It must be said to our shame that we sent our army into that most modern war with weapons and equipment which were quite inadequate, and we had only ourselves to blame for the disasters which early overtook us in the field when fighting began in 1940.
—Montgomery of Alamein
The professional world of my generation was defined in a bipolar context, with intense competition between two superpowers—Russia and the United States. That nonambiguous threat provided a rational approach to the study of the operational art, focused our training and shaped the supra-national alliance, NATO. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the national security environment became more confusing: threats were ambiguous, NATO was reestablishing a new relevance and the operations tempo of the US armed forces was increasing. While some looked to claim a “peace dividend, ” Saddam Hussein claimed sovereignty over Kuwait and proceeded to invade. The US-led coalition's response was remarkable. Desert Shield and Desert Storm were unprecedented operations: they brought a focus in the United States that had not been seen since the early 1940s. America's military doctrine, equipment and personnel were demonstrating impressive capabilities, which were reported upon worldwide. The fact that Iraq had used chemical weapons as recently as 1988 was not lost on military planners and commanders.
This lucid and thorough study covers heretofore unexamined territory in the contemporary analysis of chemical-biological defense. What follows is a superb history of the people and events that shaped the coalition's response to the very real threat of weapons of mass destruction being used on the battlefield. It chronicles the efforts of individuals and organizations to mitigate what was viewed by many as the near certainty that Saddam would use chemical weapons. While it was generally agreed that battlefield effectiveness of coalition forces would be diminished by the use of chemical weapons, there was no lack of conviction that