Created: 9/15/1983

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Implications of Soviet Use

of Chemical and Toxin Weapons

for US Security Interests


Special National fnfriliftitcc I


Intonutfon ivj.libU it o*3oition of thii tjtimilc

ntisSean screwed for wltw.sfi Urouqh






The following inielligence organizations poclicipaled in lhc preparation of Ihe Cslimate;

The Centiol Inielligence Agency, the Detenu tnteLgexe Agency, th* Not-onol Security Ageney. ond the inielligenceol the Deportmenti al Stale ond the liMWf.

Also Participating.-

The Aiwilonl Oiiel o(or Intetitgence. Deportment of the Army Ihe Director ol Naval Intelligence.of the Novy The Aiiiitanl CWef of Stoff. InreSgenee. Deportment of the Air force The Di'ecloc of Intelligence, Heodqwoiteri. Marine Corpi


Soviet development and transfer of lethal chemical and toxin scents and their use against combatants in Laos. Kampuchea, and Afghanistan haveidely accepted barrier against employment of these weapons which, with few exceptions, has held fast since Worldhe determination that the Soviet actionsiolation of5 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was made at the highest levels of the US Government. Thc violation has profound implications for US security intcrcsts^(^

This Estimate examines these implications in four areas:.

International reactions affecting arms control.

The spread of chemical weapons

Western defenses against such weapons

Intelligence collection and analysis.






Soviet Action* and

Soviet Oiemical Weapons (CW) and Tortn



Inteinatiotul Reaction! Af lectin* Arms

Thc European

A Decision To

The Spread ot

The t'toli(eralion

The Soviet

for Wnstern

Vulnerability to Chemical

To.irsr Tha Added

1 1 M

ImpScalions for Intellicenoa

vidence on Chemical Weapons Use in Southeast Asia

and Afghanistan

oviet Development of Twins


Thc Soviet Actions

The Soviei chemical and toxin warfare actions were almost certainly the resultonscious leadership decision/That decision was probably influenced by the following considerations:

That the agents used would be militarily effective for the purposes intended.

That no threat of retaliation existed.

That lhe situations offered opportunities for operational testing;.

That the probability of detection wan low and any evidence acquired would be ambiguous

That the political risksespouse were negligible, and any adverse international reaction could be contained.

If these were thc considerations that guided the Soviet decision, we believe they have been largely borne out by events.^rj^

International Reactions Affecting Arms Control

The intelligencehat formed the basis of thedetermination of Soviet violation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention has been steadily strengthened by confirmatory reporting and analysis- Neveithelas. West European and otherand publics have widely resisted fully accepting the published evidence. Faced with the classic compliance issue of what to doetected violation, those governments have exhibited great reluctance to reactoncerted and politically significant way. This reluctanceontinuing, obstacleoiihiighi Western response to the viola tion.^rk

Thereumber of reasons for the lackoncerted international response:

European suspicions that US charges were motivated by anti-Soviet propaganda objectives.

' SW iwioHur* ofi.-lnn



Scientific controversy that erupted over portions of the US case, and was exploited by the mediaanner adding to public confusion and skepticism.

The fear, harbored by some, thatoviet violation would jeopardize future accords.

Rationalization that the violation is not of sufficient military significance to warrant exacerbating the already strained US-Soviet relationship. *

The decision by some West European governments to withhold their own confirmatory intelligence findings from their publics in order to avoid domestic political

The skepticism about the credibility of thc evidence survives in part because of the inherent limitations of sensitive intelligence, including the need to protect sources and methods, whichinhibit its persuasive public use.^^

In our judgment, the impact on the Soviet leaders of the lackoncerted and sustained response to their violations may be more significant than the violation itself, as it could lead the Soviets to conclude that violating arms agreements carries no lasting penalty. It may reinforce the Soviet propensity to disregard arms limitation agreements that they believe cannot be effectively monitored or enforced. One lesson that emerges from this analysis is that if an agreement banning chemical warfare (CW) is to be effective there must be not only adoption of stringent verification arrangements butoviet conviction that the West has the resolve to act decisively in the face of discoveryiotation.^^

Thc Proliferation Issue

Thc evidence of Third World acquisitions of chemical warfare capabilities (summarized in this Estimate)roliferationgreater than heretofore appreciated.^^

Soviet military assistance hasommon source and major stimulus to this momentum. Since CW capabilities are integral to thc Soviet force structure, the fact that they were transferred through the military assistance program is not surprising. Soviet assistance is likely to continue, hence the momentum will probably be sustained.^^

Much of the action has been centered in the Middle East, but otherof Southeast Asia and the Horn ofincreasingly at risk. Thc attractions of chemical weapons for Third World forces,


combinedultiplicity of open market sources of chemical materiel, provide further nourishment foi this growth. As more nations join the chemicaleightened sense of vulnerability is bound to manifest itself. We thereforeontinued upsurge in chemical warfare activities sia^

The appearance of chemical agents in local conflicts and the introduction of chemical weapons to regions of strategic importance confront US and allied forces Avith an increased likelihood that they will become deliberate or unintended targets of attack with such weapons, even quite independently of any direct Soviet role. The risk is as yet small, but is almost certain to Rnnr.m

The Western Defense Issue

The appearance and use of novel combinations of chemical and toxin agents, superimposed on the recognition that Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces incorporate chemical weapons as an integral part of their force structure, has intensified existing concerns over the chemical warfare threat Thc disparity between Soviet and Western capabilities for such warfare and the deficiencies that NATO forces exhibit in both offensive and protective chemical postures call into question thc sustainability of NATO force effectivenesshemical- or toxin-contaminated environmcnt.%^

If present trends continue. NATO will have to recognire the need to reassess its chemical posture, in spite of the political resistanceeassessment will be likely to enc^nteraaj^ijj^^

Thc Intelligence Issue

The implications of these findings for intelligence are clear; the low priority historically accorded to chemical, biological, and toxin warfarecollection andbe reversed more radically than has so far been the case. Serious and sustained effort to upgrade collection and to enhance the talent dedicated lo analysis can reduce the areas of uncertainty that still plague our knowledge. The substantial improvements recently achieved in CW use collection and analysis should be .extended to thc entire chemical warfare area. But even allowing for such improvements, there are inherent limitations to intelligence monitoring systems. The Community's ability tohemical or biological weapons ban will fall short of achieving the high iifi'lcrcx- thai wiHi-ty dc ' r: ^taw



Action* and Policies

Soviet Chernieol Weapon* (CW) ond Toxin Uie

The (art lhat the Soviet Union hu Uansfwred lethal chemical and toxin weapons lo Southeast Ada and has used tliem inas caused the US national security community to focus on an aspect of Soviet military posture and policy lhat has heretofore received tittlelhat chemicalare Heated as an integral and effective part of tbe overall weapons array available for use by Soviet forces In conjunction with cither conventional or nuclear

The spectrum of modern chemical agents and delivery systems available to Soviet and other Warsaw Pact forcesapability lo altack protected and unprotected personnel in almosi any tactical or weather condition and to produce residualon equipment, ships, and terrain In addition, tbe Pact has vigmous and extensive programs to prepare its forces for operations Inchemical or biological environment

The useariety of lethal chemical agents, including some that remain unidentified, has been largely overshadowed by the discoveryew class of agentsmycotniirucomponent of "yello-uj

Fiomavailable evidence it seems clear that tonn weapons arc considered by the Soviets topecific class of chemical weapon whose use would bc determined by the tactical requirements. While no separate policy regarding lhcir employment has been identified, th"ie are situations where their use would appear to offer advantages over classical known

e evidence on thuexcviiltd in an earlier estimate SNIEiubscouett update. Mcmon-xlum to Holder*oth entitled Ult ef Tmliu and Orfcer Lflhal Cftemtotfi In SeutAemi Arid end

articularly disturbing; about thc appear-ancr ofs wajf are agents is tbc fact thai we know very utile about the combinations of toxins and other agents that the Soviet Union may haveiscussion of Soviet toxin development, see annes U) The significance of this Is lhat there may be new agents in Warsaw Pact arsenals far more toxic than the triehotheccnes. Moreover, some of them could have chemical and physical properties well suited to combat use that would bc difficult lo delect and could defeat .US and NATO protective measures^

There Ls do doubt lhat Soviet forcesubstantial capability to conduct chemical warfareboth offensive and defensive Their CWIs well integrated with overall roililajy doctrine, and thev have more chemical units, training, equip ment, weapons, and delivery systems than any other nation. They arc subject, however, along with aunt other nations, to ibe international obligations they have accepted constraining this foim of warfare (u)

The ObRijations

he Soviet Union ratified the Protocol (or the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Cases, and ofMethods of Warfare, also known as the Ceneva Protocol. As one of the first signatories to the Ceneva Protocol, the Soviet Union (as did many other nations' retained two reservations: lhat theinding only as regards relations with other Parties and that it ceases to be binding in regard to any enemy states whose armed foroes or allies do not observe provisions. Vietnam acceded to tbe Protocol onfghanistan, Laos, and Kampuchea are not Parties, (u)

& The Convention on the Prohibition of (heProduction and Stockpiling of Daclcriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their(DWQ was ratified by the Soviet Union onS This Convention obligates Parties "never in any circuinstances lo develop,tockpile, or otherwise acquire or iclain (I) microbial or other


oc toiins whatever their origin ot method of production, of types and in quantities that have no Justification for prophylactic, protective, or other peaceful purposes;eapons, equipment, or means ol delivery designed to use such agents or toiins (or hostile purposes or In armed conflict" (Article I) The BWC further obligates parties: "not lo transfer lo any recipient whatsoever, directly or indirectly, and tsot in any way to assist, encourage, or Induce any State, group of states, or international ocganluttons to manufacture or Otherwise acquire" any of the agents, toiins, weapons, equipment, or means of delivery specified above (Articlefghanistan, Laos.and Vietnam are alt Parties to the BWC as well The BWC does notpecific prohibition on use, as Parties agree that that is covered under the Geneva Protocol, (u)

he United States, the Soviet Union, aod thc creat majority of thc inter rational community have taken the position that tlve prohibition on use stated in the Geneva Piotocol has become part of customary international law of armed conflict'esult of general adherence to the Protocol, the practice of states In refraining from chemical and biological weapons (CBW) use in subsequent major wars, and the declarations of international organizations As tuch, the prohibition would aunty to all states and to all conflicts. Tbe Soviet Union has never, to ourargued to the contrary, (u)

The Violation

ccoiding to Ihe provisions of the UWC.transfer, and wcaporu'zation of toiinsa violation of the Convention- While Warsaw Pact and US military literature suggests some artificial distinctions amongt is clear from the BWC

7 dualled Cad Otih.ii Manual ofiiii. stiles lhat loiimlor aiitiUrr purpose* tn theie

lb bacterial toiins indihiiitoloclcaj oirfaie

KOMstMihait dmtonliiiaW SmIm.hemiali.Since thev nunbvlfa; substance* a'iifermot blot?cical onunlimi. tber ihouM be denCnited simpbutiletn mmbil accordto llw

prlnciiile*Mb tbe Unit uirihodi used iw chrmkal

aatnu"sower* psggaal that loom mk

roulcOiUi "oelit at Im ibin SCO dillaot bebeaiKiI icrnii iiJ (howiti<al luiliu

xifh belwniiSOOand would, br thisciiierion. (all into ibr chemicd *alv

negotialing lecord thai all loains, regardless of origin, method of production, or molecular welghl, were intended to be covered under llie prohibition, (u)

he production or possession of toiins for usein armed conflict is tsot permissible underregardless of the quantities of toiinsthe Soviet Involvement in "yellowbeiolation of lhe BWC if anyfollowing ticrncnU It established: (I) thatweapons in Afghanistan;

that lhe Soviets supplied toiln weapons, or quantities of toslru for weapon purposes, lo any of the forces in Afghanistan or Southeast Ana.hat the SovieU assisted any cf the forces in Afghanistan or Southeast Alia In producing, acquiring, or using loiin weapon or quantities of toiins for hostile purposes. Similarly, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Kampuchea, or Laos would be in violation il possession ot transfer of toiln weapons by their forces is established Intelligence dearlya positive finding on all ihree of these elements, most conclusively on lhe latter twois on thc strength of these findings that the US Government, at lhe highest levels, declared lhe Soviet Union inof tbe BWC (u)


Why would the Soviet leadership risk incurring international opprobrium for an arms agreementIc)

First, while wc believe thai an explicit policy calculus was involved, it is not entirely certain lhat thc India/ use and transfer of elseeapons was in fact the resultigh level Soviet Government decision Thereemote possibility lhat tlveof such weapons in the Soviet force structure and their standard inclusion In Soviet training and doctrine caused such weapons lo find their way into local conflict use without highest level deliberation Soviet persistence, however, In supplying and using these weapons in lhc face ol US demarches beginningmplies at least awareness and condorsemenl al highest seven-men'^

he decision that lesuhed was probablyby the following consider alions

iriiidrv effectloenttt. The weapons arc. In lad, well suited lo lhe circumstances in which they hive been used, lhat Is, in operations against

scoff I

stubborn, highly elusive. If regular forces In mountainous and jungle areas. In tome situations, for example, that of the HTvtong tribesits, ibe lerroriting impact of the toxin weapons has succeeded in driving them out of their highland redoubts.

No threat of retaliation. Soviet and client forces could emplov these weapons without fear of reprisals in kind.

Operational testing. The local situations offer favorable opportunities to evaluate tbeof weapons under fieldide range of chemical weapons were in factemployed and after-action fieldof victims were conducled.

Negligible risk of detection. Effective Soviet and client state control over access to tbe regions and thc rapid degradation of the agents aftermust have argued strongly against thc likelihood that outsiders would acquireevidence ol the violation.

Unlikelihood of strong international reaction. The standards ol evidence demanded by most governments to enable them to surmount their political and psychological resistance tothe fact of violation are such as to be in practice unobtainable. Hence, even In the event ofeaction, the leadership could count on iu highly developed propaganda Instruments to turn back or defuse any accusations^^

e have considered and rejected two other hypotheses that could explain Soviet twin use. One is that toxins were regarded, or perhaps represented by the Soviet military,lass of herblddes which subsequently manifested unexpected lethaleffects We do not view this hypothesis as persuasive, given the secrecy, tight control, andcaution often applied to these weapons bi the field and tbc unambiguous antipersonnel manner tn which they have often been employed. The other derives from interpretations of international agi cements.trict technical interpretation of live Geneva Protocol proscription acainst use would notiolation in Afglianistan, Laos, or Kampuchea, as those countries are not parties. Second, the customary international lawestension or interpretation, which the Soviets have

it times endorsed, docs not appear to actffective constraint on Soviet behavior. As with other arms control agreements, the Soviets havethat they feci bound only to explicitly stated obionfnVggj

Soviet response to accusations of toxinnever relied on the above interpretations.has been one of absolute denial, counterand evasive contentions. Among their mostto US charges of use is the accusation ofof chemical warfare ino)

Internotionol Reactions Affecting Arms Control The European Response

recognize that, while the Intelligenceof Soviet CW and toxin use have beenand reinforcedteady flow ofand analysis, acceptance of these findingsand publics has encounteredIndeed, in spitenique USeffort to make the intelligence evidencethereevel ofew vocal scientists, about the validityfindings. The media treatment of thisof the CW and toxin use Issue generallyto accentuate the sense of doubt aodthat is widely shared throughout theajor obstacle to aresponse to the violation (c)

estern Europe Initially lesponded to theof Soviet involvement in chemical and toxin warfare with profound skepticism. Political reactions were hesitant and defensive They were played out in three foiums: tlse Committee on Disarmament (CD) in Ceneva. the UN General Assembly (UNCAX and thc NATO Secretarial*

n Ihe CO. wlicre the CW negotiating effort is centered, the most significant Western response to the revelation of CW use was to press for the conclusionomprehensive and verifiable CW ban. While most Western governments exhibit great reluctance to level

Uniloi ll* taerpieulkm that the

flowed doo milHi nontoxic rwt-conlrel.nd clvnnlcsl

herbkida. {ui

charges ofbey now reeogi :the nrcruir* to UfUe tke difficulttk-n. CW bantd

10 Ar |brthelpi -ml- . il*

tlet have souaMwhe CW use bsoc. TV UNCAootoltoo In Deoenbet 1M0 to undertakef theIkof MM ol chemical weapon! and tubtcaiuefsUy eilcnded Iulot an additionala lona at lhc Invest io lion caaatienioJ. moat coveinrneoti felt relieved ol <ni obttgalkm la speak oul oa |Im issue- Stnoc lhe release of Ihe final report inith lhe cautious finding thai it "could noi ignore that theee waa evidence lhat such weapons anight hive ben used In somec have seen more willingness amoni Ihe Weslern nations, notably the French and (Wltlili. lo make public statenvcnU condemning chemical useNCAe1 lo Hevelop peooe dutcs lo Investigate fuluie allegatkmi of use and lo attempt to Improve verification ptovliions In eilsllrui

n the NATO Secretarial, particularly In the Military Cornmiltcc. lhc principal raponse has been ona of iseightencd awareness of Soviet capabilities '" use toiins In Ihc European theater and cooeeca about the leiuhln* Unpliotiom for NATO lorces Butat the political level of NATO governments have sharply Inhibited serious action on these

ow oniplam the subdued Western reaction to lhe CW revelations? In addition to the basic ikepticbm already noted, the following factors weie at week

Initial European altitudes were colored by iheir luspidon that the United States was punuina lhe CW use iuue foe its anti-Soviet propaganda value and to support its CW inoderiuratioa program lhat suspicion hu only partly dinlpated. and luiuropean determination to distance themselves born what ihey viewoal roots-lional US style in east-West relit

The initial European leluetance lo support lhe US charges was also due to llie paucity of koeatifu: evidence lhe United States was able to adduce, theii own inability lo eeflrct and analyse contaminated samples, and theii unfimiliaiily

that si Ins.


wiih the newechnique required to detect and Quantify tke

eiubLc stance on (he CWb partigr* European preferencean independent, inotetoward the USSR This ftfcienseumber of apodal EsiropeanInterestsb lhe Eastern Bloc

Thb eeieMaUoa aad ibe value ihey attach lo demoeutrating procress In lhe artru control arena, leads them lo avoid making public charges of Soviet violations.

Inordinate politieal sensitivity lo public dUcus-sion of CW issues among almost all West Europe-aa governments acts aifurther inhibitor. The Weal Germans, the only European sDiea lo have US CW stockpiles on their territory,eal fear of tha public outcry lhat wouldWaiion lo prraul further deployment of caseou-cal weapon on Cerman mil*



M An important observation aboutvnaetectedhe fact that the US clfort lo resolve sn arms control compliance Usoe In the public arena has failed lo win vigorous Wast European rapport- Despite on uitrvecedeTiiod irlease of US InteBUtersccestern leluctanc* continues lo inhibitconcertedorollary of Ihisa that similar difficukaea are likely to be enounlcted in Other arms contiol eoropliioce areas where leehniial intelliience findings ne relied upon toiolation The special naluie and seciecy requirement) ol sensitive intelligence aie such as lo impose tevcie limiUlrnm on tlie ability oflo piesent intelligence findingsasblidy curnpelling g^




In addition to these inherent intelligenceseveral ralioniLutkxis arc alsom acquiescence o! Western {ovvtnmnb in the violation One ii tlie contention, mostly privately lilted, lhal challenging lhe SovieU on their violation wouldeleterious effect on the progress of ongoing aims conirol negotiations and endanger thc possibility for reaching new accords. Those making such statements seem to be unconcerned with lhc consequence* for Western security interests of holding enforcement of existing treaties hostage to theprocess. First, if failure to respond alloses the Soviets lo arm themselves in prohibited ways while the West exhibits restraint. Instability rather thansecurity could result Moreover, il would signal thc Soviets that the West is. In fact, unable orlo enforce comee.

nother Western ralionatiulion for acquiescing to noncompliance is the assertion, sometimes publicly made, lhal because there Is strategic parity between the two so per powers. US eflorts lo enforce compliance are provocative and dangerous. Thus, some would be willing to interpret Soviet violations as noi militarily significant and not worth pursuing, since that would hamper US-Soviet relations In other arenas. This is particularly true for the chemical, biological, and toxin weapons which many view as being of no strategic importance and some even co riskier ai having no tactical utility.*^

Many In Europe and elsewhere regaidtoxin, or biological weapons as almost as frightful and indiscriminate as nuclear weapons and. therefore, prefer lo deny their existence in the hope that they will disappear or bc negotiated away Furthermore, for them, admitting blatant Soviet violation ol an existing arms agreement would destroy the argument thai trestles are self-enforcing even in the absence of effective verification, because of lhe high political cost associated with being publicly branded before the worldiolator, (u)

Tlie impact on lhe Soviet leaders of what they may perceive as an inability of the West to deal effectively with tlic violations probably has greater implications for lhc Well than thc fact of the violation itself The lack of cohesion in the Western teaction could be read by ibe Sovicl leaders as an indicator lhal they can violate at Icasl somemost

difficult lo in on itmaior costs. Thethey have received so far gives ihem no compd-ling lesson to adhere strictly lo lhcir obligations, (s)

e do noi expect that sufficient public pressure can be brought lo bear lo arrest what appears toustained Soviet toxin and biological weaponsprogram most clearly prohibited by the BWG Soviet literature reflects the firm rsacrvtctioo thai oilier major powers possess these weapons and will employ them against Soviet forces In any major future conflict.^

he implications for the viabilityew chemical weapons convention now being negotiited In Ceneva seem dear. Two factors will figurein Ihe Soviet calculus of the risks they would run tn the future by violating provisions of thc protectedhe ability of lhe Parties to irsorulor the provisions and detect violations,he forceful-ness of the international response to such violations If they perceive both of these as being weak, as preseni evidence might lead them to conclude, there would be Lftie incentive foe them loigorous policy of compliance- To provide lhal incentive would require more than the adoption of effective and acceptable verificationomplex task; it would also requite that the West muster thc resolve to react decisively in the face of evidence of violation Thc latter requirement may be even more of a

stumblingblock in tlie arms control regime than the former *g^

e should note that Soviet behavior in lhe CW arena is fully consonant with tlie Soviet approaeh lo arms control generally, as described in earlierand historic studies. According to these studies, the Soviet Union considers the principal purposes of arms control hmilaliom to be those of enhancing its stiategic positionis that of thc United Slates and reducing the risk of war. Thc pursuit of strategic advantage outweighs considciations of cost,rms race, or of the possible destabilising effect of particular weapons. They have sought to preserve the military advantages they already possess and to protect the military programs and options they intend lo pi;..

he earlier studies abo affiim that arms control negotiations are used lo support other Sovietwhich include dividing the Western Alliance and

lhcir ipecific weapon, or moderniulionAn effective propaganda effort directed from the highest leveli of government supports theseMuch of thcocused oocomplacency among the Western democracies and on exploiting the tendency In some parts of the European political spectrum lo equate lhc mere fact of visible diplomatic activity (for example, armsnegotiations) with progress toward peace and thus, by implication,educed needigorous defense. These attitudes persist despite llie mounting evidence of questionable Soviet practices regarding compliance with treaty obligations. While Sovietdocs not create the vociferous opposition by peace groups in the West to such Issues as INF deployment. MX development, and CW binaryit at least helps sustain It'

A Decision To Discontinue?

ecent indications raise the possibility that the Soviets may have decided lo constrain use of lethal CWeview of all available recenton lhc use of chemical weapons In Southeast Asia and Afghanistan.irsthand survey in the field,triking reduction In ihe incidence of lethal attacks since the beginning3 In spiteelatively high level of combal activity ln Laos. Kampuchea, and Afghanistan. Reports of chemicallethalto beand corroborated by other data, but, for lhe most part, these relate lo events of an earlier period, principally mid tooreover, thc chemical attacks reportedly occurring3 appear largely lo have involved thc use of rsot-eoolrol agents and sublethal concentrations of other agents, mutures of agents, or mnturrs of agents and toiint^^

pan of eight months is insufficient time to provide an eiplanation as lo why lethal attacks have decreased markedly, the cuiienl decline isWe cannot rule out Ihe pottlbtUlvoviet policy decision lo limit the use of lethaland toxin agents may have ^gg,

here aie other possible eiplanation* for the sharp decline In CW and loxiu atlacks including thc fact lhatnoiuc who aie lhe principal targets in Laos, are greatly diminished In numbers and are dispersed to the point whcie they no longer pose a

serious thieaL In Afghanistan, where chemical agent use has always appeared tc be more selecflve and limited inecline in me may be dictated by thc charaging character of Soviet and Afghan combat operations there orinding ol Soviet operational testing that the agents are less effective ihan originally thought. Kampucheaore difficult situation to evaluate. We have evidence of continued use of chemical agents and some indications of toaln usehb oorlinued use could, of course, beby ihc possibility that the Soviets may not be able fully lo conirol Vietnamese use against lheKarapucheant and Khmer. The Vietnamese may by now haveimited Indigenous capability to produce and weaponixe some agentsesult of technology and training acquired from the Soviet Union If that Is the case, some use of both lethal and Incapacitating agents may continueoviet decision to place tighter constraints on1 iv-

The Spread of Chemicol Weapons The PicJ.feioi.on Record

The put decade has seen an ominousof chemical weapons acquired by Third World slates, especially in the fertile crescent of the Middle East. The increasing public awareness tlsat suchare being used effectively under the aegis of one of lhe supei powers and without evoking much public censure may provide further stimulus to thisrief historic perspective of developments in key countries will provide some sense of tlie dimensions of the problem (u)

Erupt wasfirst country in lhe Middle East icgion to obtain chemical weapons Iraining,and materiel as part of the lixahle, security assistance il received from lhe Sovietigh-ranking Egyptian officers were sent to Moscow (or Iraining ai the Soviet Red banner Academy of Chemical Defense, and chemical warfare capabilities were integrated into lhe Egyptian force structure under Soviet tutelage This capability was Subsequently employed against lhe Yemenis in37 campaigns*

vaacneficiaiy of Soviet CWand training in the, but llseir CW



activities remained tow key until Inc.ll-fatedof kin in0 With lhe advene lorn of evenb Id thai war. the Iraqisrocess of direct purchase of chemical agent (xecursori rouni-ISom for i'"l. and production facilities from Wesl em Europe and Efypt-f*

have identified three possible CW production and two possible storage sites.

widely viewed as unstable and beJUgerent, however. Libya has encountered difficulties in concluding these contracts. As long as Qadhafi remains la power, we -apeet (his partcroontinue 1

iruef. finding itself surrounded by frontline Arab stales with buddingabilities, becameconscious of Ils vulnerability to chemical attach

The ef (eetive use by the Iraqis of tear gas (CS) to tura bub an Iranian offensive2 has been documented, and there has been repotting of (he usehemical agent with lethal effectsf lhe contracts with West Eurcpean firms concluded23 for acquisition of laboratories, factories, and munitions aie (uifilied, Iraq couldtrong chemical agent production capability bv the end of the year. CW tactics are not as yet well integrated into the Iraqi miliiary structure, and ttoop training Is weak. These deficiencies, however, can be overcome if the Iraqis lecogftlic (hem as critical to their security, flaw

urla,ajor recipient of Soviet CW assistance, probably has lhe most advanced chemical warfare capability in (he Arab world, with (he possible eicepUon ol Egypt. Both Chechoslovakia and (he Soviet Union provided tbe chemical agents, delivery systems, and training that flowed to Syria. As long as this support ta forthcoming, there Is no need for Syria to develop an Indigenous capabilily to produce CWnti or rrvjlcnd. and mne hii bren

IJbi/a, the largest purchaser o! Soviet roilitir) assistance (at least in financialust be assuroec to have also benefited from Soviet CW indoctiinatior, and training. Its attempts, however,W capability since thehrough the acquisition of faciliiies and materiel Irom East and Westsources have met with little success. The Libyans reportedly received some CW agents from Polandhey pcobablyodest supply of protec-llve equipment and riot-control agents for offensive use, We do not believe they possess lethal chemical agents, however, eicept perhaps for (es( or eaperimen-(al purposes. IJbya has made efforu to contract wiih West Cerman and Swiss firms for construction of CW production and storage facilities. Because Oadhali is

eyond the Middleountries, principally in (he Hons of Africa and In East Acs. have moved toward chemical capabilities (u)

Klhsopta'i involvement with CW0 heavily Soviet based. It has acquired chemical ageists,, and decontamination eouipcneni as well as CW iraining fiom thc Sovicl Union, turf has not developed an indigenous capability Io produce CW agents or materiel There are nuoierous allegaiioni of Soviet participation in (he planning and supervision of chempeiatiom, but confirmatory evidence uTheie are abo unconfirmed lepocts of lethal

chemical Iliads b>i ii.elcctcd

Uii ihecontrol led by the Erilrma rVople'i Liberation Float IreaiatciUtina ud urHalux; hive been wed d, -combatthe pari several yean. Cuban penonnd have alio assisted the Elhlopi-am through CW (raining ami provision of protective i- f

KitUnd. le.he Vietniiivne CWrtgraeiiniapaWklea through acquiBtioa of protective ecjuipmeni Irom the West andImprovementW rrv-.ich tjt>


ui mi hutaunchly nonalutoed foreign policy and avoided eiit.nglemcnts with It* neighbors- Noneiheleii. Burma lurelv hai been seosi-Uied bv ill neightm' poucuaon ai chemical weapons However, ibe moat likely target lor we of mch weapons would be againsi the ugiuficaiit ioJerml leeaargeraey Banna licev some ofeiterruJly suppott-


cei tin

tber countriesEasi Asia abo pooeu CW capabilities. Iru dramalk changes in their programs have been noted In inrnl years. Chine hassmall, though not militarily offensive CW capability.

North Korea also reportedlyCW-type agents.

tlores and produces but such reporti aie uniutisr.iWt.ted. (

The Soviel Pol-

hile there doesoommon pattern of acauisiiSon offaieommon in.tut ilimului wu imparted by Soviet military assistance Under ihe infti>ence of lhatEgypt,yria, and Libraibeir

initial apoensn and capabiLt>ei (oe chemicalTheseefforu heve had anefTerthe regionhole and


rTJwl.'- theot yetlo allow ui te^sndude lhal we arethe onsetenous chemical anau race, forces and ambitionsren set in motion th.l he


SI. The active Soviet lole in stimulatingof chemical weiponi icenu. oa the race ofwith iheir charaeteriialloo of suchas 'weapons of masserm (batby some as signifying Special constraints oaIn lhc cue oi nudear ncapotu, forare Beailaily cbmcteiiLed. Soviet policyone ol strict adherence lo the Donproli feralIncluding undevitllng Insistenceooal nfeguiidi The seemingbe eiplained in three ways: tint, the lermof massoes nor, in Sovietsuch restrictive connotation- -the terra ba wide spectrumbroad area

econd, nudear weapons, unlike chemical weapons,nique threat lo vital Soviet lecurilv Interests, and their potentialn anathema In their eyes, aad third, eheeakal warfare capabtliiiei are to completely iMecral lo lhe Soviet force ftnaetuie that we should not helo see trasnina. dad nine, and malrrtrl Iraniferred almostart of Iheir military assistance pioer.miaaaak

" IrrcAcoliom

St Throe forces are al worfc lhat nntiM the prohl-eiataon momcctum.

SoviM mifilorv until ante,olhlource andUimuhn If this military assistancewe have every leason (ois bound to add luilher fuel to lhe aniieliei thai drWe the chemical warfare momenlwm Ai moteiaia tbe chemical elob.heichtened seme ofb liVely lo manifest itself.

An open ntdrirf lourcc of tupplv Numerous non-Communist and Warsaw Pact firms tieof telling CW pioleetive equipment, train-



il monitions, and. com-

poncots lo anamafaetuie ihem Moreover, (hediffusion of chenriol productionies and ihe large piofiu lo be made mate ef (relive control over lhe transfer of 'be relevant trehewloaiei virtually Imi-ns'ble In many rases, lhe acquirim military loice deab ducctly with

firms In the "

Jiften -Sou. ineat jae suppliers gowrnment. We see only continued growth In this Industry

Mailoatbmi. Third World miliiary cstablbh-meets appear lo consider chemical weapons as offering important lactical benrfitt Harboring, as ihey oflenartleulai fascination for technological solutions lo military problem, ihey may look lond loalnwiih more than routine inteiesL They aie abo unlikely to be Inhibited from resort lo such wcaponi by (he kind of public revulsion these weapons evoke In tbe Welt, or by lhe tearhble escalationiactear reaponse that applies lo (he NATO-Warsaw Pact environ ment.

S3 Tbe readiness to use suchrobably tempered somewhat by two ( unde-teimlned eflectlveoen of both traditions! and novel agent! In the special climatic and terrain conditions of these regionshe lack of eipesiencc of local

forces with (I* emsiioymrnl ol saeh weavonj. Neither

ol ihese factors would be likely, however, to prevent Ihe use of such weapons il the counliy contemplating iheii use (ck ils security signifhreatened. Moreover. lhe lack of public outcry againit lhe use of such weapons cannot have gone unnoticed by Third World govemments The Vietnamese and Lao.ferer* hltl* international sanction (or Iheir ink in CW agj^

M. These consldeiaikini lead us lo conclude thai the upsurge In chemical waifaie activities will cunt in

uch an upsurge could also Influence lhe attitudes of rerrovlm toward uv id chemical and biological weapons Such weapons have, on occaooo. been sued lueeeisfully agaustt selected individuals and. less suceesi fully. In ittcmpts at economic terror-

suss* Ctanrlestrrve produetvjas of cfwnwot or kokarieal weaponsultiple (one or Iwo doien] casualty aitack irneraby raises an greater technicalors lhe cbradeatinc raroda**toa of cfcewlcal nstcolics or heroin. The tstoblemi of inflKiing mass casualties, howevce. arr much anore framideblc. Safetyfor volume production of agent, the cost i'l such anon. and lhe rbk of discoverycrease lignafieanl ly-

06 Out it bllac motivational and practicalrathererates! obit1 Set, lhat account for the low degree of lerrorist acceptance of these weapons to far. These weapons are lest aecesiible. fleaible. and coolan convention a! small arms and eiplmives. widespread indiscriminate killing by these means may cause nsotr public alienation than support lorleitortst cause. Oa the other hand, increased publicity regarding the effective use of chemical and toasts agents in Southeast Asia and Afghanistan, coupled with the ackr-owiedged diffkul-lies ol detection and Identllie*lion, might Increase the attractions oi such weapons for use or threats of use against indiscriminate targets One tuccetslul incident Involving loch agenis would significantly lower lhe thin-Sold of restraint on thrir application by other teriuriiU The ready availability ol ihese ageab and associated protective gear In regions ef potentialmakes them possible targets (or theft. While we do not see significant indicators of proliferation of Ihese weapons lo terrcetst apcsIaeatarM. the potential is Iheie.

Saoeifkorsce for Western Defense Vubvarrrbaliry to Chcowol Worfarc

The disparity thai riWs between Soviet and Western capabilities for chemicalidely'B the Western drleme rommbfMy. NATO (oeceS eihtbit glaring deficiencies In all aapects ol of lensive and protectiveiures The ihreal these forceshat of miuiae Soviet use ol chemical weiponi coupled with suiprise. Thb could faethlaie perflation of NATO rsrlenocs and permil

thai arharwd iiii. ihait urm Wr>v

aabtUiaa rsnlli aaaaaaaagnt HrvnSva.aMr. Auay-ralaMua-


(bca af advance whichcU believelor victoryhort war. Primeould be airfields, nuclear and logistic derois. corn-ovand and control facilities, mnd large enemy troop concentrations. Otlter important (anteli might include air defenses, amphibious forces, convoys, and port fscil itttstta>

roa) what we know of Soviet doctrine, nonpet-listen! agents would be usedttack Ui(TOact nl' ol advance and oo install* lions they wished to occupy. Penisteot agents would be used to attack airfields anddltttes as well at to protect the flanks of Pact forces. Chemical attacks could abo be combined with either high-explosive (HE) or nuclear attacks. When combined with nuclear attacks,weapon! would be used against tarceti for which nudear strikes were not planned. Chem Lea Is used simultaneously with HE munitions would not only cause additional casualties but would abo hinder recovery from the effects of the HE strikei bypenonnd to work in hot and cumbersomeclothing. ffagaaW

ATO's ddidencies against conventional chemical agents encompass the whole gamut ofcapabilities: detection, identification, protection, antidotes. pcophyUiis. and dcontamination. While some efforts are under way to ameliorate these defi-dencies. the effort) have encountered resistance at the polilical level by governrnents suffering budgetary stricture* andense of urgency)

Toxins* Tha Added Threat

GO The problem of NATO CW deficiencies it now greatly aggravated by the discovery (hat the USSH has been developing and using toxins in novelwith chemical agents, the pieeis* nature and military effectlvcnees of which remain unknown. Warsaw Pact military manuals contain large sections on toxins and describe in detail their use not only as sabotage agents, but also as "combat- toxic warfare agents. Like traditional chemical weapons, toiinsumber of potential tactical uses depending in large part on terrain and trtdeoroJogleal conditions. In urban set lints and in mountainous or iungle terrain, (heir me may be more cost effective than equipment-and manpower-intensive conventional sweeps. Like persistent chemical agents, some toxins are effective territorial denial weapons and are especially usdul to


deny food, water, and materielto forcei Toxins may be dfoctire in contaminating potential ampmoious Und ma Utcs,V shore facilities, and land routes.^aW

Soviet eraplorow-vl of UVdxotheceoe mrateaUa to SOuttwMt Asia and Wrong Ukdlcattotxt lhal other tains have long been imderhe USSH roales it Uunlrariety of acrel ages*it already Incorporated ia the Soviet arsenal Some of thesehave unique rxjt heretofore exaeountcicd. (u)

We know of ipeeifie compounds underest! -gation which appear lo have considerable poterrtial asor example, biologically adIveand orginofluorinend wa are aware of some slated Sovie( goals regarding' agent properties. These enhanced pecoertsa Indud* penis ence and stability, mask breaking (that Is. mrihter pendntton) through microencapsulation, dissemination In nibmt-Cion-tiEcd particsei. and use of special arrioPenetration of personal protective garb isby coated flechettcs and byypothesis of oUes gel ili*eisomponent or ydlow rain, fjtieredr rsfSid-acting iexspacstantt are aho olconcern. Reports (mm Afghanistan indicate that such compound; hare born used Open-source literature and Intelligence reports describecep-lrdodng peptide, raising the possi-bilily that othei peptldei are being developed as CW agents, that is. small, easily tyntheiired molccsJo with spedf ic loxic properties and/or with lhe capability of extremely lipid trirufcr across the blood-brain barri-

uch novel threat agents raise an additional set of piohlemi.t lhe loll: wing

Dctrctors presently fielded by lhe Untied States and Warsaw Pad counlries can detect and identify only standard agent diavej choking, blister, and nerve agents US detectors Cannot detect toiin osciWnlec; we ire uncertain about the toiiodetecttoo caps butty of fielded Warsaw Pact eniupnvent. Improved detection fyttemt nay emerge from ongotrvi analytic work on air pollution detectors

ofli. This is essential for determining proper treatment, both piophyladic and therapeutic For most (oiim and ttidtllonal

other thaneal mentfarnirspOfttve and paeiiIraarruniialbM and

antidotes. but in out ahaencc of kJcailifkation otI"'- peoc'ess can be ei peeled.

Protection le personal protectiveretails, and so forth, tbehas lhe greatest potential foeMu lit pie access routes lo Urget organsdefeatingMirtures ofould provideeffective means of taiget access,serving primarily to driest protectivethe other providinglethal concentrationAI present,peratingprotection systems Ibl command posts,ships, and ainrall olfer one solutionagainit Imlc agents.

Deeon to mi noi ion Decontamination flora loaus Ciposure is probably more readily accomplished lhan from lhe more persistent standard agents. Foe eaimple. VX and thickened mustard are gummy and hard to remove, whereat some lorim when eiposed to sunlight and oaygess. are usaeu-valeden can be washed away withrwth*Iess. because of tbeir potency, persistence, and sow detertabUity. toains couldignificant harard 1^


M. The use ol unknown combinations of chemical and torin weaponi In local conflicts and lhe proluVri-tion of such weapons togrowing number of countries raise two serious concerns (o)

One is the increased likelihood lhat US and allied forceshird World rc*Mrj either as combatants oreneekecplng or advisory role may become delibera'e or unintended targets of chemical or rosin attacks Such attacks could be visited upon Western lorces ovate tnderenderstly of any direct Soviet rule Western forces will have lo be prepared lo protect themselves against such an eventuality

A second and fai more serious concern is the disparity that is now apparent between Soviet and Western capabilities foi and attitudes lowaid chemical and -arlsre The glarim deficiencies NATO

forces duolayof frrasSve nndSvvnl-eal poalure add uolo an Inability to detect igaiili and lo disseminate warning, inability to perfotio ccaobst roles In protective ensembles; crincal hesitations la rughttianc reconnaissance and to forth All these caB Into cruestaoas lhe survival*lay andectrre-ncss of NATO force*hemical- or toaineontami

ruled 'enl nviionmeot that can amy be

s chaotic one in which anas* caruaJues and reduced osedical and RUleriel support would heighten psychc4ogicaJ atreat and teverely degrade ^dividual and an* ef

deficiencies areroublingof what we now believe to be the capacityPact forces lo employ novel combinationsthat can be neither Identified noragainst. It also opens up worrisomefor deceptive tactic* designed io degradeforce posture, such as, by combiningbattlefield smokes to causeunit needlesslyits protective masks or ensembles,its effectiveness The use or threatenedthese weapons thus could yield psreWogses) aslactical benelita*!^

tbe dirpiriliea in capabilities,i'these weapons offer,uvrseased LkeQhood that Ihey -ill beetermined rrasseasraenl of lhapasture seems inescapable, even lo thethe political resistanceeninst

Implications fo* Inteiigence

littoricnlly. both collection and analysis of intclltgerwe on chemical and biological warfare have sullied Irons peisbtesstly ksw priority. Not until aiierom Kippui wai dad ibe isue receive aome recognition, but because priorities are aasigped by country, the chemical wattare /unction still remains underast rcl worldwide.




pecial National Intelligence Etficn.leubtccioen'ly updated and reaffirmed laMemorandum le Holden Inound lhat

Lao and Virtu*meat (orees, assisted by Sovicl logistics and supervision, have wed Irthalagents against H'Mong resistance Torcci and Wlliies Boce atndmveoto.fns have been posrttvety Identilicd ai IngredienU In one o( the classes ol agents used. Olher lyoes of chemical agents have been used


Vietnamese forces have used trkhocheeeoe toilnsariety of chemical agents against Karopu-troops and Khmer villages since at least

only hypothesis conusteat with all theli lhattoiira were devel-

oped In the Soviet Union, provided to the Lao and Vietnamese, eitherr throughol technical aiiow-how. snd made Into weapons with Soviet assistance io Lam. Vietnam, and Kampuchea It ii highly prcoahle lhal the USSR abo provided other chemical watfare agents

Soviet lorces io Afghanistan have used lethal and casualty-producing agcnti oo Muiahedinforcei and Afghan villages since the Sovicl invasion invidence ol the use of mycotoiins hat been obtained through sample




I and phyn-

edical repotting Including hUloriia ano imi cal ru minaiiocu obtained bv Qualified spectaloU to Ironical medicine, eheiniol agent effects, internal medicine and dermatology, and foteruAc medicine have led lo lhe conclusion that lethalcents, Including smallentolins, have been used Limited autocev data available from al threesupport tbe conclusion lhat chemicals eiogenous-ly supplied bv weapons ralbei lhan through natural dtseasr "plain lhe preponderancr of the findings Not one qualified physician who has eiamined victims alleging lo have eiperirnied chemical attacks has accepted aor alternative eiplanation ai plausible. Siro-itirlr. interv'.rws we accepted for analysis were eors-duetrd by Qualified individuals with Uaioing In soesol-Ogv and anthiopology. t'uuibi lilies uf systematic bias due la eras cultural misunderstanding, languagefolkways peculianlies. and magical thinking are essenliaDy ruled OUL

Seseetlifie-Sanple Evidence

6 Die United Stales hat processediicreet physical and biological ipecimeni fiom

attack sties and

via imi. Sckntistgf"""

_ found tn these anasptes m, l, Physical and bioloctcal control samples Issue been acquired haases In atone of these controls has the paeseator of any lethal chemical agent been noted. Kurt Iirr more, lhe particular chemicals and. in generalheir qmccnUitloru found In many ampinvailable) Save beenceisbtrrit wtlh the stories of bumao observershe site of the *peei.'ie alleged attacks frrsan which key went taken These centsUtertcies have irtduded lethod of delivery, lytuptoms In anitnab and uattaart. and aftereffects In severs! ease* phyakal nd bioleapcal samples have been independently(rum the same sites by di lie rent (roupsrarabrr of eases, controls have alsoincd mt the periphery of these attack sites and fron*ea matched controll dmceasl countries are finding ir-lcpendeo* cordu-yion o( ibeir

Not* on MethceMom-

tiack data from the abovere re viewed, recorded, tabulated, and screened lor duph cation and Inconsistency. Attack tables which have been gerteealed In previous assessments wen* primari I* compiled lo Include only those events that could I* confirmed by more than one diss of data All sample evidence of either physical or biological nature was double blinded and submitted with controls. No fabe positives have been discovered throughout theseAll comaauntty analyse* have beenby an outside panel of lully clearedspecialists In medicine, chemist iv. and the srjeial sevences. Ripen* (runs other countries were abo eomulled No alternative icsentlf ic or technical cipla-nation has been proffered thai diverges Irom llie conduakwu eipreued in lhe Special NationalEstimate* Ahemative hypotheses ranging from serious to fanciful have been considered and, after in vesical ion. rekctcd on ground* of scientificubility (o)


The tne orvariety ot lethal diem leal agrod In Uo. Kampuchea, and Afghanistan hai been Umrt|*by (he discoveryingle ne*'component of "veUrr-

1 Much remain, unknown aboul ike taveral Soviet chemical warfare (CW) program. Weaids gootl undersiaeading of iti historical development, some tense of ill research direction, but only sketchy knowledge of current doctrine. Some deliver, systems foe classical CW agenli areerision patterni and concent raor such agenli have been project' ed. and lalahly eitimaln form jlaiedcho ra of dala eintsgenti and loiins lhatbeen employed an ibeae regional conflicts Recent inlelligence sit ere ion Io Soviet loam research has brought In kghl some additiorulon lhat raises out concern about lhe threat we '

ntil recently. US Intelligence on toaic agents of interest lo the Waiiaw Fact hai emphisited those agents known to eiist during and slioilly after World War tt, auch as lhe muuarda and nerve Evidence ranti. however, lhal the use of lonitt a. combal weapon, asewly developed or eaperi-menaal Warsaw Pact concept, but lhal lhen may have been part of the Soviet arsenal for decades. >

i intelligence repoti wtiitenaptured Cerman chemical warfare eipert. Dr. Walter Hlrsch. contained detailed information on Soviet chemical BHD from hit Soviet POW irget rogations Among lhe new war gases under development in lhe Soviel Unaon dialing lhat periodpowdery, ycllow-browr* agent called lehedU Thr word lebede ip Russian relenillet like feed ei lender, an indirect refnence. no doubt, to the Iricholhcceneconlaminaied millet lhal caused the devastating tliieale outbreaks in Oieubuig In lhe

Soviet Union during and after World War It.innd continuing until Hinch's capture, lhe new agent lebeo'n was mentioned repeatedly by Soviel pruooen ofwho had technical training orwith Soviet CW schools. Kitsch was not able to Identify tlse agent on lhe basis of Us describedbui noted an airay of symptoms lhat bear striking similarity lo thote observed in yellow tain victims. InterestincU. tbelso described as being disseminated in munitions or as an aiicrali (pray.

rominent telentisi who fell lhe Soviel Union8 has provided additional insight into Soviets an investigator of lheoutbreak, he traced lhe origin of the epidemic lo natural contamination of grain sources byFusaria. Having Identified optimal conditions for toiin production by the fungi, he was ordered to supply latge amounts ol toalc cultute eitracti io other Soviet scientists for classified research prceecti Ssibse-Quent Soviet toitcity studies in humans involvedof various doses of lhe losie material lo ground meat which was then fed to political prisoners, and (he course of development ol tosic effects was monitored. Inhalation eipciimenis were alio conducted using monkeys. TcchniQues for enhancement of loirc effects by combining loiins of different types were also investigated Estensive debriclings ol ihis source have led ut lo conclude that his technical bona (ides are impeccable and llial lhe striking claims he continues to recall and support are highly I

6 The Soviet Union has maintained aelive rematch proieeis in all aspects of natural toiin researchcale many limes more eitcniive than one would ex peel solely on tlie basis of agioteehrologicalpidemiological RAD The research is well tupported. involves both miliiary and Civilian investigators, and in many cases hat been linked with facilities associated with COW research and development^*

i no change in the level ol these




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