TAB K -US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE LESSONS LEARNED
The following is a compilation of some key lessons learned by US investigators reviewing incidents at the Kuwaiti Girls School. These lessons learned are solely US Department of Defense in scope and are not intended to reflect the opinions or positions of other Departments or Governments.
Many individuals and organizations had contact with the tank; however, they did not always communicate with one another, nor did they always know of the others contact. This was primarily attributable to the various jurisdictions of each organization and the principle of need-to-know. A prime example is the US Army Corps of Engineers which initially investigated the tank but were left out of subsequent discussions. Although the Corps had pertinent information that may have brought this issue to closure early on, it was left out of the proverbial loop due to jurisdiction and the corresponding need-to-know.
Another lesson learned in the area of communication is that reporting solely to command elements rather than specific individuals involved does not always provide the closure desired. Institutional memory is held by individuals not organizations, which often have significant staff turnover. This was the case when the results of the British analysis of the samples on resin were relayed to Task Force Victory. The principals involved from Task Force Victory, including Lieutenant Colonel Killgore, then-Captain Johnson and the rest of the 54th Chemical Troop, had already left the theater of operations and were never notified of the results. Interviews with these individuals continually yielded the same outcome: that, to their knowledge, the tank contained chemical warfare agent. Conflicting reporting between those involved and the DOD/MOD, coupled with the fact that a final report was never generated, warranted an investigation into the matter. Notifying those individuals involved could have brought the matter to conclusion rapidly while providing immediate closure to many of the questions and concerns of those involved.
Finally, the need to disseminate necessary intelligence to units entering theater, not just those already in theater, should be addressed. Disseminating information regarding the CAM registering eight bars on mustard in the presence of IRFNA was apparently limited to units in theater at the time of reporting (February 1991). None of the US forces interviewed could confirm receiving this report on the CAM and IRFNA. All of the US forces involved at the Kuwaiti Girls School entered theater after this message had been relayed. Had they been briefed about this upon entering theater, they may have questioned the results at the time of the testing.
Document All Reporting Relating to a Potential CW/BW Incident
A key lesson learned from this investigation is that all reporting relating to a potential CW/BW incident should be documented. Regardless of whether or not it substantiates the allegation, all evidence should be recorded in written form with the ultimate goal of a formal report on the incident to be disseminated to those involved and other appropriate parties. This is particularly essential when there are many jurisdictions involved. Furthermore, this documentation needs to be recorded at the time of the incident with all initial and subsequent documentation passed up through the chain-of-command.
Doctrine, Tactics, Techniques, Procedures, Training and Requirements
The knowledge that IRFNA can cause various chemical weapons detectors to register a false positive should be disseminated to those military elements employing them in the field. This knowledge will likely precipitate a change in training to account for these false positives and methods to reconfirm. In addition, requirements may change in order to properly address this new information. It is prudent to upload the known atomic mass unit of IRFNA into the existing Fox vehicles MM-1s.
Understanding that IRFNA is likely not alone in its ability to cause false positives on chemical weapons detectors, other "battlefield interferents" should be investigated in order to fully address potential alterations in the scope of Doctrine, Tactics, Techniques, Procedures, Training and Requirements.
Coordination of Information Among Participants
There is a definitive need for those reviewing an incident, in which multiple sovereign parties are involved, to understand that each sovereign participants operating procedures and policy guidelines are often dissimilar to the others. Some of the concern of both the Senate Committee and the PACGWVI that no information dated 1991 could be located could have been promptly addressed had the parties understood the British code on release of information.
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