Whether or not gas will be employed in future wars is a matter of conjecture. But the effect is so deadly to the unprepared that we can never afford to neglect the question.
-General John J. Pershing1
CHEMICAL WEAPONS were first used in May 1915 during World War I when the Germans released chlorine gas into the wind during the Battle of Ypres in France.2 By the time hostilities ceased, new agents such as cyanide, phosgene, and mustard gas had been used, killing thousands of soldiers and injuring many more. The number of casualties was small compared to total casualties, but chemical weapons had played a profoundly unpleasant role.
Shortly after the war, the Geneva …