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DST-1620S-464-90 15 March 1990 SECTIoN II Subject: ISSUES (U) _ 1. Use of Chemicals in the Iran-Iraq War (U) a. In 1982, early in the war, the Iraqis used riot control agents to repel Iranian attacks. They progressed to the use of CW agents in mid-1983 with mustard, and in March 1984 with tabun (the first use ever of a nerve agent in war). The Iraqis continued to use chemical weapons until the end of hostilities in August 1988; in addition they introduced the nerve agents sarin and GF late in the war. Iran used chemical weapons late in the war, but never as extensively or successfully as Iraq. Although the Iraqis initially used chemical weapons to prevent defeat and to reduce battlefield losses, they later integrated CW attacks into combined-armed operations designed to regain lost territory and to gain the offensive. The success or offensive operations in the southern sector in mid-1988 ultimately caused the Iranians to cease hostilities. The use of chemical weapons contributed to the success of these operations. The implications or the Iraqis' success in introducing CW to the Middle East battlefield extend beyond that region to the rest of the world. b. The Iraqis demonstrated the effectiveness of chemical weapons on the battlefield, particularly the negative effect on enemy morale. Other lessons also have been learned by Iraq and other Middle East countries: � CW is a way to compensate for inferior numbers or forces and to protect against the loss of territory. � Treaties, such as the Geneva Protocol, which prohibit the use or chemical weapons do not ensure against an enemy's use or CW. � The superpowers are unwilling, or unable, to stop the flow or needed technical assistance, chemical precursors, and process equipment, or to prevent or stop the use or chemical weapons in a war. [b.1. sec. 1.5.(c)] 5. Implications for US Forces (U) a. The expanded availability Or chemical weapons in the Middle East has increased the probability that any US forces deployed to the region in either military actions or peacekeeping, roles might be exposed to CW agents. [b.1. sec. 1.5.(a)] In combat actions the US forces would face enemy personnel having the advantage of long term acclimation to the local conditions of higher temperatures, less shade, and restricted water sources. These climatic conditions would tend to reduce the effectiveness of US personnel and, given the insulating effect of the battle dress overgarment (BDO), they would increase the number of heat-related casualties even if only lower levels of mission-oriented protective posture (M0PP) were in effect. The need for added logistical support-of protective equipment, decontamination facilities, and additional medical burdens--would also have a negative impact on planners and deployed forces. Of necessity, then, US forces must be prepared, from initial conceptual planning through equipping, training, operational planning, and final execution of orders, to operate in and cope with a chemically contaminated environment. b. US forces must expect to encounter any of the CW agents mentioned in section I, as well as riot control agents such as CN, CS, and DA. To recapitulate, the CW agents include the blister agents sulfur mustard and nitrogen mustard (either in the liquid form or impregnated on a dust carrier), the choking agent phosgene, possibly a cyanide blood agent, and the nerve agents tabun, sarin, soman, GF, and possibly VX (see label Vll). None of these agents is new; all have been known for more than 30 years. [b.1. sec. 1.5.(a)] Medically there are no antidotes for mustard exposure and tabun exposure is not readily treated by currently fielded atropine-oxime combinations without appropriate pretreatment. Another problem that surfaced during the Iran-Iraq war is the use of multiple agents in an attack. Iraq used a nerve agent along with sulfur mustard, a combination that led to problems for Iranian detection and casualty treatment. ? Summary of CW Agents in the Middle East Known possible . Phosgene VX Sulfur mustard A cyanide Nitrogen mustard [b.1. sec. 1.5.(c)]?
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