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File: 970207_aaddg_001.txt
Page: 001
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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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