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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq's Chemical Warfare Capability: Lack of Use During the War
Subject: Iraq's Chemical Warfare Capability: Lack of Use During 
the War
	The major factors that precluded Iraqi chemical warfare use 
were fear of Coalition retaliation and fundamental miscalculations 
the Iraqi leadership made regarding how the Coalition would 
prosecute the war and how effectively Iraqi forces could respond.
	DIA has no evidence that chemical weapons were deployed to 
the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations (KTO). Iraq probably feared 
Coalition retaliation and most likely believed that both Israel 
and the Coalition would use chemical or nuclear weapons if 
provoked by Iraqi chemical attacks. Baghdad probably concluded 
that, since these weapons could be delivered anywhere in Iraq, the 
consequences of any chemical attack would be too severe to justify 
CW use; this may have led to an early decision not to use 
	Equally likely, the Iraqis probably believed they would have 
days or even weeks to move chemical weapons into the KTO once the 
war begins. Thus, the Iraqis miscalculated the Coalition speed of 
advance; the degree to which their Air Force, artillery assets, 
surface-to-surface missile systems would be attrited; and the 
degree to which their resupply capability would be degraded. The 
Coalition air campaign eliminated Iraq's preferred means of 
chemical delivery (its Air Force) and made timely ammunition 
supply impossible. The air campaign also destroyed all known and 
suspected CW storage in Iraq. 
	In addition, Coalition bombing heavily damaged Iraq's 
command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) system. 
Iraqi commanders could not control their forces, in part because 
of an intelligence system failure to evaluate the developing 
situation. Allied air superiority established at the start of the 
air campaign denied Iraq information on Coalition force 
dispositions, making fire planning practically impossible. The 
limited information available may have resulted in a decision not 
to disperse chemicals within the theater until the ground battle 
began and Coalition force dispositions became better defined.
	Destruction of Iraqi chemical weapon production facilities 
quite likely swayed the decision not to use chemicals. Chemical 
agents Iraq had produced earlier might have deteriorated in 
storage, or Iraq might have miscalculated that its defenses would 
allow it time to produce and deploy chemicals later in the 
conflict. Loss of its production facilities would have prevented 
Iraq from making agents as needed, which was the practice during 
the Iran - Iraq war.
	Also likely, Saddam Husayn probably retained personal control 
of CW during DESERT STORM to allow more complete military 
evaluations. In such a case, the speed of the Coalition ground 
offensive together with C3I problems would have complicated and 
slowed chemical release further. 
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