CBW Events -- March 2017 selections
Each month, entries for a few anniversaries of notable CBW Events are posted. All will appear in the relevant final versions of the chronologies.
35 years ago:
22 March 1982
US Secretary of State Alexander Haig submits a report on "Chemical Warfare in Southeast Asia and Afghanistan" to Congress. The report concludes that Lao and Vietnamese forces (under Soviet supervision) have been using lethal chemical and toxin agents in Laos since 1975, that Vietnamese forces have been using lethal chemical and toxin agents in Kampuchea since 1978 and that Soviet forces have been using a variety of lethal and non-lethal chemical and nerve agents since the invasion of that country.
40 years ago:
28 March 1977
The US delegation submits a working paper on incapacitating chemical warfare agents to the CCD in Geneva, the first paper on this subject since one submitted by Canada some years earlier [see 16 July 1974]. The paper indicates support for inclusion of incapacitants within the scope of the projected CWC and notes: "Potential incapacitating agents are so diverse that it does not appear possible to find any simple definitional formula. In view of the lack of suitable technical criteria, consideration might be given to relying solely on the general purpose criterion".
45 years ago:
9 March 1972
The French National Assembly passes a Bill outlawing development, manufacture or stockpiling of biological or toxin weapons. The law is promulgated on 7 June 1972 to become law 72-467. The law forms one component of its response to the Biological Weapons Convention [see 16 November 1971] which it has declared it will not sign [see 29 November 1971].
20 March 1972
In Geneva, the United States submits to the CCD a paper entitled "Work Program regarding negotiations on prohibition of chemical weapons".
28 March 1972
In Geneva, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, Romania and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics submit to the CCD a "Draft Convention on the prohibition of the development, production and stockpiling of chemical weapons and on their destruction" which has been prepared by those states in association with the Byelorussian and Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republics. The draft is similar to the text of the Biological Weapons Convention agreed some months earlier [see 16 November 1971].
65 years ago:
12 March 1952 In the United Kingdom, the Biological Warfare Subcommittee reports "There is no firm evidence of the existence in the USSR of any BW project either for research, mass-production of BW agents, or the development of the necessary special weapons and equipment. There are however indications that a small group of scientists may be engaged on BW research under the control of the Soviet Army. The only broad conclusion possible is that the Russians are now capable of BW sabotage wither [sic] against man, livestock, or crops, and that they could, if such were their intention, have initiated the mass cultivation of bacteria in 1951 and achieve by 1952 at least the level of production attained by the U.S.A. in 1945".