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The Soviet Chemical Warfare Posture

  • Edward M. Spiers

Abstract

In his annual report to Congress for Fiscal Year 1983, Caspar W. Weinberger, the Secretary of Defense, described the Soviet Union as ‘much better prepared than the United States or our allies to wage chemical warfare and fight in a chemically contaminated environment’.1 American military authorities have repeatedly sounded the tocsin on this issue. They have warned that Soviet forces are ‘the best equipped and prepared forces in the world to employ chemical weapons’; that the Soviet advantage in ‘offensive chemical weapons … may be the Achilles heel of NATO’s defence’; and that the Soviet chemical warfare capability is ‘truly scary’.2 Their concern reflects the priority which the Soviet forces attach to their chemical warfare capabilities. Soviet ground, air and naval forces, along with those of other Warsaw Pact countries, have developed the doctrine, organisation, training and protective equipment to employ chemical weapons in conjunction with either conventional or nuclear weapons.3

Keywords

Chemical Defence Protective Clothing Nerve Agent Chemical Weapon Hydrogen Cyanide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes and References

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© Edward M. Spiers 1986

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  • Edward M. Spiers

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