‘An Armed and Agile Nation’

  • Valerie Adams


In the years following the First World War, there emerged within the United States the tension which has in different forms continued as an element of American chemical warfare policy to present times.1 In the early 1920s, the public, inspired in part by the horrors of the war and in part by the excesses of a campaign by the chemical industry to win support for chemical weapons production, strongly favoured a ban on chemical weapons. The US War Department, suspicious of chemical warfare, doubtful about its value, and with other expenditure priorities, sought to disband the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) and to limit CW activities to those strictly necessary for defence and retaliation. Congress, however, backed the CWS in its attempt to maintain and improve a CW combat capability that was not necessarily restricted to retaliation.2


Chemical Weapon Fiscal Year Biological Weapon General Account Office Binary Programme 
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  1. 18.
    Walter Schneir, ‘The Campaign to Make Chemical Warfare Respectable’, The Reporter, 1 October 1959, p. 24.Google Scholar
  2. 20.
    B.H. Liddell Hart, ‘Is Gas a Better Defence than Atomic Weapons?’ Survival, September/October 1959, pp. 139–42.Google Scholar
  3. 59.
    General Rogers, Hearings before the Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate, Department of Defense, Appropriations for 1980, pp. 840–1; Major General N.J. Fulwyler, before the House Committee on Armed Services, Hearings on Military Posture and HR 5968, p. 838.Google Scholar
  4. 83.
    Patrick Forbes, ‘Low-key Sortie to UK about “Big-eye” Bomb’, New Statesman, 5 April 1985.Google Scholar
  5. 103.
    Lois R. Ember, ‘Battle Looms Over Funding of Binary Chemical Weapons’, Chemical and Engineering News, 11 August 1986.Google Scholar
  6. 128.
    Susan Wright, ‘The Military and the New Biology’, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May 1985, pp. 10–16.Google Scholar
  7. 129.
    Dr Haase Ewin, ‘Chemical and Biological Warfare: The New Frontier’, Asian Defence Journal, June 1986, pp. 84–6.Google Scholar

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© Valerie Adams 1989

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  • Valerie Adams

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