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Filename:001mc.90 1990 Subject: Iraqi CW and BW Iraq has developed a growing capability to produce its own CW munitions and a wide arsenal of weapons to employ them. Since 1987, the Soviet Union and other East European countries have reduced their support in this area. The Chemical agents available to Iraq are best suited for defensive operations, although they have been used in the offensive role. The Iraqis used chemicals during several of their offensive operations in 1988, however, prior to 1988 Iraq used chemicals in defensive operations. The Iraqis mixed CW with conventional fire to stop Iranian massed infantry assaults and reportedly used chemical agents during preparatory artillery fire in an attack against Iranian positions. Also, Iraq's tactics call for the use of more than one agent at a time. There are at least three known types of tactics employed by Iraq; assault breaker, rear area disruptive, and front line disruptive. Iraq possesses the largest chemical weapons capability in the entire Middle East and has the capacity to increase its stockpile significantly in the future. This has been accomplished despite western diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions against acquisition of requisite materials. Based on U. S. modeling of Iraq's production facilities, Iraq is producing or capable of producing sulfur mustard at an estimated rate of up to 150 tonnes per month, and sarin and tabun at 20 tonnes and five to ten tonnes per month respectively. Production of GF has not been estimated but should be similar to that of sarin. More recently, the Iraqis may be entering into the production of the nerve agent VX, but quantities cannot be estimated. It is estimated that the Iraqis now have as much as 1,000 tonnes of agent (of all types) in their stockpile. Iraq may be investigating the use of other agents, including the psychochemicals BZ and EA3443. Iraq has established a biological warfare program which could provide them with an operational capability in the near term. The current BW capability consists of both infectious and toxin agents. The infectious agents include bacillus, anthraces, vibrio cholerae, clostridium perfringens, botulinum toxin and staphylococcai enterotoxin. The Iraqi BW program is believed to be supported at the highest level of the government, with President Saddam Husayn having direct responsibility for all key policy issues related to the BW program. No specific BW delivery systems have been identified, although artillery shells and aerosol generating machines (noted in the Iraqi inventory) could be used in the field to effectively generate and disperse airborne BW agents. The Iraqi BW program is at the scale-up production stage. The operating concepts of development and the rate of evolution of the Iraqi BW program appear to parallel those of its CW program. The time between scale-up and first use of a CW agent by Iraq was approximately three to four years. However, the time necessary for BW research, development, and acquisition will likely be less. The Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center, Fort Detrick, MD has assessed that if the Iran-lraq war had lasted another year, BW weapons would have been employed by Iraq.
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