Chemical-Biological Defense: U.S. Military Policies and Decisions in the Gulf War

By Albert J.Mauroni | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5

Tensions Rise in the Gulf

Anti-chemical protection is essential today, when the possession of chemical weapons is not prohibited by international law and when several nations possess stocks of chemical weapons. Moreover, chemical defense will remain essential after entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

—Dr. Matthew Meselson, November 1990

The FDA formally approved the Army's New Drug Application for the CANA auto injectors on December 5. It seemed like the CANA would be available in limited quantities in time for the air war. All of the soldiers might have them by the ground offensive, if the production lines kept to schedule and training programs to use the CANAs were accomplished as planned. The forecasted numbers for biological vaccines were less clear. The FDA and DoD had wrangled over the question of biological vaccine and chemical agent pretreatment Investigational New Drugs (INDs) for months. As General Sir Peter de la Billiere would point out later, there really was no need for a trial-tested decision, in the end. He noted, “We should be entirely blameworthy if we didn't use it [the vaccines] and Saddam delivered biological.” 1 To supplement the troops' ability to resist infections, the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board agreed to the CINCCENT Surgeon's recommendation to issue antibiotics to all troops. At a special Biological Warfare Defense Review hosted by ODCSOPS on December 18, Major General Louis Del Rosso reviewed the biodetector employment scheme and the biodefense vaccine plan. The results went the next day to Secretary Cheney, who approved the immunization plan for anthrax and botulinum toxin, the immunization team travel, the use of antibiotics and other treatments.

General Powell authorized a warning order to CENTCOM on the biological vaccine distribution. CENTCOM was to initiate plans to receive the bio detection teams, 500,000 individually packaged antibiotic kits plus enough bulk-packaged ciproflosacin and doxycycline for one million troops for thirty days, 3,500 doses of botulinum toxin vaccine, and 100,000 doses of anthrax vaccine. This would require additional refrigeration and vaccination teams to distribute the doses.

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Chemical-Biological Defense: U.S. Military Policies and Decisions in the Gulf War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Abbreviations xix
  • Chapter 1 - Incidents in the Gulf 1
  • Chapter 2 - Deployment to the Desert 19
  • Chapter 3 - Building Up the Defense 43
  • Chapter 4 - Move to the Offense 61
  • Chapter 5 - Tensions Rise in the Gulf 75
  • Chapter 6 - Operation Desert Storm Begins 91
  • Chapter 7 - “…and Then We Are Going to Kill It” 109
  • Chapter 8 - After-Action Report 129
  • Chapter 9 - Agent Orange Revisited? 151
  • Chapter 10 - Conclusion 169
  • Appendix A 187
  • Appendix B 191
  • Appendix C 201
  • Notes 209
  • Selected Bibliography 227
  • Index 231
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