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

By Albert J.Mauroni | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10

Conclusion

We must reemphasize the importance of chemical defense to maintaining deterrence and plan to increase the overall level of effort. As the bilateral and multilateral treaties are agreed and implemented, our retaliatory capability will be reduced, and chemical defense will become the key to chemical deterrence.

—Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense

Professor of history Martin van Creed has written that the rules of war exist to protect the armed forces themselves by defining a common cultural code that differentiates an army from a mob. More importantly, he states that these rules carefully define how armies can and cannot be allowed to kill other combatants and noncombatants. These are in effect a societal rule that draws the line between murder and war. Countries that ignore the rules usually provoke punishment, often through annihilation or later war crime trials. These rules of war once covered the use of crossbows, submarine warfare, strategic bombing and minelaying; today, of course, they still cover CB warfare. 1

Over the last century, nations have attempted to restrain the use of CB weapons under these special rules, though more from fear of retaliation than from moral distaste. Because of past association with strategic bombing theories developed between the world wars and after World War II, the advent of nuclear weapons, chemical and biological weapons have been put on the same scale as nuclear devices. Contrary to this view, CB warfare has never resulted in thousands or millions of innocent casualties, the nightmare that has driven the international arms control community to such treaties as the Biological Weapons Convention and Chemical Weapons Convention. History has shown that nations continue to develop CB weapons because there are tactical advantages to be gained: when one combines CB weapons use with conventional military tactics against an enemy without a good defense, it dramatically reduces the time needed for victory. In these days of billion-dollar conflicts, that gets attention. Increasing global proliferation of these weapons drives the need for defensive measures despite these special “rules” of war.

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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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