Accession Number:



Chemical Weapons: DOD Does Not Have a Strategy to Address Low-Level Exposures

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

Corporate Author:

United States General Accounting Office

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The possible exposure of U.S. troops to low levels of chemical warfare agents in Iraq in the weeks after the Gulf War ceasefire, along with chemical warfare prophylaxis, vaccines, oil well fire emissions, and other battlefield effluents, is suspected to be a contributing factor in the unexplained illnesses that have plagued some Gulf War veterans. Members of Congress have raised concerns regarding the adequacy of Department of Defense DOD policy, doctrine, and technology to identify, prepare for, and defend troops against the possible adverse effects of exposure to low-level chemical warfare agents. As you requested, we examined DODs approach for addressing U.S. troop exposures to low levels of chemical warfare agents. Specifically, we 1 determined the extent that DOD doctrine addresses exposures to low levels of chemical warfare agents 2 evaluated the extent that research addresses the performance and health effects of exposures to low levels of chemical warfare agents, either in isolation or combination with other agents and contaminants that would be likely found on the battlefield and 3 identified the portion of resources in DODs chemical and biological defense research, development, test, and evaluation RDT and E program explicitly directed at low-level chemical warfare agent exposures. Appendix I discusses the scope and methodology of this review, and a glossary of scientific and medical terms appears at the end of this report.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]