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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

070296_cia_72566_72566_01.txt
Subject: CW USE IN IRAN-IRAQ WAR
Not Finally Evaluated Intelligence
TO FACILITATE ELECTRONIC ACCESS, THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN
REFORMATTED TO ELIMINATE INFORMATION THAT DOES NOT PERTAIN
TO GULF WAR ILLNESS ISSUES OR THAT IS CLASSIFIED. A COPY OF
THIS REDACTED DOCUMENT, IN ORIGINAL FORMAT, IS AVAILABLE ON
REQUEST.
DIRECTOR OF
CENTRAL
INTELLIGENCE
IMPACT AND IMPLICATIONS OF
CHEMICAL WEAPONS USE IN THE
IRAN-IRAQ WAR
CONTENTS
KEY JUDGMENTS............................................................................
DISCUSSION  ....................................................................................
BATTLEFIELD USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS .......................
IRAQ .....................................................................................................
BATTLEFIELD EFFECTIVENESS OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS    .................................
STRATEGIC RESULTS ............................................................................................................
IMPLICATIONS-DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL-OF THE
CHEMICAL WAR .....................................................................................................................
IMPLICATIONS FOR THE UNITED STATES ......................................................................
IMPLICATIONS FOR CHEMICAL WARFARE TREATY NEGOTIATIONS ...................
IRAQ'S CHEMICAL WARFARE CAPABILITY.....................................................................
MEDICAL HANDLING OF CHEMICAL
CASUALTIES  ............................................................................................................................
KEY JUDGMENTS
CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND RIOT CONTROL AGENTS HAVE BEEN PART OF THE
IRAN-IRAQ WAR SINCE THE EARLY 1980s. CHEMICAL WEAPONS HAVE BECOME A
REGULAR AND RECURRING TACTIC IN THE CONFLICT AND ARE LIKELY TO INCREASE.
WE BELIEVE BOTH STATES HAVE ASSESSED THAT SELECTIVE USE OF CHEMICAL
WEAPONS CAN AUGMENT CONVENTIONAL ARSENALS, ATTAIN SHORT-TERM OBJEC-
TIVES, INFLUENCE CERTAIN COMBAT SITUATIONS, AND SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE
ENEMY CASUALTIES.
BAGHDAD          APPARENTLY BELIEVE THAT CHEMICAL WEAPONS
HAVE BEEN TACTICALLY EFFECTIVE OR EVEN DECISIVE IN A LIMITED CONTEXT, BUT
CHEMICAL WARFARE HAS NOT PROVIDED A STRATEGIC ALTERNATIVE OR ADVANTAGE.
AS LONG AS          IRAQ CONTINUE TO EMPLOY CHEMICALS PRIMARILY IN A
DEFENSIVE ROLE,          WILL GAIN A STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE BASED
PURELY ON THE USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS.
IRAQ HAS EMPLOYED SUCH WEAPONS
SINCE AUGUST 1983, AND          1984 THE NERVE
AGENT TABUN WAS USED FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER ON THE BATTLEFIELD. THE
IRAQIS HAVE ADOPTED A DRY/DUSTY FORM OF MUSTARD THAT AFFECTS PERSONNEL
RAPIDLY
FOREIGN ASSISTANCE HAS BEEN PIVOTAL IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND
EXPANSION OF THE          AND IRAQI CHEMICAL WARFARE PROGRAMS. WHILE
WESTERN EXPORT CONTROLS INITIALLY RAISED THE COST AND SLOWED THE
PROGRAMS SO BECOME ADEPT AT CIRCUMVENT-
ING THESE CONTROL AND ALTERING THE PRODUCTION PROCESSES. THEIR DRIVE FOR
AN INDEPENDENT AND INDIGENOUS CHEMICAL WEAPONS PRODUCTION CAPABILI-
TY WILL MAKE THEM LESS DEPENDENT ON FOREIGN SUPPORT AND LESS SUSCEPTI-
BLE TO EXTERNAL POLITICAL PRESSURE
DISCUSSION
1.          EXAMINES THE DEGREE TO
WHICH CHEMICAL WARFARE (CW) IN THE IRAN-IRAQ CONFLICT
HAS BEEN EFFECTIVE AND DISCUSSES THE FACTORS DRIVING
DECISIONS TO DEVELOP AND USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS. IT
APPEARS THAT CHEMICAL WEAPONS HAVE A ROLE ON THE
MIDDLE EASTERN BATTLEFIELD, AND THE REPORT ADDRESSES
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL IMPLICATIONS AS WELL AS
POLITICAL AND MILITARY FACTORS THAT COULD AFFECT US
INTERESTS
2. IRAN AND IRAQ HAVE DEVELOPED CHEMICAL WEAPONS
AND HAVE EMPLOYED THEM IN THEIR CONFLICT SINCE THE
EARLY 1980S. IRAQ BEGAN TO DEVELOP ITS CW CAPABILITY 
IN THE EARLY 1970s
WHILE IRAN BEGAN ITS PROGRAM AS A RESPOND TO
IRAQI BATTLEFIELD USE. BAGHDAD USED RIOT CONTROL AGENTS
(RCA)1 IN THE MID-1970s AGAINST DISSIDENT KURDS IN
NORTHERN IRAQ. HOSTILITIES WITH IRAN GAVE ADDITIONAL 
IMPETUS TO THE IRAQI CW PROGRAM IN THE EARLY 1980s, 
AND SINCE 1983, IRAN HAS USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS EVERY
YEAR IN ITS WAR WITH IRAN.
3. OVERALL, WE BELIEVE THE FREQUENCY OF CHEMICAL 
WEAPONS USE, INITIALLY CONSTRAINED BY AVAILABILITY, HAS
INCREASED WHILE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF BAGHDAD'S CW
EMPLOYMENT IN MAJOR BATTLES IS IMPROVING. PRESIDENT 
SADDAM HUSAYN'S INITIAL POLITICAL AND MILITARY DECISION
TO USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST IRAN SEEMS TO HAVE
BEEN MADE IN AN EFFORT TO COMPENSATE FOR IRAQ'S 
LIMITED MILITARY MANPOWER POOL. IRAQ WAS ABLE TO USE
CW TO MINIMIZE PERSONNEL AND TERRITORIAL LOSSES BY
STALLING OR PREVENTING IRANIAN HUMAN WAVE ATTACKS AND
BECAUSE IRAN HAD ONLY LIMITED CW PROTECTIVE CAPABILI-
TIES AND COULD NOT RETALIATE IN KIND. ALTHOUGH IRAQ HAS
NOT ACHIEVED ITS STRATEGIC MILITARY AND POLITICAL GOAL OF
ENDING THE WAR, CW HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT ELEMENT IN
HELPING IRAQ ACHIEVE ITS TACTICAL BATTLEFIELD OBJECTIVES.
IN OUR JUDGMENT, THE IRAQIS PERCEIVE CHEMICAL WEAP-
ONS TO BE AN EFFECTIVE COMPLEMENT TO THEIR CONVENTION-
AL ARSENAL.
1 THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT RECOGNIZE RIOT CONTROL AGENTS SUCH AS
TEAR GAS, CS, OR CN AS CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS. 
BATTLEFIELD USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS
CW HAS BE-
COME A RECURRING EVENT IN THE WAR.
ALTHOUGH IRAQ DENIES THE USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS,
AND CONTENDS THAT THE 1925 GENEVA PROTOCOL (OF WHICH
BOTH IRAQ AND IRAN ARE SIGNATORIES) DOES NOT PROHIBIT
CHEMICAL WEAPON USE ON ONE'S OWN TERRITORY, MANY OF
IRAQ'S CHEMICAL ATTACKS HAVE OCCURRED IN IRANIAN TERRI-
TORY. IN THOSE ATTACKS, CHEMICAL WEAPONS HAVE BEEN
USED PRIMARILY IN A DEFENSIVE ROLE 2 IN RESPONSE TO
MAJOR IRANIAN OFFENSIVES AND HAVE INVOLVED A VARIETY
OF DELIVERY MEANS.          REPORTING INDICATES
THAT IRANIAN REAR AREA SUPPORT TROOPS OCCASIONALLY
SUSTAIN LARGE NUMBERS OF CASUALTIES BECAUSE THEY ARE
LESS PREPARED AND EQUIPPED TO COPE WITH CHEMICAL
ATTACKS.          IN THIS REGARD, REAR AREA
CHEMICAL ATTACKS MAY BE A FORCE MULTIPLIER FOR IRAQ.
THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT IRAQI CW ATTACKS MAY BE
EVOLVING TO INCLUDE PREEMPTIVEUSES.3 IF IRAN WERE TO
THREATEN IRAQI PERCEIVED STRATEGIC POSITIONS, WE BELIEVE
THAT IRAQ MIGHT AUTHORIZE MASSIVE CHEMICAL EMPLOY-
MENTS, AS IMPLIED BY IRAQI POLITICIANS
2 IRAQ HAS USED BOTH LETHAL AND NONLETHAL CHEMICAL AGENTS, PRIMAR-
ILY IN DEFENSIVE OPERATIONS AND COUNTERATTACKS. IT PREFERS TO USE THE
RIOT CONTROL AGENT CS WHEN IRAQI TROOPS ARE IN PROXIMITY TO IRANIANS.
THE GOAL OF CS USE BY BAGHDAD IS TO FORCE IRANIAN TROOP TO DON
PROTECTIVE GEAR, THUS HAMPERING OPERATIONS. EVEN IF THIS DOES NOT
HALT AN IRANIAN ADVANCE, IT AT LEAST DISRUPTS THE IRANIAN OFFENSIVE
LONG ENOUGH TO PERMIT IRAQI TROOPS TO PULL BACK-PERMITTING THE USE
OF LETHAL CHEMICAL AGENTS AND CAUSING IRANIAN CASUALTIES.
6. BEGINNING IN 1982 THERE WERE INDICATIONS OF RCA
USE BY IRAQ AGAINST IRANIAN FORCES. SINCE THEN, THE
TYPES AND LETHALITY OF CHEMICALS USED BY IRAQ HAS
INCREASED, FROM RIOT CONTROL AGENT CS TO MUSTARD AGENT
IN 1983 AND TO THE FIRST BATTLEFIELD USE OF A NERVE AGENT 
(TABUN) AGAINST IRANIAN TROOP CONCENTRATIONS
IT APPEARS THAT EARLY
ATTACKS WERE LIMITED TO USING A FEW ARTILLERY SHELLS,
MORTAR ROUNDS, OR AIRCRAFT-DELIVERED MUNITIONS. MANY
TYPES OF CW AGENTS AND RIOT CONTROL AGENTS ARE NOW
BEING USED ON THE BATTLEFIELD
7. IRAQ APPEARS TO HAVE BECOME MORE COMPETENT IN
ITS CAPABILITY TO INTEGRATE CHEMICALS INTO ITS CONVEN-
TIONAL BATTLE STRATEGY.
AS CHEMICAL WEAPONS
HAVE BECOME MORE AVAILABLE AND HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL-
LY EMPLOYED, IRAQI POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADERS AP-
PEAR TO HAVE ACCEPTED THEM AS A TACTICALLY USEFUL AND
EFFECTIVE WEAPON. WE BELIEVE THAT CHEMICAL MUNI-
TIONS, IN A FEW CASES, HAVE BEEN SIGNIFICANT IN THE
CONTEXT OF SPECIFIC BATTLES. FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE KARBALA
VIII CAMPAIGN OF APRIL 1987 THE USE OF CHEMICAL
WEAPONS, COMBINED WITH CONVENTIONAL ARMS, PROVED
EFFECTIVE.
IRAQI USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST THE KURDS
IRAQI USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS TO SUBDUE THE KURDISH
POPULATION INSIDE IRAQ, ALONG THE TRIBORDER AREA WITH
IRAN AND TURKEY, IS QUALITATIVELY DIFFERENT FROM THE USE
OF CHEMICALS AGAINST ANOTHER COUNTRY. THE IRAQIS HAVE
PRIMARILY USED RIOT CONTROL AGENTS AND POSSIBLY, IN SOME
CASES, CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST THE KURDS TO MINIMIZE
THE DIVERSION OF TROOPS FROM MORE CRITICAL FRONTS AND THE
LOSSES THAT MIGHT OCCUR IN INACCESSIBLE AREAS THAT FAVOR
GUERRILLA FORCES.
THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE KURDS ONCE AGAIN INTENSI-
FIED IN EARLY 1987 AS IRAQ ATTEMPTED TO SECURE THE
NORTHERN BORDER AREAS WITH TURKEY AND IRAN. SINCE
APRIL 1987, A MILITARY CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN WAGED TO
ERADICATE VILLAGE BASES OF SUPPORT FOR KURDISH GUERRILLA
GROUPS. TO MINIMIZE LOSSES OF MEN AND MATERIEL, IRAQI
TROOPS HAVE USED RIOT CONTROL AGENTS AND POSSIBLY CHEMI-
CAL WEAPONS REPEATEDLY WHEN CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS
HAVE NOT SUFFICED TO SUBDUE VILLAGERS BEFORE RAZING THEIR
DWELLINGS
SADDAM HUSAYN REPORTEDLY GAVE THE DIRECTION OF THIS
CAMPAIGN TO ALI HASSAN AL-MAJID, DIRECTOR OF INTERNAL
SECURITY AND SADDAM'S COUSIN, WHO DEVISED A "SCORCHED
EARTH" POLICY TO ELIMINATE DISSIDENT KURDISH ACTIVITY IN
NORTHERN IRAQ. THE POLICY, CARRIED OUT BETWEEN APRIL
AND JULY 1987, AND APPARENTLY RESUMED IN OCTOBER
1987, HAS SPURRED THE DESERTION OF MANY LOYALIST KURDS
AND PRIVATE CRITICISM FROM SENIOR IRAQI GOVERNMENT AND
MILITARY FIGURES. EVEN THE FIGUREHEAD VICE PRESIDENT OF
IRAQ, A KURD, HAS REFUSED TO SUPPORT THE POLICY-A
DARING DEFIANCE OF SADDAM HUSAYN'S AUTHORITY.
THE TYPES AND LETHALITY OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS AVAIL-
ABLE TO BOTH SIDES HAVE INCREASED IN RECENT MONTHS, AND
THE FIGHTING IN NORTHEASTERN IRAQ DEMONSTRATES THAT
NEITHER HAS BACKED OFF FROM EMPLOYING THEM EVEN
AGAINST KURDISH POPULATION CENTERS.
8. UNTIL 1986, RELEASE AUTHORITY FOR CHEMICAL WEAP-
ONS IN IRAQ WAS HELD AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF DECISION-
MAKING, PERHAPS EXCLUSIVELY BY PRESIDENT HUSAYN.
THIS WAS PROBABLY TO ENSURE CONTROL OF A LIMITED
STOCKPILE OF CHEMICAL MUNITIONS AND TO GUARANTEE THAT 
SUFFICIENT SUPPLIES WOULD BE AVAILABLE TO COUNTER LARGE
IRANIAN OFFENSIVES. BAGHDAD MAY ALSO HAVE BELIEVED
THAT TIGHT CONTROL OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS WOULD MAKE IT
EASIER TO DENY THAT IRAQI FORCES HAD EMPLOYED CW. IN
1986, CW RELEASE AUTHORITY WAS DELEGATED TO CORPS- 
LEVE COMMANDERS AS THE RESULT OF IRAQI LOSSES DURING
THE AL FAW AND MEBRAN CAMPAIGNS AND AFTER THE
MILITARY APPARENTLY CONVINCED PRESIDENT HUSAYN TO 
CHANGE RELEASE AUTHORITY FOR CHEMICAL WEAPONS TO
PERMIT BETTER INTEGRATION OF CW INTO BATTLE PLANS.
CHEMICAL WEAPONS NOW APPEAR TO BE AN IMPORTANT
ADJUNCT FOR THE ACHIEVEMENT OF TACTICAL OBJECTIVES. 
9. IN OUR JUDGMENT, THE IRAQIS PERCEIVE CHEMICAL
WEAPONS TO BE AN EFFECTIVE COMPLEMENT TO THEIR
CONVENTIONAL ARSENAL. OVERALL, WE BELIEVE THE FREQUEN-
CY OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS USE-PROBABLY CONSTRAINED
ONLY BY AVAILABILITY-HAS INCREASED, AND THE EFFECTIVE-
NESS OF BAGHDAD'S CW EMPLOYMENT IN MAJOR BATTLES IS
IMPROVING.
10. CONSTRAINTS ON IRAQI USE. BY DENYING ITS USE OF
CW, IRAQ HAS SHOWN SOME CONCERN FOR INTERNATIONAL
CONSEQUENCES. BAGHDAD'S MAIN CONCERN HAS BEEN THAT
ANY PUBLIC OUTCRY WOULD FURTHER COMPLICATE ITS EFFORTS
TO OBTAIN NECESSARY CONVENTIONAL WAR MATERIELS AS WELL
AS NECESSARY CW MATERIALS. ALTHOUGH LIMITED INTERNA-
TIONAL REACTION HAS THUS FAR NOT DETERRED IRAQ'S CHEMI-
CAL EMPLOYMENT, NO POLITICAL OR RELIGIOUS CONSTRAINTS
SEEM TO BEAR SERIOUSLY ON HUSAYN'S DECISION TO EMPLOY
CW. INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL PRESSURE-UNITED
NATIONS CONDEMNATORY RESOLUTIONS, DEMARCHES, AND
EXPORT CONTROLS-HAVE BEEN INEFFECTIVE IN STOPPING THE
DEVELOPMENT OF THE CW PROGRAM OR CONTINUED BATTLE-
FIELD USE.
BATTLEFIELD EFFECTIVENESS OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS
13. FACED WITH SUPERIOR NUMBERS OF IRANIAN SOLDIERS
IN A WAR OF ATTRITION, IRAQ ELECTED IN 1982 TO USE THE
RIOT CONTROL AGENT CS IN CONJUNCTION WITH CONVENTIONAL
WEAPONS, HOPING TO SOLVE ITS MILITARY DILEMMA. IRAQ'S
EARLY USES OF MUSTARD AND TABUN IN 1983 AND 1984
WERE PROBABLY MILITARILY INEFFECTIVE BECAUSE OF POOR
EMPLOYMENT TECHNIQUES AND UNSUITABLE WEATHER CON-
DITIONS. IN SOME CASES, IRAQI PILOTS RELEASED CHEMICAL
MUNITIONS FROM TOO HIGH ATTITUDES AND RARELY DELIVERED
ENOUGH AGENT AT ONE TIME TO BE MILITARILY EFFECTIVE. IN
OTHER CASES, CHEMICAL BOMBS WERE RELEASED TOO LOW FOR
THEIR FUZES TO FUNCTION. IRAN THUS OBTAINED NUMEROUS
IRAQI CHEMICAL WEAPONS INTACT AND SCORED A MAJOR
PROPAGANDA VICTORY BY PUBLICIZING THIS EVIDENCE
ALSO, IRAQ USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN DAMP
CONDITONS-PARTICULARLY IN THE SOUTHERN BORDER AREA-
WHEN THE WIND WAS BLOWING TOWARD ITS OWN TROOPS AND
IN DAYLIGHT.
WHENEVER THE IRAQIS USED GOOD DELIVERY TECHNIQUES, WEATHER
CONDITIONS AND TERRAIN WERE FAVORABLE, AND THE IRANI-
ANS WERE NOT ADEQUATELY PREPARED OR TRAINED, THE USE
OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS HAS BEEN EFFECTIVE.
15. AS CURRENTLY EMPLOYED, CHEMICAL WEAPONS WILL
SOMETIMES ALLOW TACTICAL ADVANTAGE, BUT ARE UNLIKELY TO
AFFECT THE WAR STRATEGICALLY. BAGHDAD, THUS FAR, HAS NOT
SHOWN THE INTENTION TO COMMIT THE FULL CW RESOURCES
NECESSARY TO GAIN A TRUE STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE.
AS
LONG AS BOTH IRAN AND IRAQ CONTINUE TO EMPLOY CHEMI-
CALS IN PRIMARILY DEFENSIVE OPERATIONS, NEITHER NATION
WILL GAIN A STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE, BASED PURELY ON THE USE
OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS. HOWEVER, A CONCENTRATED USE OF
CHEMICALS BY EITHER SIDE MAY CREATE A TACTICAL ADVAN-
TAGE IN A LOCALIZED SITUATION. WE SHOULD ALSO EXPECT TO
OBSERVE THE INTRODUCTION OF MORE LETHAL AGENTS SUCH AS
VX
IMPLICATIONS-DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL-OF
THE CHEMICAL WAR
16. THE 1925 GENEVA PROTOCOL HAS NOT BEEN AN
EFFECTIVE IMPEDIMENT TO THE SPREAD AND USE OF SUCH
WEAPONS IN THE REGION. WE BELIEVE THE PERCEIVED
SUCCESSES OF SUCH WEAPONS ON THE IRAN-IRAQ BATTLEFIELD,
COUPLED WITH THE LACK OF MEANINGFUL  INTERNATIONAL
SANCTIONS OR CONDEMNATIONS, MAY SUGGEST TO THIRD
WORLD STATES THAT THEY CAN ACQUIRE A CW CAPABILITY AS
A DETERRENT OR A MILITARY FORCE MULTIPLIER. PROLIFERATION
IN THE THIRD WORLD HAS BEEN TIED PRIMARILY TO THE
AVAILABILITY OF TECHNOLOGIES-MOSTLY FROM WESTERN EU-
ROPE. THE HIGH PROFITS FROM THE SALE OF TECHNOLOGY AND
PRECURSOR CHEMICALS, AS WELL AS THE DIFFICULTY OF REGU-
LATING DUAL-USE MATERIEL, HAVE MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO
ACHIEVE THE NECESSARY ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL STEPS TO
STOP PROLIFERATION AND WEAPONIZATION. THE INCREASING
NUMBER OF NATIONS THAT POSSESS CHEMICAL CAPABILITIES
SUGGESTS THAT CHEMICAL WEAPONS ARE BEING INTEGRATED
INTO THEIR CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS ARSENALS.
IMPLICATIONS FOR THE UNITED STATES
17. AS MORE NATIONS ACQUIRE A CHEMICAL CAPABILITY,
MILITARY AND PEACEKEEPING FORCES MUST EXPECT THE
THREAT OF EITHER INTENTIONAL OR INADVERTENT EXPOSURE TO
CHEMICAL ATTACK.
THE PROLIFERATION OF CW PROGRAMS INDICATES A
WIDENING THREAT FROM AN INCREASING NUMBER OF CHEMI-
CAL AGENTS. THE UNITED STATES MUST EXPECT TO FACE A
VARIETY OF AGENTS-NOT ONLY THOSE THAT ARE EXPECTED TO
BE USED ON THE NATO BATTLEFIELD, BUT OTHERS SUCH AS
THOSE USED BY          IRAQ4 THE USE OF "STANDARD"
CW AGENTS AND AGENTS IN DIFFERENT FORMS SUCH AS THOSE
THAT HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED IN THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR HAS
CREATED UNEXPECTED VULNERABILITIES, SUCH AS:
-THE SIMULTANEOUS USE OF SEVERAL AGENTS DURING
ANY ATTACK,          
AND CASUALTY TREATMENT.
4 EXAMPLES OF EXPECTED WARSAW PACT AGENTS ARE GB, GD, HD
VX, AND L; EXAMPLES OF MIDDLE EAST AGENTS ARE GA, HN, CG, AND
CK.
-DECONTAMINATION OF TABUN CAN LEAD TO LIBERATION
OF DANGEROUS CYANIDE COMPOUNDS.
OBSERVATIONS FROM THE CHEMICAL WAR
- CW TACTICAL DELIVERY METHODS HAVE IMPROVED WITH
EXPERIENCE.
- CW HAS BEEN LOCALLY EFFECTIVE IN SOME INSTANCE.
ITS EFFECT HAS BEEN MAXIMIZED WHEN SURPRISE HAS
BEEN ACHIEVED AGAINST UNPREPARED TROOPS.
- CW CAN CONTRIBUTE TO TACTICAL SUCCESSES AS ONE
COMPONENT OF AN INTEGRATED FIREPLAN.
- CW HAS BEEN USED LARGELY IN THE DEFENSE ROLE.
-CW AGENT HAS BEEN USED AS AN AREA DENIAL
WEAPON.
-CW, INEPTLY EMPLOYED, HAS NOT PROVED TO BE A
PANACEA TO MAKE UP FOR OTHER WEAKNESSES. NON-
CHEMICAL TACTICAL WEAKNESS SUCH AS FAILURE TO
MAXIMIZE ADVANTAGES AND INEFFECTIVE EMPLOYMENT
OF TACTICAL AIRPOWER CARRY OVER INTO EMPLOYMENT
OF CW.
-CW EMPLOYMENT SHORTCOMINGS HAVE INCLUDED USE
OF INADEQUATE CONCENTRATIONS IN RELATION TO RE-
QUIRED AREA COVERAGE, ENEMY TROOP NUMBERS,
WEATHER AND TERRAIN, INEFFECTIVE DELIVERY, AND
FAILURE TO INTEGRATE CW PROPERLY WITH THE SCHEME
OF MANEUVER.
ANNEX B
IRAQ'S CHEMICAL WARFARE CAPABILITY
THE DEVELOP-
MENT OF ITS CHEMICAL WEAPONS CAPABILITY BEGAN IN THE
EARLY TO MID-1970s, WELL BEFORE ITS WAR WITH IRAN. IN
THE EARLY TO MID-1970s RIOT CONTROL AGENTS WERE EM-
PLOYED TO SUBDUE DISSIDENT KURDISH ACTIVITY IN NORTH-
ERN IRAQ. THE HOSTILITIES WITH IRAN IN THE EARLY 1980s
GAVE ADDITIONAL IMPETUS TO THE CHEMICAL PROGRAM. THE
INITIAL POLITICAL AND MILITARY DECISION TO EMPLOY CHEMI-
CAL WEAPONS AGAINST IRAN SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN
AN EFFORT TO MINIMIZE PERSONNEL (BAGHDAD'S CRITICAL
RESOURCE) AND MATERIAL LOSSES. BAGHDAD APPARENTLY
BELIEVED THAT CHEMICAL WEAPONS, IN COMBINATION WITH
CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS, WOULD BE USEFUL IN DEFEATING OR 
STALLING IRANIAN ATTACKS.
PRODUCTION
IRAQ NOW POSSESSES THE LARGEST CHEMICAL WEAPONS 
PRODUCTION CAPABILITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND HAS THE
CAPACITY TO INCREASE ITS STOCKPILE SIGNIFICANTLY OVER THE
NEXT FEW YEARS. THE PRINCIPAL AGENTS BEING PRODUCED
AT IRAQ'S CW PRODUCTION FACILITY NEAR SAMARRA ARE THE
BLISTER AGENT MUSTARD AND THE NERVE AGENTS TABUN AND 
SARIN. THE RIOT CONTROL AGENT CS IS ALSO PRODUCED THERE.
IN ADDITION, IRAQ APPEARS TO BE PRODUCING AT LEAST SMALL
QUANTITIES OF THE NERVE AGENT VX AND RESEARCHING THE
PRODUCTION OF THE PSYCHOCHEMICAL BZ.
BESIDES ITS PRIMARY CW PRODUCTION FACILITIES NEAR 
SAMARRA' AND RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FACILITY AT
SALMAN PAK, THREE PROBABLE NEW CW PRODUCTION
FACILITIES HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED IN THE AL HABBANIYAH
AREA OF IRAQ. BAGHDAD MAY BE TRYING TO ESTABLISH
REDUNDANCY IN ITS SYSTEM, MAKING IT LESS SUSCEPTIBLE TO
PREEMPTIVE STRIKES AGAINST ITS CHEMICAL
INFRASTRUCTURE, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME INCREASING THE
AMOUNT OF AGENT AVAILABLE FOR USE IN THE WAR
BEFORE THE ONSET OF HOSTILITIES WITH IRAN, THE LACK OF
URGENCY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CHEMICAL WEAPONS
PROGRAM ALLOWED IRAQ TIME TO PLACE STUDENTS IN SELECT-
ED SCHOOLS ABROAD, WITH THE GOAL OF DEVELOPING A POOL
OF TECHNICALLY COMPETENT SCIENTISTS. IN 1979, HOWEVER,
IRAQ STILL LACKED INDIGENOUS TECHNICAL EXPERTISE FOR THE
PRODUCTION OF LETHAL CHEMICAL AGENTS. THIS NECESSITATED
BAGHDAD'S RELYING HEAVILY ON FOREIGN COUNTRIES FOR
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, AS WELL AS FOR MATERIALS. AS OF LATE
1987, IRAQ WAS STILL RELYING ON FOREIGN ASSISTANCE TO
BUILD, MAINTAIN, AND SUPPLY MATERIALS FOR ITS FUTURE
AND EXISTING CHEMICAL PRODUCTION FACILITIES. WE ESTI-
MATE THAT ITS TECHNICAL MANPOWER AND ENGINEERING
SHORTFALLS WILL BE OVERCOME WITHIN THE NEXT FOUR TO SIX
YEARS
EMBARGOES ON PRECURSOR CHEMICALS HAVE NOT STOPPED
IRAQ'S PROGRAM-ONLY SLOWED THE PACE OF THE CHEMICAL
WEAPONS PROGRAM. THEY HAVE INCREASED THE COST OF THE
PROGRAM AND INTENSIFIED BAGHDAD'S SEARCH FOR ADDI-
TIONAL PERCURSOR SOURCES, EQUIPMENT, AND TECHNOLOGY,
AS WELL AS STIMULATING IRAQ'S EFFORTS TO INTERNALLY PRO-
DUCE PRECURSOR CHEMICALS. DESPITE NUMEROUS WESTERN
EXPORT CONTROLS, ACCELERATION OF THE IRAQI PROGRAM HAS
BEEN MADE POSSIBLE
THE IRAQI PROGRAM WILL BE SELF-SUPPORTING
VIRTUALLY INDEPENDENT OF FOREIGN EMBARGOES AND OUT-
SIDE INTERVENTION WITHIN THE NEXT FEW YEARS.
WEAPONS DELIVERY
IRAQ HAS DELIVERED ITS CHEMICAL AGENTS IN 250 AND
500-KG BOMBS, AERIAL SPRAY APPARATUS, AND, TO A LESSER
DEGREE, IN 90-MILLIMETER AIR-TO-GROUND ROCKETS.
MEDICAL HANDLING OF CHEMICAL CASUALTIES
CHEMICAL CASUALTIES REQUIRE NOT ONLY TRANSPORTATION
BUT, IN SOME CASES, LABOR-INTENSIVE HOSPITAL CARE.
IN SOME BATTLES THE
CHEMICAL CASUALTIES HAVE BEEN IN THE THOUSANDS, WHICH
HAS OVERWHELMED THE MEDICAL TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
AND CAUSED SECONDARY CONTAMINATION CASUALTIES AMONG
THE TRANSPORTATION AND MEDICAL STAFFS. IRAQ'S MEDICAL
SUPPORT SYSTEM HAS NOT BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY TESTED.
WE
BELIEVE THAT NEITHER COUNTRY'S MEDICAL LOGISTIC CAPABILI-
TY COULD MANAGE A LARGE NUMBER OF CHEMICAL CASUALTIES
OVER A SUSTAINED PERIOD.
THE MAJORITY OF THE IRANIAN CASUALTIES HAVE BEEN
MAINLY FROM MUSTARD AGENTS IN BOTH LIQUID AND DUSTY
FORMS. THE LATTER TYPE IS FINELY GROUND (0.1 TO 10.0
MICRONS) SILICA IMPREGNATED WITH MUSTARD AGENT. THE
TWO FORMS DIFFER WITH RESPECT TO THE NATURE OF SKIN
INJURY, THE INTENSITY OF LUNG INJURIES, AND THE LATENT
PERIOD WITH THE DUSTY FORM BEING MORE EFFECTIVE. THE
LATENT PERIOD CAN BE MILITARILY SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE IT
AFFECTS THE TIME A SOLDIER CAN CONTINUE TO FIGHT BEFORE
THE EFFECT OF THE AGENT BECOMES DEBILITATING. DUSTY
MUSTARD CAN AFFECT SOLDIERS WITHIN AS FEW AS 15
MINUTES, WHILE THE LIQUID OR VAPOR MUSTARD MAY NOT
HAVE AN EFFECT FOR FOUR TO SIX HOURS.
1.5(C)
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