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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

070296_cia_73883_73883_01.txt
Subject: IRAQI'S BW PROGRAM
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.
WOULD IRAQ USE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS?
          DECEMBER 1990
SUMMARY
PAST IRAQI USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND STATEMENTS BY IRAQI OFFICIALS JUSTIFYING
THE USE OF ANY WEAPON TO DEFEND THEIR COUNTRY SUGGEST THAT BAGHDAD WOULD
CONSIDER USING BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS UNDER CERTAIN EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES, PROBABLY
AS A RETALIATORY OPTION FOR UNCONVENTIONAL ATTACKS ON IRAQ OR AS A WEAPON OF LAST
RESORT TO SAVE THE REGIME FROM FALLING. MOST IRAQI OFFICIALS--AND SADDAM HUSAYN
IN PARTICULAR--WOULD HAVE NO RELIGIOUS OR PERSONAL COMPUNCTIONS ABOUT USING
BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS IF THEY BELIEVED SUCH USE WOULD ADVANCE IRAQ'S POSITION. SEVERAL
FACTORS, INCLUDING QUESTIONS REGARDING THE MILITARY-POLITICAL UTILITY OF BIOLOGICAL
WARFARE AND THE FEAR OF RETALIATION, PROBABLY WILL INITIALLY RESTRAIN IRAQ FROM USING
ITS BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS.
BAGHDAD PROBABLY BELIEVES THAT DETERENCE IS THE GREATEST BENEFIT IT DERIVES FROM
ITS BIOLOGICAL WARFARE CAPABILITY. THE DELIBERATE AMBIGUITY SURROUNDING IRAQI
INTENTIONS PROBABLY IS DESIGNED TO HEIGHTEN THIS DETERRENT VALUE. WE BELIEVE THAT
IRAQ IS MORE LIKELY TO USE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS FOR ATTACKS ON STRATEGIC TARGETS
AGAINST OPPOSING GROUND FORCES. SADDAM PROBABLY WILL RETAIN THE RELEASE
AUTHORITY FOR IRAQ'S STRATEGIC WEAPONS AT LEAST THROUGH THE INITIAL STAGES OF
HOSTILITIES.
KEY JUDGMENTS
IRAQ WOULD CONSIDER USING BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS AS A RETALIATORY OPTION FOR
UNCONVENTIONAL ATTACKS ON IRAQ OR AS A WEAPON OF LAST RESORT TO SAVE THE REGIME 
FROM FAILING.
BAGHDAD PROBABLY BELIEVES THAT THE GREATEST BENEFITS IT DERIVES FROM
BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS ARE THEIR DETERRENT VALUE AND THE ESCALATORY OPTION THEY
PROVIDE. SEVERAL FACTORS, INCLUDING QUESTIONS REGARDING THE MILITARY-POLITICAL
UTILITY OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS AND THE FEAR OF CONVENTIONAL OR UNCONVENTIONAL 
RETALIATION, PROBABLY WOULD INITIALLY RESTRAIN IRAQ FROM RESTORING TO BIOLOGICAL
WARFARE.
BAGHDAD IS MOST LIKELY TO USE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS IN A STRATEGIC ROLE AS A
TERROR WEAPON AGAINST MILITARY AND CIVILIAN TARGETS. IT IS LESS LIKELY BIOLOGICAL
WEAPONS IN TACTICAL SITUATIONS AGAINST OPPOSING GROUND FORCES. 
THE USE OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS WOULD BE BASED ON SADDAM HUSAYN'S
JUDGMENT THAT IT WOULD ACHIEVE SIGNIFICANT NATIONAL POLICY OBJECTIVES, INFLICT HARSH
RETRIBUTION AGAINST HIS ENEMIES, OR FULFILL HIS OWN SENSE OF MISSION. SADDAM PROBABLY
WOULD RETAIN CONTROL OVER ALL OF HIS STRATEGIC WEAPON SYSTEMS, INCLUDING
BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS, THROUGH AT LEAST THE INITIAL STAGES OF HOSTILITIES AFTER WHICH 
CONTINGENCY PLANS DELEGATING RELEASE AUTHORITY MAY GO INTO EFFECT.
WOULD IRAQ USE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS?
PAST IRAQI USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND STATEMENTS BY IRAQI
OFFICIALS JUSTIFYING THE EMPLOYMENT OF ANY WEAPON TO DEFEND THEIR
COUNTRY SUGGEST THAT BAGHDAD WOULD CONSIDER USING BIOLOGICAL
WEAPONS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES. WHILE DENYING THAT IT
POSSESSES BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS, BAGHDAD HAS BEEN AMBIGUOUS ABOUT
THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH IT WOULD EMPLOY ANY UNCONVENTIONAL
WEAPONS. BEFORE THE CRISIS THE OFFICIAL IRAQI LINE--DEVELOPED IN
APRIL 1990 AFTER SADDAM'S SPEECH THREATENING TO "BURN HALF OF
ISRAEL" IN RESPONSE TO ANY ATTACK--WAS THAT BAGHDAD WOULD USE
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION ONLY IN RETALIATION FOR AN
UNCONVENTIONAL ATTACK. SINCE AUGUST, SADDAM AND OTHER IRAQI
OFFICIALS HAVE THREATENED TO USE ALL WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
AVAILABLE AND HAVE CLAIMED TO HOLD "SURPRISES" FOR USE IN DEFENSE
OF IRAQ. THIS AMBIGUITY ALMOST CERTAINLY IS DESIGNED TO RAISE
UNCERTAINTY AMONG THE MULTINATIONAL FORCES AND TO DISCOURAGE AN
ATTACK.
EXCEPT FOR THE TACTICAL USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, IRAQI
WARFIGHTING DOCTRINE FOR WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IS UNCLEAR,
NOR DOES BAGHDAD APPEAR TO HAVE A FORMAL THEORY OR DOCTRINE ON
THE MILITARY AND POLITICAL UTILITY OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
IF DETERRENCE FAILS. ALTHOUGH IRAQ DOES NOT NEED SUCH DOCTRINES
TO USE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS, THEIR APPARENT ABSENCE SUGGESTS THAT
THE CHOICE TO EMPLOY THESE WEAPONS STRATEGICALLY MAY RELY ON
GENERAL CONTINGENCY PLANS OR POSSIBLY ON AD HOC DECISIONS.
FACTORS AFFECTING EMPLOYMENT DECISIONS
A DECISION BY BAGHDAD TO USE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS PROBABLY
WOULD REST ON SADDAM'S DETERMINATION THAT THE WEAPON WOULD HELP
ACHIEVE SIGNIFICANT NATIONAL POLICY OBJECTIVES OR HARSH
RETRIBUTION AGAINST IRAQ'S ENEMIES. ALTHOUGH IRAQ HAS MADE
GENERAL STATEMENTS ABOUT ITS WILLINGNESS TO USE ALL AVAILABLE
WEAPONS TO DISCOURAGE ATTACKS, IT HAS NOT ENUNCIATED CLEARLY ITS
VIEWS ON DETERRENCE, AND WE DO NOT KNOW HOW THESE VIEWS WILL
AFFECT IRAQI DECISIONS TO USE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS. IRAQI MILITARY
COMMANDERS DO NOT APPEAR TO VIEW BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS WITH THE SAME
REVULSION AS WESTERNERS AND, GIVEN THEIR USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS,
PROBABLY HAVE NO RELIGIOUS OR PERSONAL QUALMS ABOUT USING ANY
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.
IRAQ'S CLAIMS THAT IT DOES NOT HAVE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS MAY
CONVEY BAGHDAD'S OWN VIEW THAT ITS CURRENT BIOLOGICAL WARFARE
CAPABILITIES LACK STRATEGIC REACH OR ARE MILITARILY
INSIGNIFICANT. BAGHDAD HAS PURSUED THE CREATION OF A STRATEGIC
FORCE OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, IN PART, AS A DEFENSIVE
MEASURE AGAINST ATTACKS BY HOSTILE NEIGHBORS, SUCH AS IRAN,
ISRAEL, AND SYRIA. IN NEARLY ALL CASES, IRAQ HAS ANNOUNCED OR
DISPLAYED OPERATIONAL STRATEGIC WEAPON SYSTEMS TO MAXIMIZE THEIR
DETERRENT VALUE, A PRACTICE SADDAM AND FOREIGN MINISTER TARIQ
AZIZ HAVE ASSERTED IS IRAQI POLICY.1
THE SIZE OF IRAQ'S INVENTORY WOULD ALSO AFFECT IRAQI
DECISIONS ON WHETHER OR NOT TO USE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS IN EITHER A
STRATEGIC OR TACTICAL ROLE. WE BELIEVE THAT IRAQ PROBABLY HAS
SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS OF BIOLOGICALLY FILLED AERIAL BOMBS AND
ARTILLERY ROCKETS THAT COULD SUPPORT AN IRAQI DECISION TO USE
THESE WEAPONS AGAINST OPPOSING GROUND FORCES. THE NUMBER OF
BIOLOGICALLY FILLED AERIAL BOMBS PROBABLY WOULD NOT SUPPORT A
DECISION TO USE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS AGAINST STRATEGIC TARGETS
BECAUSE BAGHDAD PROBABLY HAS DOUBTS ABOUT ITS ABILITY TO DELIVER
THEM WITH ANY SYSTEM OTHER THAN ITS SURFACE-TO-SURFACE MISSILES.
ALTHOUGH ONLY SMALL AMOUNTS OF AGENT
ARE NEEDED TO HAVE A MILITARILY SIGNIFICANT IMPACT, BAGHDAD MIGHT
NOT USE BIOLOGICAL MISSILES UNTIL IT WAS CERTAIN THAT ENOUGH WERE
AVAILABLE FOR INITIAL AND FOLLOW-ON ATTACKS.
MILITARY-POLITICAL UTILITY. WE BELIEVE THE IRAQI DECISION TO
INITIATE USE OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS WOULD DEPEND ON SADDAM'S
DETERMINATION THAT THEIR EMPLOYMENT WOULD PROVIDE SOME BENEFIT
AND NOT BE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE IN THE SHORT TERM OR IMPOSE ANY
LONG-TERM COSTS.2 AS DEMONSTRATED BY ITS AIR AND MISSILE ATTACKS
ON IRANIAN CITIES, BAGHDAD VIEWS CONCENTRATIONS OF CIVILIANS AS
VIABLE TARGETS FOR A TERROR CAMPAIGN TO UNDERMINE SUPPORT FOR
THEIR GOVERNMENT. IRAQ, HOWEVER, DID NOT DELIBERATELY USE
CHEMICALS AGAINST IRANIAN CIVILIANS, PROBABLY BECAUSE ANY GAINS
IN SAPPING IRANIAN MORALE WOULD HAVE BEEN OFFSET BY LOSS OF
NEEDED INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT FOR BAGHDAD'S POSITION IN THE WAR.
IN THE CURRENT CRISIS, IRAQ MIGHT BE SIMILARLY CONSTRAINED. FOR
EXAMPLE, BAGHDAD MIGHT BE HESITANT TO CONTAMINATE ANY PARTS OF
SAUDI ARABIA WITH BIOLOGICAL AGENTS FOR FEAR THAT MUSLIMS AROUND
THE WORLD MIGHT VIEW SUCH AN ACT AS DESECRATION OF THEIR HOLY
LAND.
RETALIATION. FEAR OF US CONVENTIONAL OR UNCONVENTIONAL
RETALIATION-
MAY INITIALLY RESTRAIN BAGHDAD FROM USING
BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS DURING THE CURRENT CRISIS. IRAQ HAS NO
EXPERIENCE IN FIGHTING AN ENEMY CAPABLE OF EQUIVALENT OR GREATER
RETALIATION IN RESPONSE TO THE USE OF CHEMICAL OR BIOLOGICAL
AGENTS. TWO MEDIATED AGREEMENTS BETWEEN BAGHDAD AND TEHRAN TO
END BOMBING AND MISSILE CAMPAIGNS IN 1984 AND 1985 SUGGEST IRAQ
1 SINCE 1987, IRAQ HAS ANNOUNCED ALL OF ITS STRATEGIC SYSTEMS          THE OPERATIONAL
SYSTEMS INCLUDE THE AL HUSAYN AND AL ABBAS MISSILES AND BINARY CHEMICAL WEAPONS.
ALTHOUGH IRAQ REFUSED TO CONFIRM ITS POSSESSION OF
CHEMICAL WEAPONS THROUGHOUT MUCH OF THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR, THESE WERE PRIMARILY
TACTICAL WEAPONS. DIPLOMATIC CONSIDERATIONS PLAYED A PART
IN IRAQ'S EQUIVOCATIONS, BUT BAGHDAD MAY HAVE BELIEVED THAT, LACKING A RELIABLE
LONG-RANGE DELIVERY SYSTEM, THE DECLARATION OF ITS CHEMICAL
WEAPONS INVENTORY WOULD HAVE HAD LITTLE, IF ANY, STRATEGIC DETERRENT EFFECT.
2 AN EXCEPTION MIGHT BE AN IN EXTREMIS SITUATION WHERE SADDAM OR HIS SUCCESSORS
SOUGHT REVENGE AGAINST ENEMIES PREPARING TO OVERWHELM THE REGIME.
CAN BE DETERRED FROM USING SOME OF ITS WEAPON SYSTEMS IF ITS
OPPONENT IS ABLE TO STRIKE BACK FORCEFULLY.
SADDAM AND THE USE OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS
ALTHOUGH MOST IRAQI OFFICIALS PROBABLY HAVE NO RELIGIOUS OR
PERSONAL COMPUNCTIONS ABOUT USING ANY WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
IN DEFENSE OF THEIR COUNTRY, SADDAM HUSAYN WOULD BE ESPECIALLY
UNFALTERING IN CONSIDERING A RESORT TO BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS.
SADDAM IS COLD-BLOODED, RUTHLESS, AND EXTREMELY PERSISTENT IN THE
PURSUIT OF HIS LONG-TERM GOALS, IN OUR JUDGMENT. ALTHOUGH SADDAM
PROBABLY WOULD NOT ORDER THE USE OF BIOLOGICAL WARFARE IN THE
EARLY DAYS OF CONFLICT, IF THE WAR GOES BADLY FOR HIM HE MAY
DECIDE TO USE THESE WEAPONS.
OUR ASSESSMENT OF SADDAM'S ATTITUDES TOWARD BIOLOGICAL
WARFARE IS BASED ON OBSERVATIONS OF HIS LIFE WHICH INDICATE HE
HAS A STABLE PERSONALITY AND IS A RATIONAL, CALCULATING
DECISIONMAKER WHO WOULD NOT USE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
IMPULSIVELY. ALTHOUGH HIS POLITICAL STATEMENTS AND ACTIONS VARY
FROM PRAGMATIC TO UNPREDICTABLE, WE JUDGE THAT FOR THE MOST PART
THEY ARE CALCULATED TO ENHANCE IRAQ'S AND HIS OWN POSITION.
FURTHERMORE, WE HAVE NO EVIDENCE THAT SUGGESTS HE SUFFERS FROM
ANY MENTAL ILLNESS.
ALTHOUGH SADDAM DOES NOT ACT RECKLESSLY, HE APPEARS
COMFORTABLE WIELDING ABSOLUTE POWER, USING NAKED FORCE, AND
TAKING CALCULATED RISKS. VIEWING THE WORLD AS THREATENING AND
UNDEPENDABLE, SADDAM IS WARY, OPPORTUNISTIC, AND RELIES ALMOST
SOLELY ON HIMSELF. AT TIMES, SADDAM'S SENSE OF MISSION APPEARS
TO TAINT HIS JUDGMENT, AND THIS, COMBINED WITH HIS PROPENSITY
TOWARD ISOLATED DECISIONMAKING AND IGNORANCE OF THE WEST, COULD
CAUSE HIM TO MISJUDGE THE FULL IMPLICATIONS OR CONSEQUENCES OF
HIS ACTIONS.
CIRCUMSTANCES FOR USE
IRAQ PROBABLY WOULD INITIATE BIOLOGICAL WARFARE ONLY IN
EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES. BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS USE WOULD BE MOST
LIKELY IF SADDAM AND THE IRAQI LEADERSHIP BELIEVED BAGHDAD WERE
ABOUT TO BE ATTACKED BY NUCLEAR -WEAPONS OR IF GROUND OPERATIONS
WERE SERIOUSLY JEOPARDIZING THE REGIME. AIR STRIKES ON THE
PRESIDENTIAL PALACE OR BAGHDAD-AREA COMMAND POSTS--WHICH SADDAM
PROBABLY WOULD PERCEIVE AS ATTEMPTS ON HIS LIFE--MIGHT PROVOKE A
RETALIATORY ATTACK. SUCH A DECISION PROBABLY WOULD REST ON
SADDAM'S ASSESSMENT OF HIS OVERALL MILITARY AND POLITICAL
SITUATION AND WOULD LIKELY INVOLVE CONVENTIONAL ATTACKS BEFORE
BIOLOGICAL WARFARE. IN A LEAST LIKELY WORST CASE, BIOLOGICAL
WEAPONS MIGHT BE USED IN REVENGE DURING THE DEATH THROES OF THE
REGIME. IN SUCH AN SITUATION, HOWEVER, IRAQI OFFICIALS MIGHT
DISREGARD SADDAM'S INSTRUCTIONS.
STRATEGIC USE. WE BELIEVE THAT BAGHDAD IS MORE LIKELY TO USE
BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS IN A STRATEGIC ROLE AS A TERROR WEAPON AGAINST
MILITARY AND CIVILIAN TARGETS THAN TACTICALLY AGAINST ENEMY
GROUND FORCES. IRAQ, HOWEVER, WOULD PROBABLY HOLD ITS BIOLOGICAL
WEAPONS IN RESERVE AS AN ESCALATORY OPTION TO DETER ADDITIONAL
STRIKES FROM AN OPPONENT OR TO LAUNCH ITS OWN SEVERE RETALIATION.
EXPLICIT THREATS OR THE ACTUAL EMPLOYMENT OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS
AGAINST CIVILIAN OR STRATEGIC MILITARY TARGETS MIGHT BE USED AS A
LAST RESORT TO SHOCK AN OPPONENT INTO PROVIDING AN OPENING FOR A
POLITICAL RESOLUTION.
IF BAGHDAD DECIDES TO USE UNCONVENTIONAL WEAPONS AGAINST
STRATEGIC TARGETS, ITS CHOICE OF BIOLOGICAL INSTEAD OF CHEMICAL
AGENTS PROBABLY WOULD BE DETERMINED BY THE GREATER AREA COVERAGE
THEORETICALLY PROVIDED BY BIOLOGICAL WARHEADS OR BOMBS. IRAQI
OPTIONS FOR DELIVERY INCLUDE SURFACE-TO-SURFARCE MISSILES,
AIRCRAFT, AND COVERT DISSEMINATION, BUT BAGHDAD PROBABLY WOULD
USE MISSILES AS ITS PRIMARY MEANS BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULTY IN
INTERCEPTING THESE WEAPONS.
TACTICAL USE. WE BELIEVE IRAQ IS LESS LIKELY TO USE BIOLOGICAL
WEAPONS IN TACTICAL SITUATIONS. BEFORE EMPLOYING BIOLOGICAL
WEAPONS IN TACTICAL SITUATIONS BAGHDAD PROBABLY WOULD EXHAUST
CONVENTIONAL AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS OPTIONS. BECAUSE IRAQ'S
CHEMICAL WEAPONS ALMOST CERTAINLY SERVE BAGHDAD'S POTENTIAL
TACTICAL NEEDS, BIOLOGICAL WARFARE PROBABLY WOULD BE USED ONLY AS
A LAST-DITCH MEASURE TO STOP A SUCCESSFUL OPERATION THREATENING
TO TOPPLE THE REGIME. BARRING SUCH AN EXTREME SITUATION, BAGHDAD
MIGHT BE HESITANT--AT LEAST IN THE NEAR-TERM--TO USE UNTESTED AND
UNWIELDY BIOLOGICAL AGENTS. EVEN MASSIVE DELIVERIES OF AGENTS
NOW AVAILABLE OFFER FEW, IF ANY, ADVANTAGES OVER THE TACTICAL USE
OF IRAQ'S BATTLE-TESTED NERVE AGENTS, ALTHOUGH THE THRESHOLD FOR
TOXIC AGENTS WOULD BE LOWER THAN FOR INFECTIOUS AGENTS. IN
ADDITION, WE BELIEVE THE IRAQIS WOULD BE WARY OF CONTAMINATING
THEIR OWN SOIL (POSSIBLY INCLUDING KUWAIT) WITH BIOLOGICAL
AGENTS, PARTICULARLY ANTHRAX.
COVERT USE. COVERT DISSEMINATION BY SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES OR
BY TERRORISTS IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY, IN OUR JUDGMENT, BECAUSE OF THE
DIFFICULTY IN CONTROLLING THESE FORCES AND THE LIKELIHOOD THAT
SADDAM WOULD WANT TO RETAIN TIGHT CONTROL OF THESE SPECIAL
WEAPONS FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. WE CANNOT RULE OUT THAT BAGHDAD
MAY HAVE CONTINGENCY PLANS TO USE BIOLOGICAL AGENTS COVERTLY.
BOTULINUM TOXIN AND, TO A LESSER DEGREE, ANTHRAX BACTERIA
MOREOVER, IN. SEPTEMBER IRAQI RADIO
THREATENED POSSIBLE COVERT RETALIATORY ATTACKS, SAYING "IRAQIS
WILL TAKE THE WAR INTO THE CITIES OF THE ATTACKING NATION, IF IT
IS ATTACKED".
WE BELIEVE CONCERNS ABOUT RELIABILITY OF THIS METHOD OF
DELIVERY AND CONCERN OVER CONTROL OF THE AGENT WOULD DETER
BAGHDAD. INFLITRATING IRAQI SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES TO CONDUCT
"STRATEGIC" ATTACKS BY COVERTLY DISSEMINATING BIOLOGICAL AGENTS
AGAINST STRATEGIC TARGETS SUCH AS SAUDI OIL FACILITIES OR CENTCOM
HEADQUARTERS IN RIYADH WOULD POSE SERIOUS PLANNING, CONTROL,
SECURITY, AND TIMING PROBLEMS FOR BAGHDAD. TERRORISTS BACKED BY
IRAQ FACE SIMILAR PROBLEMS, AND BAGHDAD PROBABLY WOULD NOT HAVE
ENOUGH CONFIDENCE IN SUCH GROUPS TO ENTRUST THEM WITH BIOLOGICAL
WEAPONS. MOREOVER, UNLESS FORCES WITH AGENT WERE ALREADY IN
POSITION, IRAQ, AFTER DECIDING TO USE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS, WOULD
NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE A TIMELY AND MILITARILY SIGNIFICANT RESPONSE.
RELEASE AUTHORITY
WE BELIEVE THAT SADDAM HUSAYN ALMOST CERTAINLY WOULD
JEALOUSLY RETAIN THE RELEASE AUTHORITY FOR ALL OF IRAQ'S
STRATEGIC WEAPONS. MILITARY LEADERS, SUCH AS DEFENSE MINISTER
JABBURI AND CHIEF OF STAFF RASHID, ALMOST CERTAINLY WOULD NEED
SADDAM'S APPROVAL TO ORDER THE EMPLOYMENT BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS.
WITH THE POSSIBLE EXCEPTION OF MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND MILITARY
INDUSTRIES HUSAYN KAMIL, FEW, IF ANY, SENIOR IRAQI CIVILIAN
LEADERS ARE LIKELY TO BE INVOLVED IN THE DECISION PROCESS, AND
NONE COULD ACT UNILATERALLY. BAGHDAD CLAIMS THAT CONTINGENCY
PLANS EXIST FOR THE WARTIME DELEGATION OF RELEASE AUTHORITY TO
THE MILITARY FOR MISSILES, AND, IF TRUE, THESE PLANS MAY INCLUDE
ANY BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WARHEADS IN IRAQ'S INVENTORY. THIS
AUTHORIZATION, HOWEVER, MIGHT NOT OPERATE AUTOMATICALLY BECAUSE
SADDAM'S ABSENCE--WHETHER DUE TO DEATH OR LOSS OF COMMUNICATIONS-
-WOULD POSSIBLY SPARK A FIGHT FOR POWER OR AT LEAST GREAT
UNCERTAINTY.
IF SADDAM DECIDED TO USE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS TACTICALLY, HE
PROBABLY WOULD BE MORE FLEXIBLE WITH THE RELEASE AUTHORITY.
DURING THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR, FOR EXAMPLE, SADDAM DELEGATED THE
RELEASE AUTHORITY FOR THE TACTICAL USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS TO HIS
CORPS COMMANDERS. A SIMILAR DELEGATION DURING FUTURE HOSTILITIES
IS LIKELY AND MIGHT INCLUDE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS.
1.5 (C)
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