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January 11, 2017
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February 2, 2011
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PDF icon LOC-HAK-454-2-3-2.pdf506.63 KB
L i No Objection to Declassification in Full 2011/02/02: LOC-HAK-454-2-3-2 W Analytical Summary POSSIBLE INTERNATIONAL RESTRAINTS ON ENVIRONMENTAL WARFARE The immediate question is whether to give favorable consideration to General Secretary Brezhnev's suggestion in Malxh that the summit com- munique include agreement to enter into discussions regarding possible restraints on using environmental modification techniques as weapons of war. To facilitate the near-term decision, this paper examines the advantages and disadvantages of no restraints on "environmental warfare, 11 and two different levels of restraints which could be the bases for international discussions. As discussed below, the concept of environmental warfare could cover modification of the weather, climate, ocean, terrestrial, and the ionosphere for military purposes. US Policy NSU 165 (May 1970 established guidelines for certain international aspects of US civil weather modification activities; deferred decision on military applications; and directed that no climate modification activities be under- taken without specific Presidential approval. The Administration stated subsequently that it would not use climate modification techniques for hostile purposes should they come to be developed. Under civilian authorization, military rain augmentation experiments and operations were carried out in Southeast Asia from 1966 to 1972. These represent our only significant operational experience in the military use of weather modification under combat conditions. Military Programs and Considerations Weather Modification. The range of conceivable weather modification Such announcement could, if desired, be coupled with a proposal to e:?:p1u re international cooperation in beneficial modification techniques and/or to explore with other countries the need for international guidelines for civil environmental modification activities having cross-border effects. OSD and JCS reviews completed ON-FILE NSC RELEASE INSTRUCTIONS APPLY T~.. r?r_?F?r?f.??1?/Y~ Ir?19\ _ Al _J _/ .! J. JA-1 ~r7i...i- 2T"" No Objection to Declassification in Full 2011/02/02: LOC-HAK-454-2-3-2 'f I aDeclast TO No Objection -to? r c+sification in Full 2011/02/02: LOC-HAK-454-2-3-2 activities includes forming, stabilizing, or dissipating fog and low clouds; increasing or decreasing precipitation; moderating, intensifying and steering of severe storms such as hurricanes and typhoons; and suppressing or augmenting lightning and hail. Only dissipation of certain types of fogs and some modification of the type and amount of precipitation can be considered operational or near operational today. Positive but unsubstantiated assessments best describe efforts in hurricane moderation and hail and lightning, suppression. The possibility of intensifying or steering storms is mostly a theoretical possibility only. DOD currently has only two operational weather modification programs, both dealing with fog dissipation. DOD's R&D programs are relatively small and are designed primarily for (1) protecting personnel and resources against natural hazards to improve operational capabilities and (2) guarding against technological surprise. Possible militarily useful applications include: - Rain enhancement could be used to wash out tactical bridging equipment, disrupt airborne operations, channelize or block enemy attack or logistic routes, or shield friendly activities. .' fog or low l_ulation or e ta,!%;,-i In li:niF,... ed circumstances, g o_ - cloud sti b i l: r. 1,- might be useful; and fog dissipation could be used to facilitate launching of air strikes or to clear target areas. Hurricane or typhoon intensification or steering, if ever feasible, might be used for inflicting damage, denying areas for a limited time, or avoiding storm damage. However, militarily useful weather modification would require the conjunction in place and time of a tactical opportunity to be gained by using modification techniques, suitable meteorological conditions, and an operational capability in place. While a deployed operational capability could be made available with necessary investment, training, and doctrine, the coincidence of the other two factors---suitable natural meteorological conditions and tactical The rain augmentation activities in Southeast Asia were designed to nt;Ll,c North Vietnamese infiltration more difficult 13jr increasing rainfall in selected areas to soften road surfaces, cause landslides, and wash out river These event;; normally occur during the hck,,,ht of the rainy season. Sk?c?clint, was intended to extend the period of occtirt?rnc?c:; tt.nd to supplement tl,o rainfall. \Vbile thi:; program app;ii-enl:ly it:,-(l ,,n effect: on the primiiiv,- conditions in these areas, the results were re.rtainly limited and t No Objection to Declassification in Full 2011/02/02: LOC-HAK-454-2-3-2 No Objection to Declassification in Full 2011/02/02 : LOC-HAK-454-2-3-2 TOP 3pportunity_would be fortuitous. For this reason, ason, weather modification would be essentially a