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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

USAFE EARLY BIRD 91-21 (U)
Filename:83300226
NNNN
TEXT:            
ENVELOPE CDSN = LGX559 MCN = 91031/05000 TOR = 910310332
PTTSZYUW RUEKJCS0057 0310330-RUEALGX.
ZNY 
HEADER P 310330Z JAN 91
FM JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEALGX/SAFE
P 310450Z JAN 91
FM UTAIS RAMSTEIN AB GE//INOA//
TO 
BT
BODY SUBJ: USAFE EARLY BIRD 91-21 (U)
	[   (b)(1) sec 1.3(a)(4)   ]
	[   (b)(1) sec 1.3(a)(4)   ]
	[   (b)(1) sec 1.3(a)(4)   ]
SECTION "B" ANALYTICAL NARRATIVES:
ITEM 1. IRAQ: POSSIBLE IRAQI RADIOLOGICAL WEAPONS 
ACCORDING TO WESTERN PRESS REPORTS ON 14 JANUARY, IRAQ CLAIMS TO 
HAVE SECRET WEAPONS THAT WOULD CAUSE TENS OF THOUSAND OF ITS FOES 
TO DIE BEFORE THEY COULD REACH IRAQI DEFENSES. THE IRAQI DEFENSE 
MINISTRY NEWSPAPER AL-QADISIYA ASSERTED THAT, "IRAQ'S ARSENAL 
CONTAINS SURPRISES WHICH WILL ASTONISH OUR ENEMIES AND FASCINATE 
OUR FRIEND." OTHER PRESS REPORTS HAVE REFERRED TO "UNUSUAL" 
WEAPONS.
[   (b)(1) sec 1.3(a)(4)   ] AND IRAQ'S ACCESS TO RADIOACTIVE 
MATERIAL INDICATE IT WOULD BE FEASIBLE FOR THE IRAQIS TO BUILD A 
FUNCTIONING NUCLEAR BOMB BUT THAT THE IRAQIS COULD HAVE OBTAINED 
RADIOCATIVE MATERIAL FROM OPERATION OF THEIR RESEARCH REACTORS AND 
MAY PLAN TO DISPERSE THIS MATERIAL USING A CONVENTIONAL EXPLOSIVE 
CHARGE. SUCH AN IRAQI EXPLOSIVE RADIOLOGICAL DEVICE WOULD NOT BE A 
MILITARILY SIGNIFICANT WEAPON. IT WOULD CREATE NO SPECIAL BLAST 
EFFECT, AND IT COULD NOT CAUSE WIDESPREAD RADIATION SICKNESS. THAT 
WOULD BE TRUE EVEN IN THE WORST CASE, WHICH WOULD PROBABLY BE IF 
SUCH WEAPONS WERE USED AGAINST UNPREPARED AND UNPROTECTED 
CIVILIANS IN A CITY. THERE WOULD, HOWEVER, BE A SUBSTANTIAL 
PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT, NOT ONLY ON THE TARGETS BUT ON THEIR 
LEADERS. IN THE FOG OF WAR, MOREOVER, THE RADIOACTIVITY CAUSED BY 
THE DETONATION OF A RADIOLOGICAL DEVICE COULD LEAD TO A CONCLUSION 
THAT IRAQ HAD USED A NUCLEAR DEVICE. THAT MIGHT TRIGGER ESCALATORY 
MOVES AMONG COALITION MEMBERS. IF IRAQ HAS EXPLOSIVE RADIOLOGICAL 
DEVICES, WE BELIEVE SADDAM WOULD TRY TO USE THEM IN A WAY THAT 
WOULD MAXIMIZE THEIR POLITICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT. 
ALTERNATIVELY, IN VIEW OF THE POTENTIAL FOR OVERREACTION, SADDAM 
MIGHT CONSIDER THEM TO BE WEAPONS OF LAST RESORT. [   (b)(2)   ][ 
  (b)(6)   ]
 



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