Intelligence Update: Chemical Warfare Agent Issues During the Persian Gulf War   [open pdf - 338KB]

Since 1993, much attention has been focused on chemical warfare (CW) agents as a potential cause of, or contributor to, Gulf war illnesses (GWI). In spring 1995, the CIA initiated a comprehensive study of intelligence and other information to help determine whether US troops were exposed to any chemical, biological, or radiological agents and to examine intelligence for any potential causative factors of Gulf war illnesses. In February 1997, the Intelligence Community (IC) formed the Persian Gulf War Illnesses Task Force to study and declassify intelligence potentially relevant to veterans' illnesses issues and to expedite sharing of intelligence with the Department of Defense (DoD). In April 1997, the Task Force published a detailed unclassified paper on intelligence related to the Khamisiyah Storage Depot. The Task Force also studied potential releases of nerve agents at Khamisiyah, continued research on potential toxic agent exposure, and produced and declassified numerous other papers related to veterans' issues. This paper addresses the possibility of exposure only to chemicals generally accepted--or treated by Iraq--as chemical warfare agents. This paper reflects the results of our multifaceted investigation into the CW issue, examining information on CW agent releases, Gulf war Iraqi CW deployments, and Iraqi chemical agents and weapons. Results of our studies on biological and radiological agents have been published in separate reports. With the publishing of this paper, the DCI Persian Gulf War Illnesses Task Force has completed its work.

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