Office of the Special Assistant to the
Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses
Introduction to the Manley Report
At the request of Gulf War veterans and the President's Advisory Committee, DOD is providing on GulfLINK the Marine Corps Research Center Research Paper #92-0009, titled "Marine Corps NBC Defense in Southwest Asia." Commonly known as the "Manley Report" because it was compiled by then Captain T. F. Manley, this report is a contemporaneous analysis of the issues pertaining to Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) defense in the Marine areas of operations during the Gulf War. The opinions and conclusions expressed in the report are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of the Marine Corps or any other governmental agency.
Readers should recognize that the purpose of the Manley report was to focus on training, doctrine, intelligence, individual NBC equipment, operational readiness, and major lessons-learned. It was not intended to provide in-depth investigations about reported chemical incidents, nor does it, in our judgment, present a comprehensive picture of the circumstances or the accuracy of the reports made by individuals who participated in his study. However, to the extent that this information can contribute to our understanding of events in the Gulf War, we have incorporated it into various case narratives together with information developed from other sources that were not available to Captain Manley. We appreciate the Manley study, especially his admonition not to treat chemical incidents categorically. Accordingly, our detailed case narratives are designed to fully explore the facts associated with each case and to make assessments based on the specific facts as presented.
Some of the Manley report is developed from references in his survey and interviews about possible chemical weapons attacks. For example, the report speculates about the existence of chemical mines and chemical munitions in the Marine tactical area of responsibility. Without any supporting evidence, and without the time or the tasking to investigate each allegation, as the DOD's case narratives do, the material presented can not by itself be used to make any conclusions about the presence of chemical weapons on the battlefield. Information that was not available to Captain Manley and that resulted from several years of work after the war showed that the contractors who cleared munitions, including over 300,000 land mines, from Kuwait never found evidence of chemical mines or chemical munitions. In fact, the cataloging and destruction of munitions in the US sector of Kuwait was carried out methodically over a three-year period and no chemical mines were found. Moreover, at a meeting of the President's Advisory Committee (PAC) on July 29, 1997, in Buffalo, Mr. Mitrokhin of the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), when asked if they had seen any evidence that the Iraqis deployed chemical land mines into Kuwait, stated "We have seen nothing, absolutely nothing." Readers of the Manley report must understand that it is not a definitive treatment of any of the incidents mentioned in the interviews or surveys.
DOD is posting the Manley Report on GulfLINK because we have committed to make information about Gulf War incidents available. The report does, however, contain uncorroborated accounts of and speculations about possible chemical events. A full investigation was beyond Manley's tasking, but is the responsibility of the Office of the Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses. That full accounting is in the form of the case narratives, some of which already have been presented to the public and more of which will be delivered in the weeks and months ahead.
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