During and after the Gulf War, people reported that they had been exposed to chemical warfare agents. To investigate these incidents and to determine if chemical weapons were used, the DOD developed a methodology for investigation and validation based on work done by the United Nations and the international community (see Tab D) where the criteria include:

Alarms alone are not considered to be certain evidence of chemical agent presence, nor is a single individual’s observation sufficient to validate a chemical agent presence.

By following this methodology and accumulating anecdotal, documentary, and physical evidence, and by interviewing eyewitnesses and key personnel, and analyzing the results, the investigator can assess the validity of the presence of chemical warfare agents on the battlefield. Because information from various sources may be contradictory, we have developed an assessment scale (Figure 1) ranging from "Definitely" to "Definitely Not" with intermediate assessments of "Likely," "Unlikely," and "Indeterminate." This assessment is tentative, based on facts available as of the date of the report publication; each case is reassessed over time based on new information and feedback.


Figure 1. Assessment of Chemical Warfare Agent Presence


The standard for making the assessment is based on common sense: do the available facts lead a reasonable person to conclude that chemical warfare agents were or were not present? When insufficient information is available, the assessment is "Indeterminate" until more evidence can be found.


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