The assessment for this incident is that chemical warfare agent was "definitely not" present at the Kuwaiti Girls’ School. This assessment is based on the following facts that have already been addressed:

The possibility that the tank actually contained IRFNA is assessed as "definitely." This is based on the following facts:


All personnel involved in the testing of the tank at the Kuwaiti Girls’ School performed their duties in an exemplary manner. Proper planning and coordination were made between UK and US forces; all field equipment was used properly; all technical resources were employed; and following proper NATO procedures, samples were taken and transported for laboratory analysis.

The equipment utilized by UK and US Armed Forces operated in accordance with its design. The Fox did not have a spectrum for IRFNA in its library, and thus could not positively identify it as such. The other detectors were overwhelmed by such a strong interferent as IRFNA, for which none of the detectors were designed. It is the policy of both the UK and US militaries to set chemical weapons detector parameters loosely so as to err on the side of caution - i.e. to accept a false positive response, rather than run the risk that a genuine positive might be overlooked. From the safety perspective, it is more preferable to have a small number of false positives, which cause soldiers to take an additional measurement or don protective gear, rather than to take the chance that a false negative would result in injury to troops. This incident was clearly a case in point. While IRFNA is not a chemical warfare agent, it poses a serious health hazard to anyone in contact with it. A description of IRFNA and its related health hazards is at TAB D.

Several key factors prevented a rapid inquiry and assessment of these events. The sensitive nature of the testing limited distribution of pertinent information. This meant that some individuals ended their involvement with limited information and unanswered questions about the nature of the tank’s contents. A summary of individuals’ knowledge regarding the Kuwaiti Girls’ School is at TAB F. The numerous and varied groups having contact with the tank further hindered investigations, as it was thought for a while that the various operations may have been unrelated incidents. Finally, inconsistencies in reporting made an early assessment impossible. Individuals often had to be interviewed several times, and documents were repeatedly analyzed. This process led to several issues of concern being identified and addressed. This, in turn, led to a more complete picture of events at the school from March 1991 until November 1991. A breakout of events and those involved is at TAB G. The key lessons learned by the US DOD from this investigation are at TAB K.

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