The Department of Defense announced today the release of an information paper from the DoD Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses - "Planning the Gulf War Air Campaign - The Role of Modeling and Simulation in the Planning of Attacks on Iraq's Chemical and Biological Warfare Targets" - that addresses the use of modeling and simulation as an assessment tool in planning attacks on Iraq's chemical and biological weapons sites in the Gulf War air campaign.
The paper finds that modeling and simulations were used during planning to study the following factors: aircraft survivability; civilian casualties; and the effects of possible Iraq use of chemical and biological weapons against Coalition forces.
Investigators also found that planners evaluating the possible release of chemical or biological agents as a consequence of Coalition air attacks of Iraq sites did not have the benefit of computer modeling and simulation. Results from ongoing studies were not available until after the conclusion of the air war. This contradicts 1997 press reports.
Press accounts in 1997 mistakenly cited a report produced by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as evidence that air campaign planners had prior knowledge of chemical and biological warfare risks to Coalition forces. However, investigators found this report was the result of a modeling capability demonstration prepared by the laboratory and not a simulation of actual or anticipated Gulf War air missions. The laboratory did not use any actual location, weather or chemical and biological agent data to develop the simple, generic demonstration.
The information paper is available on the GulfLINK at http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/news/na_aircampaign_24feb00.html . To obtain copies, call (800) 497-6261. Anyone with additional information about the Air Campaign is encouraged to call the office at (800) 497-6261.