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POINT PAPER ON LABORATORY CONFIRMATION OF USE OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS IN DESERT SHIELD (U) (U) PURPOSE - To provide: - Background on a request by the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy (ASD
) that the Army and Navy provide laboratory capability to verify the use of biological weapons in the Desert Shield AOR , - The results of Army and tri-service discussions of the request, and - (U) A recommended USAF Medical Service position on the issue. (U) BACKGROUND - On 27 Dec 90, OSD(AE) drafted a tasking (Tab 1) to the Secretaries of the Army and Navy requesting they establish two laboratories in the AOR NLT 15 Jan 91 each able to: -- "Verify, by internationally accepted standard test methods, the presence of potential BW agents" and provide the National Command Authorities (NCA) "rapid and irrefutable confirmation of any use of BW in the CENTCOM AOR." -- Act as reference laboratories for rapid and accurate analysis of samples expected to contain anthrax, botulinum toxin, staphylococcus enterotoxin B, plague, tularemia, and clostridlum perfringens. - (U) The Army assessed what they believed would be the best approach to provide clinically and operationally useful information to CINCCENT and definitive documentation of BW agent use to the NCA (Tab 2). Their recommended option was to: -- (U) Place comprehensive BW identification capability in the two AOR labs for clinical decision making and screening environmental samples. -- (U) Maintain capability for definitive analysis of BW samples at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) since USAMRRID results would withstand the most severe, worldwide, scientific scrutiny. - (U) USAMRIID provided comments on the Army option paper (Tab 3) which agreed with the recommended option and outlined further difficulties with the OSD(AE) request including: -- The need for animal facilities for definitive identification of anthrax, botulinum toxin, and tularemia and the extreme difficulty of providing standardized laboratory animal testing in the AOR. -- The unlikelihood of Clostridium perfringens, an anaerobe, being a potential BW agent and the lack of any detection method specific for its toxin, which is a potential BW agent.
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