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Discussions about designing systems to restrain what is referred to generically as chemical warfare-the use of chemicals, particularly in gas or vaporous form, against an adversary-have been infected by a number of myths. One of them is that chemical warfare weapons are ineffective. If that were really the case, there would be little problem. But the intensive use of the weapon in the relatively short time period since its perfection and the continued interest it inspires in military specialists should belie this particular myth. No weapon is effective in all contexts, against all adversaries, and for all objectives. Recent history unfortunately shows that chemical weapons are effective in certain arenas and, in particular, in those asymmetrical situations in which one party does not have them and/or the risk of the other responding in kind is minimal or tolerable.
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