Created: 11/20/1984

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The Soviet Offensive

Chemical Warfare Threat to NATO





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The following Intelligence organizations participated in the preparation of the Estimate:

The Centred Intelligence Agency, Ihe Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, ond Ihe intelligence organisation of the Deportment of Slate.

Also Participating:

The Aisillont Chief of Start for Intelligence, Department ol lhe Armyc'or of Novol Intelligence, Deportment of the Navy Ihe Assistant Chiel of Stoff, Intelligence, Deportment ol the Air Force The Director ol Intelligence, Headquarters, Marine Corps

loii Steal





Current Soviet Offensive Chemical Warfare

The Soviet Chemical Agent Production Base and

Chemical Munitions and Delivery

Nuclear. Biological, and Chemical Protective

Soviet Intent To Use Chemical Weapons Against

Factors Bearing on Soviet Chemical Weapon!




The Evolution of the Soviet Offensive Chemical Warfare Threat


The Nature of tbe

Before the

Alter the

Afghanistan and Southeast Asia

The Future Soviet Chemical Weapons



This Estimate outlines our knowledge of present and projected Soviet chemical warfare capabilities, and focuses on lhe question of Soviel intent to employ chemical weapons under the various conditions thai might pertainATO-Warsaw Pact war The Estimate identifies the areas of agreement within lhe Intelligence Community, and carefully defines those areas in which the opinions of the agenciesomprehensive treatment of lhe entire Soviet chemical and biological warfare program will be presented infor publication in

This issue is uniquely significant because of tbe asymmetry of chemical warfare capabilities between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. On the one hand, the Sovietshemical warfare capability that could inflict substantial damage on selective NATO targets, while NATO's limited ability to reply inon aging US chemicalforced Ihc Alliance to threaten nuclear retaliationact chemical attack. On the other hand, lhe dearth of hard, directly pertinent evidence of Soviet forward chemical posture or training couldack of interest on lhe pari of the Soviets in pursuing offensive chemical operations against modern military forces in Western Europe.

This Estimate considers Soviet and Pad use of lethal chemical agents against NATO. We have no evidence concerning Sovietregarding the use of incapaeitants and other nonlelhal agents, and have not addressed the conceivable uses of such agentsuropean war. Nonlethal agents are discussed in the seclion on future Soviet chemical weapon developments only to indicate the full scope of Soviel interests.


The Soviet Union maintains the world's largest and mostchemical warfare capability. We believe there is sufficient risk of Soviet use of chemical weapons that NATO must take them into


Wc: arc agreed that:

The Sovietsarge chemical stockpile, at least several times as large as that of the United States.

The Soviets currently arc producing chemical warfare agents at leastevel sufficient to replenish stocks, train production personnel, and provide test agents. Wc believe they are capable of producing more than enough chemical warfare agents to fulfill their wartime requirements.

The Soviets give high priority to research on and development of new or improved agents and have developed chemical warheads and munitions for virtually all types of Warsaw Pact short-range ballistic missiles, ground attack aircraft, andthat enable them lo engage targets throughout the full operational depth of the battlefield.

They have0 personnel assigned lo chemical troops in the Ground Forces alone, and there is evidence of Chemical Service personnel, equipment, and units in the Soviet Air and Air Defense Forces, the Strategic Rocket Forces, and the Navy.

Training of Soviet officers in the employment of chemical

weapons continues in specialized schools The Chemical Service continues to receive instruction in cliemical warfare subjects.

The Soviets believe chemical weapons to have military utility, as demonstrated by their use of such weapons both in Afghanistan and in Southeasttheir use in those areas is related to the nature of the enemy as well as the low risk of either retaliation in kind or significant escalation.

Finally, the Soviet Union is engaged in research andprograms that could yield improvements in traditional chemical weapons. Biotechnology-based novel agents could be available for test and evaluation within live yearsP

We are also agreed, however, that:

lhe, Warsaw Pad writings and planslhe use of offensive chemical weapons have decreased. In contrast to the earlier period when detailed allocations of chemical weapons to Pact combat unils were featured in Pad writings, we have received very few indications of suchin the past decade despite our access to the same kinds of sources.

haveecline in chemical-warfare-related subjects in the curriculums of the Voroshilov Ceneral Slaff Academy, from which graduation is required of all officers before they can occupy any command position at or above regiment level, or any primary staff position at or above division level.writings originating in Soviet mililary academies have continued to address the application of nuclear, conventional, and. increasingly, improved conventional munitions, bul we have not seen references to offensive chemical munitions employment since the.

In sum. we find little evidence during the last decade of Soviet planning and training for the use of chemical weapons against


these uncerlainties and inconsistencies, we do agree that major changes have laken place in the Soviel approach to chemical

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warfare. Indeed, lhe views expressed in this Estimateignificant departure fromarsaw Pact ForcesNATO, the last Intelligence Community estimate concerning Soviet intentions to wage chemical warfarear against NATO.

In this regard, wc agree on the following points:

The Intelligence Community previously held the view that if the Pact were to employ chemical weapons against NATO it would do somassive" scale. This term was not deBned, but left the impression that if the Pact were to employ chemical weapons it wouldreat number of chemical munitions across the full depth and breadth of the European theater. Wc now believe that the Pact would not use chemical weapons in that fashion. Wc have chosen the term "selective" toower scale of use.1

The use of chemical weapons istandard, integral feature of the nonnuclear phase.of war. We believe the initial release of chemical weapons wouldecision at the highest Soviet political and military levels. The Soviets might authorize the selective use of these weapons against key targetsarttrategy to undermine NATO's escalatory capability during the transitional period from conventional to nuclear warfare.

We also believe that the likelihood of the Soviets' initiation of chemical warfare would be low as long as their conventional operations against NATO proceeded satisfactorily. However, the use of chemical weapons would become more likely if NATO initiated chemical warfare or if hostilitiesransitional period from conventional to nuclear war.

All but Army agree that, ir the Soviets decided lo employ chemical weapons, such use would mosl likely occurwith or subsequent to nucleai operations. While the Soviets would seek to defeat NATO by using only conventional means, they would nol discounl the likelihood of escalation and probably would altcmpt toATO nuclear or chemical attack.

' Army believe* thai the lenrund "lelesiw- need additional dailfiestlon The Sovid* now havt lufik-ent nuclearto execute thru nodejr batllnlinlil doctrine -Shoutchemicalap filleo. AlllioueJi ihfcdooaflecl ihr uusntrty ol chemicalallocated during lhe Iran-ti'lQtiil and nuclear phun c4 warfare. II doe not aged thai aspect ol Soviel chemical dodrine that nil!lor Ihc delivery ol chcmlcil munrtwni bv lube imllery.kctnd aircraft. Thu apparent deercue In ouanllty Irom "muuve"ecllw"an iucrcuc in nuefcar capability

ChtniHal wiifug can he vnarilfd Irani nnclr.ii wailne and mull be eonrideeed in that perspective

Chmieii)aimm ate available for uie during both the nonmidcai and nuclear phatcv


The core of our disagreement, (hen, is over the Issue of the Soviets' intent to use chemical weapons selectively in the noiinuclear phasear with NATO, even though such use istandard, integral feature of their doctrine. Indeed, weawtT to small-scale use of offensive chemical weaixms licing practiced elements ofnd division-level units. Therealso limited evidence indicating that some Soviet units continue to train for chemical fire missions at the unit level. Even so. this evidence is fragmentary and probably inconclusive- Thus, given the paucity of direct evidence, agency views are based on inferences from capabilities, past experience, and differing interpretations of these and other factors

and Ihe Services believe thai, because the Sovielsignificant capability to conduct chemical warfare and have demonstrated the will to engage in il, they would be likely to use chemical weapons selectively in lhe nonnuclcar phase under some circumstances. These include Warsaw Pact reversals and possibly when the Soviets perceived NATO forces to beoor protective posture or to have inadequate retaliatoryat the outset of hostilities.

believes that chemical weapons are noecessary component of Soviet nuclear fire planning, but areire planning option available to the commander. The Soviets now have sufficient nuclear weapons to execute their nuclear battle-held doctrine without using chemical weapons as "gapowever, this does not affect thai aspect of Soviet chemical doctrine thai slill provides for the delivery of chemicalby lube artillery, short-range ballistic missiles, multiple rocket launchers, and aircraft. Chemical warfare can befrom nuclear warfare and must be considered in that perspective. Army believes that the Soviels' concern about NATO's nuclear retaliatory capability would have beenin the prewar Soviet estimate of the correlation of military lorces.ecision by the Soviets to go to war would imply confidence in their ability to deal with this NATO retaliation capability. Were chemical weapons to appear toritical difference in the likely combat outcomes, it would be highly surprising to see the Soviet commanders deny themselves this critical advantage.

1NU believes thai under certain cireuimlances in the nonnucle-ai phase lhe Soviels might decide to use their substantial advantage in chemical warfare. INK bases ils judgment on the unpredictability of developments in any European war. In the

abscnse of convincing evidence on cunenl doctrine andINR cannot subscribe to more specific judgmentstlte likelihood of chemical warfare use.

CIA believes that, while selective use cannot be ruled out. it is unlikely that the Soviets would use chemicals before deciding to initiate nuclear warfare. Soviet chemical weapons requirementsATO war have been reduced by improved conventional capabilities, small nuclear weapons,onventional war-fighting strategy Selective use of chemicals would forceto balance the increasingly limited advantage of such an attack against the dangerATO nuclear response


Soviet Oflcmivo Chemicol Worrore Copabililies

I The Soviet Union maintains thearge*!most comprehensive rlirmscaltlrr capability Thishemical production base and stockpile thil are adequate to meet thetdelivery system* lhat can range lhe depth oi the battlefield. and inlni'alrd protective systems (or their armed forces

The Soviet Chemical Agenl Production Base ond Stockpile

We have limited evidence on which to base our estimates of Soviet chemica) agent productionWe monitorl-nti In thr Soviet Union that are capable ol producing toxic agents. Of these, three are particularly configured to produce chemical warfare agents: one ol the three is active for two to fourear We asaeas that current Sovietis sufficient to replenuh stocks, train production personnel, and provide teste believe that the Soviets, even without activating all their plants, are capable of producing more than enough chemical warfareto iulhll their wartime requirements.

To date, we havechemical warfare depolj-

r-that store chemical warfare agent* and nuclear, biological, and chemical equipment and materials Intelligence Community estimates on thr uie ol the Soviet bull agent stockpile rangeow ol leu0 metric Ions (CIA)igh ol aletric tons (DIA and

iSufboent totic chemical railcan and truck1 are heldin reserve in and around these depots to permit the taped tianslcr of bulk Kt forward locations There is little intelligenceon the storage of chemical munition- Some tilled chemical weapons may be itored at depots in the Soviet Union ami the forwaid area

' INfi drvt ml beUvv llw it iiitficlent evidence on which lo Law in-if llie Stoict hulk seen' It could br

iljii ihcantlvi ln-ci ihin ihe limit! piOTMcd heir.

Chemical Munitions and Delivery System

Soviets continue to produce and stockpileof chemical agent* and munitions, giveto research on and development of newagents, and have developed chemicalor munitions for virtually all types ofshort-range ballistic missiles, ground-attackand artillery The Soviets can engagethe lull operational depth of theMoreover, the improvements in thereliability of current and future Sovietfurtherell capability lo deliverof munitions including chemicals

Nucktor, Biological, and Chemical Protective Copabitties

The Sovietsapability toontaminated battlefield. Trie SovietServicepecial service of the armed forces dedicated to prolectirw military operations from the effects ol nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Chemical Service units air organic to Soviet and Warsaw Part ground forces fiom front throughlevel. We assess lhe peacetime manning of the chemical troop* in tlie Ground Forces alone to be0 personnel Reserve itrenelh) may double thai bRure in wartime. There is evidence of Chemical Service peikwirtel. equipment, and units in lhe Sovtct Air and Air Defense Form, the Strategic Rocket Forces, and tbe Navy

Soviet Chemical Service personnel are equipped with nuclear. btologicat. and chemical detection, iden-li&cauon. and decontamination equipment Thewartime tasks of the Chemical Service are:

Locating nuclear Imrsti

Conducting nuclear, biological, and chemical reconnaissance

Monitoring radioactive and chemical

Aurcsinn the radiation and chemical situation following use ofcaponi of mass destruction

Determining eHe-Cli and carryinuafely measure* when chemical and nuclenro used.

Providing protective and decontamination equipment io friendly forces.

Decontaminating troops, equipment,nd terrain

F-mploymg smokend Oamc and incendlaiy devices.

Providing technical escort of chemical weapons Irum storage depots to limit units

7 In addition to the capabilities of the Chemical Service, personnel of the combat arms arr trained In nuclear, biological. And chemical defense measures and are equipped with (oil protective do!King and masks Many combat and combat support vehicles possess collective protection systems and alarms Taken together, these systems enhance Pact capabilities to operateontaminated battlefield.

Soviel Inlont Io Use Chemical Weapons Against NATO

Factors Bearing on Soviet Chemical Weapons Doctrine

The two most important (acton affecting adecision to ielease chemical weapons for use against NATO ate the anticipated military utility and the potentialATO relaliallon The Soviets would also consider the vulnerability of Iriendly and enemy forces

The Military Utility of Chemicalhemical weaponsistinct utility in Soviet military operations Chemical weapons are wide area -effect weapons specifically designed to reduce the combat effectiveness ol the enemy by killing or incapacilatina personnel and conlamlnalinff.and terrain Among live battlefield advantage* the Soviets believe chemical muniiionn provide over conventional munitions in some circumstances are:

Denying areas to potential adversaries through chemical contamination

Cawing taiget neutralization without physical dot ruction

Knlarglnc the lethal area

Effectively attacking sheltered taicets

Slowing down enemy advances and restrlctina enemy maneuverability

enemy equipment unusable until decontaminated

lata* numbers ol casualties when used against unprepared troops.

down enemy troops both physically and psychologically

fewer munitions lo achieve equal lethality

n the other hand, the Soviets appear to have alespect for the side effects and limitations oi chemical weapons Thev recogruae thai

Terrain and weather may reduce theof toilc agents, arid break up or prevent the formaliori of 'he lecondarycloud.

Consideration must be given lo the minimum distance Irom friendly troops that agents may be used

Counter measures can be taken on notice and. if properly implemented, could lignibcamly degrade chemical weapons effectiveness.

Operationsrotective postuic are restrictive

Chemical contamination of the batllelicld could slow ihe pace of operations for both sides, which the Soviets believe in some cases couldel ender

Chemical weapons employment increases the comptriiit of planning and esrculing offensive operations

SATO Retaliatory Capability. [IcUlialion hasrime determinant In considerations of the use of chemical warfare since World War f. Concern for chemical escalation was tbe principal deterrent to the use of chemical weapons by all sides during World Wat It Since that time, another form of escalation lhat must be considered is nucleai weapons

The Soviets certainly are aware of statements by authoritative US and NATO spokesmen (hat NATO might be forced to respondoviet chemical attack with theater nuclear weapons because NATOimited chemical weapons capability. Sensitive Pact writings abo predict that NATO would leaort to the use of nucleai weapons to forestall defeat on abaMlefield whether or not chemical weapons were used, and lhe Pact is well aware of NATO crcrcises lhat portrayhain ol events.

e arc aware of an ewcntially accurate Pact assessment of the US chemical stockpile conducted

duiinghat Uiivi the age and obsolescence ol US munitions. Nevertheless. Soviet and Part writen continue lo reflect ihcii concern about NA I" >'i ehem teal capabilities and profound respect (or US chemical technoloev. The SnvirM credit the United Slates and NATO with an extensive ollensive chemical capability, and suspect that the US binary weapons program is designed to evade the limitations that might be posed by future chemical weapons treaties

he Soviets arc awaie lhat an effective use of chemical weapons by NATO could inflict significant casualties depending on the warning time and type of agent used The Soviet* recognizeeblliluling casualty rale would undercut their preferred strategyast-moving offensive against NATO and,esult. they appear lo havetrategy ot deterring enemy chemical use byubstantial ofleo-sivr and protective capability

A Weapon ol Mosi Destruction

The Soviels hate dam bed chemical and noetear munitions ai weapons of manwith others like biological weapont. Incendiary weapons, and (uelalr explosives--although they regard only nuclear weapons at capable ol being decisive in war The Part continue* to define theie a* "weapons of man deiliuclthough tbey would use some ofai fuel air eu^losWea and napabn, -Inch do aot require retra* at the liiihev politicalthephaseuropean eonfilct

First Use/Preemption

IS. The Sos'icts deny llial they would be tlse Hist to use chemical or nuclear weapons Authoritative East European sources, however, report lhat the Soviet policy i, to preempt if necessary Pact sources indicate that their forces would begin preparations Io preempt immediately upon detecting NATO preparations to employ weapons of mass drslruction At least In the nuclear arena, classified writing* of recent yean tlromtly suggest that (he Soviets are deeply concerned that they would not have time to preempt.

Nyclcor Warfare

he majority of available evidence lhat refers to chemical warfaie portrays Pact chemical strikeswith or subsequent to nuclear operations Wc believe that, if the Soviets elected to use chemical

weapons against NATO, they would be most likely to employ them to complement nuclear munitions or to sseutrahre certaintargeti immediatelyuclear strike We beheve there is wttsctent risk of such actions thai NATO must take them into account. (See Army comment in paragraph

Nonnocloai War (are

mililaiy doctrine since the lateto be that an initial period ol combatin winch thr USSR would seek tonuclear capability, might be limited tool conventional weapons. Tins initial periodto by the Soviets as live "nonnuclear phase

use of chemical weapons Is not afeature of the nonnuclear phase Sovietfor such use are unclear and theNevertheless, tbe comprehensivecapabilities of tbe Soviets require thatplannei consider the possibility ofuse from the outset of hostilities. Weinitial release of chemical weapons woulddecision at the highest Soviet political andWc also believe that the likelihood ofof chemical warfare against NATO wouldas Vara] as conventional operationsHowever, the use of chemicalbecontr more likely* under certainas if NATO initiated chemical warfare orwere pticeivrxl to be preparing lo useIn addition, the Soviets might authorizeof chemical weapons against key targets as partstrategy to undermine NATO's escalaloryIhe transitional period from convent tonalwarfare Use under other rtrcuiristancesdifficult to determine.

here aie differences of opinion as to which other circumstances might resultarsaw Pact chemical attack

. il unlikely that lhe Soviets would useecision had been made lo initiate nuclear warfare While we cannot rule out the small-scale use of chemical weapons against selected targets, we believe such use would he counter to Soviel doctrine- The Soviets would necessarily be forced lo weigh Ihr expected limited gains to be achieved by such attack) against tbe Standing NATO threat to respond and escalate OA does not credit the Soviets with ihe capability lo engage in more than limited and selective use of rhemlcalSuch limited uw* would be inconsistent with

in.iv. lodged Soviet intention la conduct lhe war conventionally Tfve SovieU continue to em phaslic the derisive nature of nuclear weapons, and the critical importance of retaining the initiative for theiraulted and selective use of chemical weapons would be inconsistent with the Soviets' evident doctrinal intention to maintain their self-assessed advantage by waging war conventionally.

and the Services believe that the Soviet Supreme Utah Command retains the flexibility to authorize the employment of chemicallo supplement the conduct of the nonnuclcar phase. According to this view, the SovieU (udgc NATO unlikely to escalate automatically lo tho use of tactual nucleai weapons in response to the selective use of chemical weapons. Therefore, under certain conditions in the nonnuclcar phase, the SovieU would probably selectively employ chemical weapons

These conditions Include:

A perception by the Soviets that their enemy waseak protective posture. Incapable of conducting effective decontamination, unable to opotale effectivelyontaminated on-vhomnetU. or incapable of retaliatingat the outset of hostilities.

A Warsaw Pact reversal or loss of momentum, especially if Pact commanders perceived thai using chemical weapons would measurablytheir prospects for success.

believes that chemical weapons are noecessary component of Soviet nucleai fire planning, but areire planning option available to lhe commander. The Soviets now have sufficient nuclear weapons to execute their nudear battlefield doctrine without usingweapons as gapowever. Ihis doe*eel that aspect of Soviet chemical dodtlne that Hill provides for the delivery of chemical munitions bv tube artillery, short-latige ballisticultiple rocket launchers, and aircraft. Chemical warfare can be separated from nuclear warfare and muvt be consideredlhalThere is no objective reason ruling out use during eitlier the nuclear ot the nonnucleat phase Once release authority has been given. Soviet com mandril could decide to employ chemical weapons against targets for which they ate best suited to accomplish the commander's obaective* Atmy bdieves lhat the Soviets' con rem about NATO's nudear retaliatory capability

would have been calculated in the prewar Soviet estimate of the correlation of military forceslecisaoo by the Soviets to go to war would imply confidence in iheir ability lo deal with this NATO retaliation capability Moreover, decisions toemi cal weapons at the tactical and operational levels would be based oncalculations of the correlation of lorces. Such calculations would involve both nudeat and nonnuclcar assessments Were chemical weapons to appear toritical difference in lite likdy combat outcomes, il would be highlyto see Soviet commanders, denythis critical advantage.

INR believes that under certain circuinslaiicea in the nonnuclcar phase tbe SovieU might decide to use their substantial advantage In chemicalINR bases iU lodgment on theof developments in aoy European war. In the absense of convincing evidence Of) current doctrine and pUrming. INR cannot subscribe lo more Judgments regarding tbe likelihood ol chemical warfare use.

Soviets might perceive the selective usewarfare to be advantageous againstof NATO and against amphibiousbelieve they might use chemical weaponsNorway or eastern Turkey lo takelocal situations Use of chemical weapons inareas would be difficult lo conlirmIn Soviel eyes, might carry leas tlsk ofuse In Central Europe' The Soviet! mightthe use of chemical weapons againstTroops engaged in heliborne and surfacewould also be good targets for chemicalpersonnel casualties are the coal'

The Evolution of the Soviet Offensive Chemical Warfare Threat to NATO

The Nature ol the Evidence

addition to the assessed capabilities olto conduct chemical warfare, we have relative-

hai there Isoneelie So.leti would consider chemical attach agairut Banking NATO count net to liavc lets rul than that awaited wilh ilmrlir attacks la Central guropu Furlher. lhe CIA bokli thai the lu.iiied luilol rain, lhal could b. tehfewea' byweapaej In seo-dary thraten would in no -ay compensate lor ihei ui.ol.ed. Finally. If- CIA brticei that physically duunt areasncethmsot rrteeaes* leaw Uruied

INR beeves thai cocvoeraaiom be-nd lhe Crural ftsraaiia batfWseid haw not km taa

bi FatawM.

ly few references lo chemical warfare in thebody of evidence describing Soviet militaryWe have an extensive collection ol Soviet and Warsaw Pact doctrinal writings within which Ihe percentage addressing chemical warfareneversteadily decreased,

and above tbe division level and by lactical and strategic aval ion In addition to advocating lhe use of chemical weapons becautc of iheir own unique utility, lhe authors consideredupplement lo nuclear weapon* Soviet writings iiuggisled thai chemical weapons could be used to compensatehortage of tactical nuclear weapons The planned allocations of large numbeis of chemical warheads in some writings may have lieen the result of ihts approach


espite theie uncertainties and itKoniistencics. we do agree that maior changes have taken place in the Soviet approach to chemical warfare. These changes have led us to conclude that recent Estimates were incorrect when ihey implied thai if the Pact were to employ chemical weapons It wouldreat number of chemical munitions across the full depth and breadth of the European theater. We now believe that tlie Pact wouldhemical weapons in this fashion Wei new belief on tlie following

oviet and Warsaw Pad professional military education during this period also stressed chemical weapons employment The curriculum* of the Voro-shilov Ceneral Staffwhichis required of alt officers before they can occupy any command position al or above regiment level, oi any primary staff position al or above divisionincluded blocks of instruction on offensive chemical warfare and protective measures. Soviet and Pact combined arms officers destined foe command ot staff assignment* with field force* were taught how to plan for and direct the employment of all types ofChemical fire planning was laueht at specialized schools.

non to writings and classroomthere was Limited but dear evidence of practical training for the offensive use of chemical weapons at all levels


rom ils inception, lhe Warsaw Pact's strategy has been based on reactingNATO attack against one or more Pact nutiomlhe Pad hasonsiderable advantage in conventional lorces over its NATO counterparts. Pact planneri have assumed that NATO would initiate the use of nuclear weapons and have tailored their plan toassive rt-spomc using nuclear and citeeapons

arsaw Pact operational art as reflected in sensitive documents and writings of the period before theavuioned large-scalechemical weapons employment. Pact authors addressed the use of chemical weapons by troops ai


Afler Ihe

arsaw Pact war-flfhling strategy hasa gradual transformation As tactical nuclear weapons enteied the Pact inventory in sufficient numbers to counter lhe NATO nuclear threat. Pact authors and planners acknowledged the possibilityuropean conflict might beginrief conven-ttorul phase of warfare loadinguclear eiehange By tbe. Soviet planners had embraced the concept of attempting lo defeat NATO using only conventional means. Tn ihii end. they have uperaded theii convent tonal war-lighting capabilities while

tea. &ae*et

umultarioouily fielding an improved nuclear strike force: lo balance NATO's nuclear deterrent

ince the, Warsaw Pact svrm'nsn and plans concerning the use of offensive chemicalhave decreased In contrast lo the earlier period when detailed allocations of chemical weapons to Pact combat units were featured in Pact writings, we have received very few indications of such allocations in the past decode despite our access lo Ihe same kinds of sources

e haveecline in chemical-warfare-related subjects in the cOrriculums of the Voroshilov General Staff Academy.writingsin Sovset military academies have continued tohe application of nuclear, conventional, and, increasingly, improved conventional munitions, but we have not seen references to offensive chemical munition) employment since thethe most promising Soviet and Pud middle-arade and senior officers no longer receive training fn the integration of chemical warfare Into combined-arms operations Some Soviet officers continue lo receive training in the employment of chemicalin spccialired schools, and tbe Chemical Service continues to receive instruct son in chemical warfare subtects. in additionreatly eipanded coverage of nuclear warfaie subjects.

^small-scale use of offensive chemical weapons was practiced by elements ofnd division-level units. Limited evidence Indicates lhat some Soviet units continue to tram for chemical fire missions at tbe unit level We believe (his level of trainingrobably not sufficient lo maintain tbe degree of familiarity with chemical warfare necessary io enable front and at my staffs to conduct large-scale chemical attacks, although il probably Is sufficient lu allow selective employment of chemical weapons (DIA, Army, and INR believe thai II i> lufficlenl lo conduct sc lev live attacks)

e have noted some change of emphasis by tbe Soviets in the scale of employment ofrend toward an increasing percentage of unproved conventional munitions in the warhead mil for short-range ballistic missiles!""

[This situation ii in markedlo the iituaf^on inhen chemical munitions had second priority and. in some eases, were the ncednrninant munition -

A fghoniston ond Southeast Asia

The Soviet Uniono and Vietnamese forces with lethal chemicals and toiin agents that have been used on H'Mong and Lao resistance lotces and villages6 Storage facilities haveos and Soviet advisers supervise the Lao chemical warfare program Similarly, lethal chemical and toiin agents have been used by Vie*names* forces in Kampucheahe USSR abo provided chemical weapons to Afghan Government forces, which used them for six months before the Soviet invasion. Soviet forces employed chemical and toxin weapons throughout the country against Muiahedin guerrillas and villages untilince then, there haveew reported attacks, most notably during4 spring offensive Into the Panjsher valley, but these reports have not been confirmed

Lethal chemical weapons used in Southeast Asia and Afghanistan have included Sprays, bombs, rockets, mines, and artillery she IK Li addition to loains and

incapacitanli. such traditional agents as phosgene,

diphosgene, nerve agents, mustard, lewisite, and toxic smoke may alto have been used

he Soviets' use of chemical and toxin weapons in Afghanistan and their willingness to supply allies the means lo wage chemical warfare indicate that the Soviets will not be constraineduropean war bv humanitarian ot legal respondbihtle* It must bethat the decision to use and supply chemical and toxin weapons, in violation of two international treaties, was made at the highest leveb In Moscow.

3fi. We assess lhat the use of chemical weapons by Soviet ah and ground forces in Afghanistan and the supplying of chemical weapons for use by allies in Southeast Asia indicate thai the Soviets perceiveweaponsontinued military utility in cornbai. thai they have the will to employ chemical weapons in sprciahxed circumstances, that ihey have some troops trained in the employment of chemical weapons, ami that they maintain an inventory of readily available chemical munitions.


IA further believes that the use uf chemical weapons by iho Sovielstheir surrogates in Afghan-istlfi and Southeast Asia is driven primarily by lhe issue of retaliatory capability In no case are ihe victims of these attacks capable of retaliating in hind or escalating the conflict in response to the chemical attacks Futthermore. the Soviets recottrure thaiweapons have their greatest effect upon unpre pared opponents lacking physical protection, warning, ot adequale training These criteriaood description ol lhe Third World targets of Soviel chemical warlare, yet even there the attacks have been episodic and decidedly limited in both number and effect. This activity parallels Soviel doctrinal willing which, while rtol ignoring chemical warfaic. nevertheless views itomplicating factor with theoretically high but operationally low military

IA and the Services believe the Soviets may calculate that tbe abhorrence of chemicallowly being eroded as the development and use of chemical weapons by an increasing number ofbecomes an accepted norm This may lead the Soviets to calculate that their use of chemical warfare in futuie European wars would not automaticallyATO decision to retaliate with chemical or nuclear weapons, especially if the Soviet use wa. selective.

Tbe Future Soviet Chemical Weapons Program

n thehe Soviets embarkedultifaceted research and development programtoerceived significant US lead in chemicalpecial panel was set up lo guide lulure Soviet chemical warfare efforts and improve tbe Soviet position In general, thb program was to concentrate on emerging areas of science in search of significant Ueaklhroughs that could result innew generation of chemical weapons to be fielded inSime frame Specifically, the program wai to improve tlie storage, effectiveness, deliver ability, and safe handling of tiaditional and emerging chemical warfareIn addition, it would dcvolop new lelhal or incapacitating agents with reduced detect-ability ond Ihe capalnlily to penetrate chemical pio-tcctive equipment By contrast, research on classic nerve agents has decreased steadily since the, although this effort continues Soviet research on mycotoiins. which spansears, also

n, the Soviets began applying adin genetic engineer ing. to the development of new agents These technmues

Baolookoi ondol Warfare

IliUoouOy. ihebetween biological and

chemical weapons was determined by Bae-

sogioal agents were defined as living diseaseature Tcaim are chemical aufaexaoees produced from baciogac mateeaah or strtfhraiead Living aarals can be selectively bred lo mereaw ihelr toascity or change other properties Classic chemical agentslimited lo nonliving lour subUanoes produced through Industrial processes The novel agents now bring developed share charade ml ics ul both groups They include organisms that have been genetically engineered lo modify viiuleitce. as well as chemical substances. The chemical substatiers include toiinsoccurring teniesnakesubstances In the human body that ordinarily perform regulatoryas causing sleep, pain, orwhich in eaceat can be damaging These chemicals could be produced by chemical rvn thesis or Uokejcal processes, or both Biologic synthesis would percut Iceet-term storage of small amounts of many and varied organism, which can be used to initiate agent pradaatOonariety of commercial, laicr-scale fermentation planu otrarrwue used for own

l itaiy prodikIs

could be used to produce totic material! and toxins thai previously could not be obtained in largerand to create entirely new agents We believe that some of these biotechnology-based novel agents are within five years of transition Irom pure research to lhe testing and evaluation stages of the development. cycle. We do not know if the Soviets aie developing new weapon systems to disseminate the new agents We believe thai most of tbe new agents could be delivered by existing systems, with perhaps minor modification*.

Snvtoe-wwr tit

he novel agent progiam will rorm likely parallel the general progress of advanced bioteehnoleapes. with new rncthodcecgaes nut lo use ai they become available The novel agent program increases sigwlicaiitlv lhe number and variety of agents that could be developed, while making large-wale production of different agent; moie feasible. These ageuts can be developed, pro duccd. and used in conditions under which hojljle intent would be virtually impossible lo establish.

eVlaated* llNear Da-mi*,, Sevan dCW far*1





: Warsaw Pact Forces Opposite NATO.2

CX: Newoviel BCW Agent Development and Their4

mplications of Sootet Use of Chemical and Toxin Weapons for US

X: Use of Toxins and Olher Lethal Chemicals in Southeast Asia and2

Naiional HUMIN'T Collection Planhe Chemical and Biological Warfare Threat,.

Central tntdligertee Agency

The Soviet Chemical Warfareto be published).

Septet CW Casualty Medical

Soviet Doctrine for Offensiue

Soviet Mililary Bear Services in East Cermany

Warsaw Pact Chemical Research and Development2

Defense Intelligence Agency

Chemical and Biological

Soviet Chemical Warfare Threatefense Intelligence

Soviet Front Fire Support

Sootet Use of Chemical Warfaie

Toxic Chemical Warfare Agents andJanuary

National Photographic Interpretation Center

Soviet Chemical Warfare Agenl Munitions Storage

Warsaw Pact CW


Original document.

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