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SUBJECT:  Middle East Postcrisis Issues


Middle East Postcrisis Issues (U)
Number 1

Ths edition of Middle East Postcrisis Issues,  the first in the the
series, has three
topics:I

� Military/Scientific and Tcchnical Issues.
  � Political/Intecrnal Stability Issues
  � Economic,/Industrial Issues.

This edition will focus primarily on Iraqi mi1itary and political
development and postwar reconstruction. Future editions will
high1ight othcr
key regional military, cconomic, and
politlcal concerns.

 Articles in this issue include information as of 22 March 1991.


[b.2.]










Iraq's Chemical Warfare Capability: Lack of Use Durmg the War

The major factors that precluded lraqi chemical wafare use wcre
fear of
Coalition retaliation and fundamental miscalculations the Iraqi
Ieadership
madc regarding how the Coalition would prosecute the war and how
effechvely
Iraqi forces could respond

DIA has no evidence that chemical weapons were deployed to the
Kuwaiti
Theater of Oprations (KTO). Iraq probably feared Coalition
retaliation and
most likely bclieved that both Israel and thc Coalition would use
chemical
or nuclear weapons if provoked by Iraqi chemical attacks. Baghdad
probably
concluded that, since these weapons could be delivered anywhere in
Iraq, the
cosequenccs of any chemical attack would be too severe to justify
CW use; this may have led to an early dccision not to use
chemicals.

Equally likely, the Iraqis probably believed they would have days
or even
weeks to move chcmical wcapons into the KTO once the war began.
Thus, the
Iraqis miscalculated the Coalition speed of advance; the degree to
which
their Air Force, artillery assets, and surface-to-surface missile
systems
would bc attrited; and the degree to which their resupply
capability would
bc degraded. The Coalition air campaign eliminated Iraq's preferred
means
of chemical delivery (its Air Force) and made timely ammunition
supply
impossible. The
air campaign also destroyed all known and suspctod CW storage in
Iraq.

In addition, Coalition bombing heavily damaged Iraq's command,
control,
cornmunications, and intelligence (C3I) systems. Iqaqi commanders
could not
control their forces, in part because of an intelligence system
failure to
evaluate the developing situation. Allied air superiority
established at the
start of the air campaign denied Iraq information on Coalition
force
dispositions, making fire planning practically impossible. The
limitcd
information available may have resulted in a decision not to
disperse
chernicals within the theater until the ground battle began and
Coalition
force dispositions became better defined.

Destruction of Iraqi chemical weapon production facilities quite
likely
swayed the decision not to use chemicals. Chemical agents Iraq had
produced
earlier might have deteriorated in storage, or Iraq might have
miscalculatod
that its defenses would allow it time to produce and deploy
chemicals later
in the conflict.  Loss of its production facilites would have
prevented Iraq
from making agents as necded, which was the practice during the
Iran-Iraq
war.

Also likely, Saddam Husayn probably retained personal control of CW
during DESERT
STORM to allow more complete military evaluatins. In such a case,
the speed
of the
Coalition ground offensive together with C3I problems would have
complicated
and slowed chemical release further.

[b.6.]

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