Choking Agents damage the lungs. Blister Agents cause painful blisters on the skin, can cause
blindness, and are especially damaging when inhaled. Nerve Agents attack the nervous system,
causing difficulty in breathing, nausea, dim vision, convulsions and death.
Chemical warfare agents can be persistent or non-persistent. The effects of persistent agents, such as
Mustard or VX, may last days or weeks. Hydrogen Cyanide and GB are non-persistent agents. For
example, GB evaporates at about the same rate as water.
Some industrial chemicals are also proven chemical warfare agents. These chemicals, like Hydrogen
Cyanide and Phosgene, are produced in industrial chemical plants, which are commonly found
throughout the world.
Virtually all weapon systems, from mortars and howitzers to aerial bombs and missiles, can be used to
deliver chemical warfare agents. Chemical munitions can create a hazard over a wide area. A
battalion of 152mm howitzers, firing non-persistent Nerve Agent for one minute, can affect an area of
over 600 meters by 400 meters.
PART B: EUROPEAN WEAPONS PROGRAMS
Among the world's regions, the most mature NBC weapons programs are found in Europe. While
Russia retains the most formidable NBC capability, other European countries have developed chemical
1. Former Yugoslav Chemical Warfare Program.
The former Yugoslavia produced Mustard and GB. The Yugoslavs may also have weaponized the
hallucinogen, BZ, Figure 2-4.
In the Bosnian conflict, there have been threats and accusations of chemical weapons use. The riot
control agent, CS, has been used. Serb Forces have threatened to bomb the nuclear reactor in
Slovenia. Muslim Forces deliberately set canisters of Chlorine from the Tuzla industrial chemical plant
in front of their positions to deter Serb artillery attacks.
2. Russian Nuclear Concerns.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union left Russia with some 30,000 tactical and strategic nuclear
weapons. In November 1993, Russia renounced its No-First-Use Policy, declaring it would use nuclear
weapons, if necessary, to repel a conventional attack. Those weapons which were deployed in
Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan are being returned to Russia.