities. Several were coerced into producing or developing chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Such involvement in the development of Saddam’s WMD programs is not, by itself, a war crime.
Recognizing the critical role these scientists can play in the reconstruction of their country, the CPA has announced that individuals co-opted into developing WMDs will not be arrested nor detained. Instead, the CPA will work with them to re-direct their skills for the purpose of reconstruction rather than destruction. However, if individuals played a direct role in the actual use of weapons against people, they will be held accountable for their actions in a forum to be determined by the Iraqi people.
The CPA will soon announce various opportunities for scientists and engineers to contribute their skills to build a strong, modern, and scientifically advanced country.
This project is continued proof that the Coalition continues to aggressively move forward in helping Iraqis help themselves rebuild.