Chemical Warfare: A Study in Restraints

Overview

In the aftermath of 9/11, the potential terror of weapons of mass destruction—from nuclear, biological, and chemical to dirty bombs—preoccupies national security experts. In Chemical Warfare, Frederic J. Brown, presents a cogent, innovative framework for understanding the historical forces that have restrained the use of WMD and how they continue to have relevance today. Analyzing both world wars, he argues that the restraints on use were complex and often unpredictable and ...

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Overview

In the aftermath of 9/11, the potential terror of weapons of mass destruction—from nuclear, biological, and chemical to dirty bombs—preoccupies national security experts. In Chemical Warfare, Frederic J. Brown, presents a cogent, innovative framework for understanding the historical forces that have restrained the use of WMD and how they continue to have relevance today. Analyzing both world wars, he argues that the restraints on use were complex and often unpredictable and ranged from the political to the technological.

The author offers a detailed examination of American chemical warfare policy as it was shaped by industry and public sentiment, as well as national and military leaders. The organization of the book into three parts reflects the importance of battlefield experiences during the First World War and of international political restraints as they evolved during the interwar years and culminated in "no first use" policies by major powers in World War II. Part I examines the use of chemical weapons in World War I as it influenced subsequent national policy decisions. Part II focuses on the evolution of political, military, economic, and psychological restraints from 1919 to 1939. Part III discusses World War II during two critical periods: 1939 to early 1942, when the environment of the war was being established largely without American influence; and during 1945, when the United States faced no credible threat of retaliation to deter its strategic and battlefield use of chemical weapons. Written at the height of controversy about the U.S. use of chemicals in Vietnam, Chemical Warfare offers a valuable historical perspective, as relevant now in its analysis of chemical and also nuclear policy as it was when first published.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412804950
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/17/2005
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Lieutenant General Frederic J. Brown retired from the U.S.Army in 1989. He commanded army units at every level in the United States, Germany, and Vietnam and ultimately became Chief of Armor and Cavalry. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, he is the author of two books and numerous articles on the modernization of the U.S. Army.

Jeanne Guillemin is a professor of sociology at Boston College and a senior fellow at the MIT Security Studies Program. She is the author of Biological Weapons: From the Invention of State-Sponsored Programs to Contemporary Bioterrorism.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Edition xiii
Acknowledgements xxvii
Introduction xxix
Part I World War I
Introduction 1
1 The Heritage of War 3
A Record of Use 3
B Formation of Restraints 12
Propaganda and the American Public 12
The Administration Responds 17
C Military Perspectives 33
Tactical Characteristics 33
Science and Technology 38
A Question of Honor 40
D Fears for the Future-Escalation 42
Part II The Interwar Years
Introduction 49
2 The Aftermath of War 51
A Drafting the Peace 52
B American Industry and Propaganda 56
C The Washington Arms Conference 61
D Institutionalization Within the Military 72
Congressional Intervention-the National Defense Act of 1920 73
War Department Hesitation 87
Legacy of the Washington Arms Conference 93
3 The Evolution of Policy, 1922-1939 97
A External Stimulants 97
Geneva Gas Protocol 98
World Disarmament Conference 110
B Internal Review 121
Military Policy-A New Realism 121
National Policy-Continuing Opposition 123
Military Programs-Continuing Unreadiness 125
4 Restraints at the Outbreak of War
A Military Unpreparedness 149
Army-Nonassimilation 150
Navy-Inattention 158
Air Corps-Focus on Survival 162
B The Problem of Civil Defense 167
C Unrealistic Threat Perception 174
D Public Opposition 176
E A Tenuous Legal Restraint 183
Part III The Test of World War II
Introduction 189
5 Confirmation of Restraints 1939-1942 191
A Hesitation 1939-1941 191
B Reevaluation after Pearl Harbor 198
C British Chemical Warfare Policy 207
Declaratory Policy 208
Restraints on Employment 211
Public Attitudes 212
Threat Evaluation 213
National Elite and Coalition War 216
Military Readiness 218
The Test of Sea Lion 226
D German Chemical Warfare Policy 230
Declaratory Policy 230
Restraints on Employment
Threat Evaluation 231
Elite Attitudes-Hitler's
Rationality 235
Military Readiness 238
E Japanese Chemical Warfare Policy 246
Declaratory Policy 248
Restraints on Employment
Threat Evaluation 249
Military Readiness 253
6 The Crucial Test-Mid-1945
A The Success of Minimum Deterrence 262
B The New Environment in 1945 267
C Restraints on Employment 269
JCS Procrastination 271
Vulnerability of Allies 278
Institutional and Personal Attitudes 281
D Ineffective Restraints 286
Legal 286
Public Opinion 287
7 Summary and Conclusions 290
Glossary of Abbreviations 317
Bibliography 321
Index 343
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