Soviet Chemical and Biological Warfare Program
SOVIET CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE PROGRAM
Theaintain the world'seomprehrmivr chemictl and biologicalpnvom. and the Intelligence Qanrnuisiry believes thn capability constitutesserious threat loNATO Wf believek ol Soviet uie of chemical ueapom that NATO must consider such use in all phase*ATO Warn* Pact conflict, even from the outset in the centialcB si on the Linn, atuinit ships at tea and amphibious lorces We believe rbemlcal warfare (CW) uae in any ctrcumMaticei would, however, be selective rather than massive in terms ol the numbei and type ot toigeti
In the. the Soviels allocated almost J2 billionrogram Inerceived US lead io CBW andeu' Bcncration of CBW weapons to be fielded in the neii dorado, itthat the Soviet! have maintained and expanded their BW effort.
The initial use cf chemical weapons require* approval by tbe highest Soviet polilical authority. Evidence of Soviet planning tor tbe use of charekaI weapon* io either tbe nuclear or nonnuclear phases ol war ii open to diteiing interpretarions We do behe-re that an uwiualto use chemical and tonn weapons would be baaed on aa assessirierit of at leaii iheie factors whether anapable ol and willing lo resrjonc with nuclear escalation, whether an enemy ii able Is retaliate in kind; and the degree to which an rnrmv can protect In forces as*nnl and recoverhemical attack. These fat-trot would apply to any contemplated at lack on NATO, whether In northern central, oi southern Europe.
The Community remains unceitain of the Soviet perception of NATO's threat to escalate to the use of nuclear weapons in response to chemical attacks, and, thus, cannot confidently predict how eBective this would be in preventing the iniHation of Soviet chemical attacks during the nor nuclear phase once war began
One nr- is that. eftrsougti the Soviets prnbahey wouldarartiaUrai CW dproceed
utiiaelonh'. the ponbdlty of selective use ol CW wooid Inerease il they calculated thai the brncbts of auch use lagnifi-cantly outweilhcd lbc nsk of possiblech-ar escalation
Another is llml, once the threat of nuclear oscillationailed to deter war, il would nol deter the use of chemicals am* more than it would deter ihc use ol olhei nonnuclear weapons. Thus, chemical weapons would be used as necessary, limited only by normal military considerations of tlieir utility.
A third view holds that the dominant consider*,lions would be the certainty of NATO clycrnical letaiialion and the risk of nuclear escalation, consequently, tbe Soviets are unlikely to use chemical and toxin weapons against NATO, if at all. until a
decision has been reached to use nuclear weapons.
|'f Ihc war reached the nuclear phase, user.'wca].voilcl e likely
there could be situations where chemicals would be the weapon of choice | |
The Soviet Union hai used chemical weapons in limited wars. They probably vrouJd do so tn the future when it was to their military advantage against lon-.es unable to protect Iheir personnel, retaliate in kind, or escalate.^
The Sovietiignificant capability toariety of chemical agents Chemicaliu for aerial delivery and for nearly all Soviet artillery and tactical rocket and missile systems.!-
The chemical. Kological. and radiological (CBR) protectionfoand in tbe Soviet armed forces comlitule the largest such group in Ihe world,eacelime manning of00 personnel In Ground Force chemical unilsn Air Force chemical protection sections Tlie Soviet* have expanded their