The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

071596_cia_72569_72569_01.txt
Subject: STABILITY OF IRAQ'S CW STOCKPILE
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.
STABILITY OF IRAQ'S CHEMICAL WEAPONS STOCKPILE
IRAQ HAS A SIZEABLE CW STOCKPILE, AT LEAST SOME OF WHICH CAN SURVIVE
SEVERAL YEARS OF STORAGE.
IRAQ'S MUSTARD, THE CW AGENT MOST USED IN THE WAR WITH IRAN, IS
QUITE STABLE; MUCH OF IT SHOULD REMAIN EFFECTIVE FOR SOME TIME.
THE UNITARY FORM OF IRAQ'S SARIN - ITS PRINCIPAL NERVE AGENT - HAD
A RELATIVELY SHORT SHELF LIFE DURING THE WAR WITH IRAN.
THE IRAQIS HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THIS PROBLEM:
THEY HAVE TRIED TO INCREASE UNITARY SARIN SHELF LIFE BY IMPROVING
THE PURITY OF THE PRECURSOR CHEMICALS AND REFINING PRODUCTION
PROCESSES.
THEY HAVE DEVELOPED AND TESTED BINARY NERVE AGENT ROUNDS FOR
ARTILLERY SHELLS AND BINARY MISSILE WARHEADS AS WELL.
CIA BELIEVES THAT BY NOW IRAQ HAS EITHER INCREASED THE SHELF LIFE OF
UNITARY SARIN OR PRODUCED LARGE QUANTITIES OF BINARY MUNITIONS.
PROBLEMS WITH SHELF LIFE
DURING THE WAR WITH IRAN, IRAQ USED LARGE
QUANTITIES OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST
IRANIAN GROUND FORCES. THE PRINCIPLE
AGENTS USED WERE THE BLISTER AGENT
MUSTARD AND THE NONPERSISTENT NERVE
AGENT SARIN. THE NONPERSISTENT NERVE
AGENT TABUN AND THE PERSISTENT NERVE
AGENT GF WERE ALSO USED.
DESPITE THE GENERAL SOPHISTICATION OF
IRAQ'S CW PRODUCTION INFRASTRUCTURE,
SOME OF IRAQ'S CHEMICAL AGENTS HAD A
SHORT SHELF LIFE, MOSTLY OWING TO IMPURITIES
IN THE PRECURSOR CHEMICALS. CIA BELIEVES
THAT SOME SARIN HAD A SHELF LIFE OF ONLY A
FEW WEEKS.
IN
1989 THE IRAQIS DESTROYED 40 OR MORE TONS
OF SARIN THAT HAD DECOMPOSED.
EFFORTS TO LENGTHEN SHELF LIFE
IRAQ HAS TRIED TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM IN TWO
WAYS. FIRST, IT ATTEMPTED, WITH FOREIGN
ASSISTANCE, TO IMPROVE THE SHELF-LIFE OF ITS
UNITARY SARIN BY INCREASING, THE PURITY OF
THE PRECURSOR AND INTERMEDIATE CHEMICALS
AND-REFINING PRODUCTION PROCESSES.
SECOND, IT BEGAN TO DEVELOP BINARY
CHEMICAL WEAPONS. IN A BINARY MUNITION,
THE TWO PRECURSOR CHEMICALS ARE STORED
SEPARATELY AND ONLY MIXED TO FORM THE
CHEMICAL AGENT IMMEDIATELY BEFORE OR
WHEN THE ROUND IS IN FLIGHT. THUS, THE
SHELF LIFE OF THE AGENT BECOMES IRRELEVANT;
MOREOVER, THE MUNITION IS SAFER TO HANDLE
AND STORE. BY 1990 IRAQ HAD SUCCESSFULLY
TESTED 155-MM ARTILLERY SHELLS AND OTHER
BINARY MUNITIONS AND LAUNCHED A BALLISTIC
MISSILE WITH A BINARY WARHEAD AS WELL.
CIA HOLDS THAT THE STOCKS OF SARIN MAY
REMAIN VIABLE WELL BEYOND MARCH. CIA
ANALYSTS BELIEVE THAT THE SHELF LIFE PROBLEM
WAS ONLY TEMPORARY AND THAT THE IRAQIS
CAN NOW PRODUCE UNITARY AGENTS OF
SUFFICIENT QUALITY BY ADDING A STABILIZER OR
IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PROCESS.
CIA ALSO BELIEVES THAT A SUBSTANTIAL
PORTION OF IRAQ'S NERVE AGENT STOCKPILE
NOW CONSISTS OF BINARY CHEMICAL WEAPONS
WHICH WOULD NOT BE SUBJECT TO
DEGRADATION.
 IMPLICATIONS FOR DESERT STORM
THE SHORT SHELF LIFE OF IRAQ'S NERVE AGENTS
WAS NOT A PROBLEM DURING THE WAR WITH
IRAN, BECAUSE IRAQ'S CW MANUFACTURING
FACILITIES WERE ABLE TO PRODUCE LARGE
QUANTITIES OF AGENT SHORTLY BEFORE IT WAS TO
BE USED IN BATTLE. NOW, HOWEVER, DAMAGE
TO MOST OF IRAQ'S KNOWN CW PRODUCTION
FACILITIES IS LIKELY TO HAVE DECREASED ITS
ABILITY TO COME UP WITH FRESHLY MADE
BATCHES OF CW MUNITIONS ON DEMAND.
CIA BELIEVES THAT IRAQ HAS RETAINED SOME
PRODUCTION CAPABILITY BY MOVING SOME OF
THE ORIGINAL PRODUCTION UNITS (UNIVERSAL
PLANTS) FROM SAMARRA TO UNKNOWN SITES
JUST AFTER THE INVASION OF KUWAIT. THEY
STATE THAT THESE PLANTS ARE SMALL, EASILY
MOVED, AND COULD BE RAPIDLY REASSEMBLED
AND MADE OPERATIONAL.
A DURABLE STOCKPILE
WHETHER OR NOT SARIN STOCKS REMAIN VIABLE
OVER THE LONG TERM, ALL BELIEVE THAT IRAQ
HAS A SIZEABLE CW STOCKPILE THAT IS
DURABLE ENOUGH TO SURVIVE SEVERAL YEARS OF
STORAGE IF NOT DESTROYED BY COALITION
FORCES.
WE ESTIMATE THAT IRAQ HAD A STOCKPILE OF
AT LEAST 1,000 TONS OF CW AGENTS AT THE
BEGINNING OF THE CONFLICT WITH THE
COALITION FORCES. WE BELIEVE THE PRINCIPAL
COMPONENTS OF THE STOCKPILE ARE MUSTARD
AND NERVE AGENTS.
WE ESTIMATE THAT THE PORTION OF IRAQ'S
MUSTARD STOCKS THAT WAS FRESH AT THE TIME
OF THE INVASION OF KUWAIT WOULD RETAIN ITS
EFFECTIVENESS FOR SOME TIME BEYOND ANY
LIKELY DURATION OF CONFLICT WITH COALITION
FORCES.
CIA BELIEVES THAT LITTLE IF ANY
MUSTARD WAS CARRIED OVER FROM THE END OF
THE WAR WITH IRAN.
1.5(C)
72569-72569
First Page |Prev Page |Next Page |Src Image




NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list