Johnstone, L. Craig
July 1971
Foreign Affairs;Jul1971, Vol. 49 Issue 4, p711
The article focuses on a debate within the U.S. Senate and the administration of U.S. President Richard Nixon on the Geneva Protocol banning chemical and biological warfare. It is the administration's contention that the U.S. should ratify the Protocol with the understanding that it does not prohibit the use in war of riot-control agents tear gas and chemical herbicides. A large number of senators, however, consider that the Protocol prohibits the use of both, and feel that the administration understanding dilutes the significance of U.S. ratification. Consequently, the members of the Foreign Relations Committee are not likely to vote the Protocol out of committee in its present form. And until the President replies to their criticism it appears that no action will be taken on it. To date, the Nixon administration has compiled an excellent record in limiting chemical and biological weapons. In November 1969 the President reaffirmed the renunciation by the U.S. of the first use of lethal chemical weapons and went beyond previous policy statements by including incapacitating chemicals as well.


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