A defensive chemical and biological warfare programme would be defined as one which focuses on the development of protective clothing and on the training of soldiers to withstand CBW attacks. The Project Manager, Gen. Knobel, described Project Coast as having been defensive.568 Basson described the programme as having been both defensive and offensive, and he exaggerated the offensive nature of the programme when he needed to motivate the way in which the front companies should be privatised.569 It is useful to understand the original intention of the programme and to evaluate whether the original intention changed over time.
A formerly top secret military document, authored by Basson, explicitly mentions the offensive intention of the programme:
(c) To conduct research with regard to basic aspects of chemical warfare
(d) To conduct research with regard to basic aspects of biological warfare
(h) To conduct research with regard to covert as well as conventional systems…
Objective 6: To establish an industrial capacity with regard to the production
of offensive and defensive CBW equipment…
Objective 7: to give operational and technical CBW support (offensive and
defensive). This is usually divided into two sections:
a. Conventional. This kind of support usually entails supplying equipment
(offensive and defensive) that has not yet been cleared for use by standard
procedures. This includes storage of the equipment.
b. Covert. This support is given to the Commanding General Special Forces
and his organisations, Chief of Staff Intelligence and his organisations and the
SA Police and National Intelligence. This service includes the preparation of
equipment, training with the equipment, transporting the equipment as well
as support during application.