1. "Incendiary weapon" means any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat, or combination thereof, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on the target. (a) Incendiary weapons can take the form of, for example, flame throwers, fougasses, shells, rockets, grenades, mines, bombs and other containers of incendiary substances.
States Parties to the CCW are required not only to sign and ratify the Convention but also to consent to be bound by at least two of the Protocols. The United States signed the CCW in 1982, ratified the Convention on March 24, 1995, and gave its consent to be bound by Protocols I and II in 1995. The United States submitted the Amended Protocol II—as well as Protocol III and Protocol IV, which have not been ratified—to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification on January 7, 1997. The Amended Protocol II was ratified on May 24, 1999.
International law does not prohibit the use of napalm or other incendiaries against military targets, but use against civilian populations was banned by a United Nations convention in 1980 . The United States did not sign the agreement, but claimed to have destroyed its napalm arsenal by 2001.
During the war, Pentagon spokesmen disputed reports that napalm was being used, saying the Pentagon's stockpile had been destroyed two years ago.
Apparently the spokesmen were drawing a distinction between the terms "firebomb" and "napalm." If reporters had asked about firebombs, officials said yesterday they would have confirmed their use.
What the Marines dropped, the spokesmen said yesterday, were "Mark 77 firebombs." They acknowledged those are incendiary devices with a function "remarkably similar" to napalm weapons.
Rather than using gasoline and benzene as the fuel, the firebombs use kerosene-based jet fuel, which has a smaller concentration of benzene.
Hundreds of partially loaded Mark 77 firebombs were stored on pre-positioned ammunition ships overseas, Marine Corps officials said. Those ships were unloaded in Kuwait during the weeks preceding the war.
"You can call it something other than napalm, but it's napalm," said John Pike, defense analyst with GlobalSecurity.org, a nonpartisan research group in Alexandria, Va.
Once committed, Iraq spent large amounts of money and resources on its CW program (see Figure 1). The outbreak of war with Iran in 1980 and Iraq’s failure to attain a speedy victory appear to have been the impetus for the Ministry of Defense’s launch of its industrial-scale, comprehensive, strategic CW program—code-named Research Center 922 or Project 922—on June 8, 1981. The objective was to produce CW agents—mustard, Tabun, Sarin, and VX, chemical munitions, and white phosphorus (WP) munitions.
The fighting in Fallujah, Iraq has led to a number of widespread myths including false charges that the United States is using chemical weapons such napalm and poison gas. None of these allegations are true. [...]
On November 12, 2004, the U.S. Department of Defense issued a denial of the chemical weapons charge, stating:
"The United States categorically denies the use of chemical weapons at anytime in Iraq, which includes the ongoing Fallujah operation. Furthermore, the United States does not under any circumstance support or condone the development, production, acquisition, transfer or use of chemical weapons by any country. All chemical weapons currently possessed by the United States have been declared to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and are being destroyed in the United States in accordance with our obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention." [...]
Finally, some news accounts have claimed that U.S. forces have used "outlawed" phosphorus shells in Fallujah. Phosphorus shells are not outlawed. U.S. forces have used them very sparingly in Fallujah, for illumination purposes. They were fired into the air to illuminate enemy positions at night, not at enemy fighters.
Bogert is a mortar team leader who directed his men to fire round after round of high explosives and white phosphorus charges into the city Friday and Saturday, never knowing what the targets were or what damage the resulting explosions caused.
The boom kicked dust around the pit as they ran through the drill again and again, sending a mixture of burning white phosphorus and high explosives they call "shake 'n' bake" into a cluster of buildings where insurgents have been spotted all week.
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