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Thread: More Troops

  1. #1
    Ubi dubium ibi libertas Senior Contributor
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    More Troops

    Too Few Troops
    From the April 26, 2004 issue: Resolve alone won't bring success. We need a military and political strategy that maximizes our odds of winning in Iraq.
    by Robert Kagan and William Kristol
    04/26/2004, Volume 009, Issue 31

    AT HIS PRESS CONFERENCE Tuesday night, President Bush eloquently made the case for staying the course in Iraq. The next day, at City College in New York, Senator Kerry agreed: "It would be unwise beyond belief for the United States of America" to cut and run, and to "leave a failed Iraq in its wake." And the American people, despite the recent bad news, show no sign of panic: In a Time/CNN poll, 57 percent of respondents agree that the United States should "intensify" its military effort in Iraq.

    Unfortunately, resolve alone won't bring success. Neither will well-delivered statements by the president. The problem in Iraq is not poor public relations, or a lack of will. Rather, it is the failure of policymakers at the highest levels to fashion a military and political strategy that maximizes the odds of success. That is what has been missing ever since Saddam's statue fell a little over a year ago.

    The mere fact that violence has increased recently in Iraq is not by itself grounds for criticizing the administration's handling of the war. No sensible person believed that the effort to build a democratic Iraq would be without cost and dangers. No reasonable person expected administration officials and military commanders, either in Washington or in Baghdad, to be able to exercise unerring mastery over an inherently complex and always explosive situation.

    Nor is the news from Iraq all bad. Several weeks ago we argued optimistically (perhaps too optimistically) that things were looking better, and we still believe there is much in Iraq to be gratified by: continued peaceful cooperation among Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish leaders, despite many disagreements; an economy that seems to be improving; the fact that a large majority of Iraqis, as documented in polls, say their future is promising, reject political violence, and support an ongoing American presence. And much of Iraq remains, at the moment, relatively peaceful. All this is important progress.

    Yet this progress can be undone. And while we certainly do not hold the administration responsible for everything that has gone wrong in Iraq, it is clear that there have been failures in planning and in execution, failures that have been evident for most of the last year. Serious errors have been made--and made, above all, by Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon. The recent violence in Iraq has confirmed that the level of American military forces has been too low to accomplish the president's mission ever since the invasion phase of the war ended last April.

    On Thursday, the secretary of defense announced a three-month extension in tours of duty for about 20,000 troops in Iraq. This did not increase the number of troops on the ground, but it did undo a planned drawdown in military strength from 135,000 to 115,000, thereby maintaining current combat strength. But leaving 20,000 troops in Iraq for an additional three months will almost certainly not be enough. Close observers of the conflict in Iraq, civilian and military alike (military, of course, speaking off the record), say that at least two additional divisions--at least 30,000 extra troops--are needed in Iraq just to deal with the current crisis. Even more troops may well be needed to fully pacify the country. And it would be useful to have as many of those troops as possible there sooner rather than later.

    The shortage of troops in Iraq is the product of a string of bad calculations and a hefty dose of wishful thinking. Above all, it is the product of Rumsfeld's fixation on high-tech military "transformation," his hostility to manpower-intensive nation-building in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, and his refusal to increase the overall size of the military in the first place. The results are plain to see: We are trying to carry out Bush's post-9/11 foreign policy with Clinton's pre-9/11 military. It is a wonderful military, but it is too small for our responsibilities in the post-9/11 world. As a result, it will not be easy to find the additional brigades to send to Iraq. Troubling reductions in our deployments elsewhere will be required, and an already stressed military will be asked to do more still. Unfortunately, there is no choice.

    It didn't have to be this way. Back in August 2003, it was already clear that by early spring of 2004 there would be a shortage of forces to maintain stability and security in Iraq. Neither the military commanders in Iraq nor Rumsfeld pretended otherwise. But rather than prepare to increase American forces, Rumsfeld and General John Abizaid, the U.S. commander in the region, searched for stopgaps. One was the John Kerry solution: more foreign troops. Pentagon plans last fall called for the introduction of an additional international division on top of the one currently led by Poland. That second international division never materialized.

    The second proposed fix was to build an Iraqi security force capable of filling the gap. Original plans to build a force of 50,000-100,000 within a year were scrapped as too modest. By October, Rumsfeld boasted that up to 200,000 Iraqi forces would be available in a matter of months. In order to accomplish this feat, training schedules were radically shortened, and procedures for vetting Iraqi soldiers and police were loosened. Critics, including this magazine, warned that this hasty assembling of an Iraqi force carried significant risks: Either they would not be capable of fighting in the time allotted, or they would be unreliable. Both unfortunately turned out to be the case. General Abizaid now acknowledges that the Iraqi forces have proved a "big disappointment." Many would not fight during the recent violence. Some even defected to the other side.

    So the present shortage of troops in Iraq is not a surprise. It was predictable. Without the hoped-for second international division and without a usable force of Iraqis, security in Iraq has fallen almost entirely to an American force too small to handle the job. The stresses we're under now cannot be chalked up to the "fog of war" or simple bad luck. Last September General Ricardo Sanchez, the top commander in Iraq, was asked if he had enough troops. He responded that he would not have enough to handle a new wave of conflict in Iraq. "If a militia or an internal conflict of some nature were to erupt," he told reporters in Baghdad, " . . . that would be a challenge out there that I do not have sufficient forces for." Eight months later, that conflict erupted, and, sure enough, there weren't enough troops to handle it.

    We need to fix the situation. It would of course have been better to have planned for higher force levels from the beginning, rather than to have to scramble now, calling forces back from well-earned leaves and disrupting rotations. Had the proper number of forces been in place in Iraq from the beginning, some of the recent violence might have been deterred, or suppressed more speedily. Had the proper number of forces been in place, the military would have been able to act more aggressively and thoroughly to disarm, pacify, and secure Iraq. Instead, we tried to keep a lid on things, while terrorists became better organized and militias became stronger. Had the proper number of forces been in place early on, the looting that did so much damage to Iraq's infrastructure might have been stopped, munition dumps could have been secured, economic reconstruction would have moved ahead more easily, and more men and resources could have been devoted to the training of Iraqi soldiers. Perhaps we could even have reduced infiltration from Iran, lessening Tehran's ability to stir up trouble in the south.

    Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld famously talks about preparing for the "unknown unknowns." Yet the present crisis was hardly unforeseeable, and Rumsfeld did not ensure that the military was prepared to deal with it. He failed to put in place in Iraq a force big enough to handle the challenges at hand. That is a significant failure, and we do not yet know the price that will be paid for it.

    The question is whether Rumsfeld and his generals have learned from past mistakes. Or rather, perhaps, the question is whether George W. Bush has learned from Rumsfeld's past mistakes. After all, at the end of the day, it is up to the president to ensure that the success he demands in Iraq will in fact be accomplished. If his current secretary of defense cannot make the adjustments that are necessary, the president should find one who will.


    --Robert Kagan and William Kristol

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Conten...3/977ovnnr.asp
    "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

    NEVER FORGET

  2. #2
    Banned Contributor tw-acs's Avatar
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    The war in Iraq, in my opinion, is the United States worst blunder.


    President Bush diverted $700million from operations in Afghanistan to prepare plans of war in Iraq before President Bush talked to congress about war in Iraq and before President Bush spoke to the American people about war.

    Many military strategist have concluded before the War in Iraq began, that the number of troops sent to Iraq was insufficient.

    Hitler made a similiar mistake. Extending military forces too thin and leaving supply lines vulnerable to attack. The war in Iraq has demonstrated that the USA lacks superiority in Administrative capabilities, Intelligence capabilities, military equipment technology (infantry armor and infantry vehicle armor), level of training per the military budget, and in the munitions category.

    The administration failed to use the United Nations in beginning the war in Iraq and now seeks shelter and safety from the United Nations after the war in Iraq has begun.

    US intelligence says that Saddam was 5-7 years away from having Nuclear Weapons, if that. And the projected timeline for Saddam to have had a missile delivery system capable of reaching the United States was unforeseeable, that is he couldnt make one and probably never would.

    http://www.moveon.org/censure/caughtonvideo/

    US Armed Forces Gun trucks have plywood for armor. The steel is available sitting at the docks. It could be cut and and US armed forces could have some steel armor on its infantry vehicles by about May or June, if addressed now.

    US Armed Forces do not have flak jackets. Basic body armor. That is pathetic.

    Depleted Uranium munitions are very deadly. They are in fact so deadly they harm our troops.

    Tungsten is a very hard metal. It was used in US munitions. However, China has most of the tungsten on the planet. Knowing that the United States and China have not had the best of relations at times, it would be unwise for China to sell the United States Tungsten.

    There was a solution to the problem of the lack of Tungsten. Through the processing of spent fuel rods, used in nuclear power plants, Depleted Uranium munitions can be created.

    Depleted Uranium munitions are extremely effective in battle, though not much better than Tungsten. The first time the deployment and use of Depleted Uranium munitions was discussed, it was concluded that the use of Depleted Uranium had too many negative affects to be deployed or used.

    Any and all life (humans, other animals and plants) exposed to low level radiation over an extended period of time will become ill, if the radiation is not natural to their environment. It may be possible to find some life that can exist in such conditions on the ocean floor near vents that release toxic gases.

    Upon impact Depleted Uranium Munitions pierce whatever armor the target has and so much heat is created and energy that it causes a chain reaction in which the Depleted Uranium begins to rapidly decay. The radioactive material that is introduced to the planet in from this process has a half life of at least 4.5 billion years. That is longer than I can concieve. My life and yours has been less than 100 years. This radioactive material, at least one of its many phases has a half life of 4,500,000,000 years. That is 45,000,000 times as long as a 100 year old man or woman would live. The point is once the radiation is released it is permantly in our environment. With present technology we cannot clean up Depleted Uranium after it has been used.

    Any and all life (humans, other animals and plants) exposed to low level radiation over an extended period of time will become ill, if the radiation is not natural to their environment. This radiation will be on this planet for a very long time.

    The Depleted Uranium munitions also release low level radiation before being used. So, the persons that create the munitions, the persons that handle and transport the munitions to military locations, persons handling and equiping/arming US military vehicles, the members of US Armed Forces deployed with such munitions, the enemy target attacked, the life in the vicinity of the enemy target, the life downwind of the enemy target will all be exposed to highly dangerous low level radiation.

    Wind patterns, over time will transport such radiation to the entirety of the world and it will be there forever in relative terms to human life.

    I care for every persons in the US armed forces that is why I have this concern. My best friend is in the National Guard and knowing that some National Guardsmen have been deplayed in Iraq, I am very concerned. The National Guard, weekend warriors, to the best of my understanding do not sign up for overseas action.

    The National Guard has changed since George W Bush was a member. At the time he was a member the National Guard was the rich boys way out of going to Vietnam.

    I care about all life on this planet. Diversity in Nature is what makes it so strong.

    I also know that there are more and more talks of starting a draft.

    I want there to be a planet for my kids, when I have kids. I want my children to have a planet for them to have kids. So on, and so forth.

  3. #3
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    TW-ACs

    Whatever you think you know about DU, you're wrong. It is harmless unless ingested, and it needs to be ingested in a very large quantity over an extended period. DU has less background radiation than your computer monitor. We've had extremely indepth conversations on DU238 at www.a-10.org . Search the data base there if you want to learn all the details of Depleted Uranium.
    Many of the posters on that board are definitely what can be considered experts, and combined they have probably 300 years of military service. And no, that is not an exaggeration.

    I've handled DU extensively(these were experimental 7.62x51rds with a much thinner jacket) in the past, and can report no ill effects from it whatsoever.

    You're panicking on Iraq. Get hold of yourself. The situation is nowhere near as desperate as you imagine it to be.

  4. #4
    Banned Contributor tw-acs's Avatar
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    Gulf War Sickness

  5. #5
    Banned Contributor tw-acs's Avatar
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    If you care to review the Military and Congressional documentation of such matters discussed in my posts, then I believe you shall have an arguement. Along with Scientific data backing up your arguement. ANd you must use COMMON SENSEMy post has that.

    Why no comment on the Infantry armor or the rest of my post????

    Does that mean you cannot belligerize nonsense to counter the other topics?

    That is the actual level of armor for US Infantry trucks.
    Last edited by tw-acs; 22 Apr 04, at 06:59.

  6. #6
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    Gulf war sickness has not been attributed to DU238. Tell me rocket scientist, have you ever handled 238? Ever had a classified briefing on it's full characteristics and capabilities?

    Oh...

    You're a nitwit, go talk soldier with someone else. This particular ex soldier doesn't feel like baby talking you.

    I know christ, dozens of troops on the ground in Iraq, some i email back and forth on a weekly basis. You don't know what the fuck you're talking about, period.

  7. #7
    Banned Contributor tw-acs's Avatar
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    Hey,

    I am on here trying to discuss politics and military issues that concern me. I have friends in the Armed Services and I do not want them to bt put in unnecessary risk.

    I choose not to be in the military because that is my choice. You chose to be in the military that is your choice. These choices should not affect one's ability to have discourse over topics of concern.

    Do you have children? If so do you want them to have a planet to live on? What about their kids? and so on? do you care?

    I know I care that is why I post on this generally conservative site. Ironman told me about this web forum and I started posting on here because he asked me to. I feel that truth is what people need. To find truth persons should address topics from all perspectives, as to increase one's knowledge of a subject and thus overall understanding of the topic, giving a better base to formulate thought from.

    I am just curious but,
    Have you ever had an IQ test?
    If so what was your score. If not you might care to take one, and see how you compare to the rest of the world. I have done this, as has Ironman, he in fact went to high school with me and showed me a few IQ tests online that were fairly accurate. I do not have the websites URL's. I think it is better this way; that is if you care to find out you must research the sites yourself.

  8. #8
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    My IQ is 132.

    Yours?

  9. #9
    Banned Contributor tw-acs's Avatar
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    I will tell you a story.

    I was in a very serious automobile accident. I sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury, resulting myself in a coma for 2 days. The doctors did not think I was ever going to talk again, if I did, maybe 6 months. I had a tear in my brain large enough to create a ping pong ball sized (2.5 x 2.5 x 3.5cm) blood clot on my right frontal lobe. Doctors have told me that to have a tear this large means that there are many smaller tears in my brain, also.

    I awoke from my coma in 2 days. I then took a limited IQ test, one being much less rigorous than a test given to a person with no head trauma. I scored a 100. That is average.

    20 days after that test, now at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare 4th floor of Regions Hospital 640 Jackson Street St. Paul, Mn, I was given a much more rigorous and thorough IQ test, that being one for someone without head trauma. I scored a 121. That is high average. A 21 point change in humans IQ is unheard of in a life time, let alone a recovery. More than 1 point of IQ per day. Phenomenal. Miraculous.

    I have since then taken a few non offical IQ tests: the first a program my mother bought me, the others were online. I scored a 141. That is near genius.

    The Doctors told me that for someone with the head trauma I had sustained and the average score of 100 I got after the coma, that I must have had an IQ of the 160+ range.

    Ironman will confirm that I was in this automobile accident on 7/27/98. My best friend was in that automobile accident with me along with the rest of my family. I am very concerned about the risks that my best friend may be put in, because of his choice of profession. He is a weekend warrior, National Guard, I am also aware that some National Guards men and women have been sent to IRAQ.

    I would very much like this forum to have much discourse about topics relevant to the war in Iraq and all American Political and Military issues without trying to degrade someone or to attempt to claim superiority over another person.

    I care about the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    We live in a democratic republic or whichever variation of the concept you wish to claim we live under.

    Knowledge is the Cornerstone of Democracy - Tracy Morgan SNL

    As a citizen of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, I feel I have a duty to my country to seek truth and to vote for the candidates that I feel will best lead our country.


    You may discredit the statements after this sentence on whatever grounds you like:

    In the coma I saw many things, dreams I suppose. One of them particularly I remember:

    I was walking in a big city. Except it was not right. Everything was covered in dust. It looked like a war zone. I was carrying a bucket, of what looked to be rubble. I was following a man carrying 2 buckets, as we came to a T in the path there was a man standing there. The man I was following asked "which way should we go?" That man continued walking. I asked the man at the T in the path "Why are we doing this?" His answer struck me odd. I looked around. As I said before it looked like what I thought was a war zone. When I turned to my right I saw something that did not make sense. One of the business signs was legible. It was not covered with dust. It was green with white writing reading "Mr. Fong's Oriental Restaurant".

    I wake from the coma, and recovered.

    3 years after this car accident, I was up late one night and had a profound thought come over me. The world was going to be different when I woke up. I hoped it would be good, but I knew it would be bad.

    My mother woke me up the next morning and told me "Someone flew a plane into the World Trade Center"

    I tried to wake up and think.... the world is definitly different...ahh.. its a coincidence. So I get up and sit in front of the TV. The first thing I saw on the TV when the news showed the WTC scene was a green sign that read "Mr. Fong's Oriental Restaurant" just like I saw 3 years prior.

    The city like war zone setting for my dream would make sense related to 9-11, along with the green sign.

    The man at the T in the path, when he told me why we were doing what we were doing I was struck odd. Just like I was when I heard NYC FireFighters say it.

    As I said you do not have to believe any of this.

    I saw a whole lot more in my dreams than what I am telling you. I choose not to discuss some of the other things I saw in good taste, those things I saw are the reason why I seek truth.
    Last edited by tw-acs; 23 Apr 04, at 01:27.

  10. #10
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    Neurons don't regrow after they die. You can't suddenly get more intelligent.

  11. #11
    Banned Contributor tw-acs's Avatar
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    New brain cells are constantly being made in the Hippocampus.

    Refer to a study conducted by Salk Institutes located in New York State.

    Ask Ironman. We had a bet about this.

    New cells are made everyday, in your body, that includes your brain.

  12. #12
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    Claiming high IQ without the smarts to look up the facts.




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    Author ’s collection

    A British Mark I tank, one of the first tanks employed in the First World War, crossing a trench on the Somme battlefield, September 1916.
    RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

    DEPLETED URANIUM ON THE BATTLEFIELD
    PART 1 – BALLISTIC CONSIDERATIONS
    by Dr. William S. Andrews


    In an effort to break the stalemate gripping the Western Front during the First World War, work was undertaken to develop vehicles which could traverse the defensive trench works stretching from Switzerland to the North Sea. These trenches, protected by barbed wire and interlocking fire from machine guns, had become virtually unassailable to unprotected men on foot or horseback. The first deployment of such vehicles, using continuous ‘caterpillar-type’ tracks and steel plate for protection, was at the Battle of the Somme in France on 15 September 1916. Here 32 Mark 1 ‘tanks’ took part in an attack and some of these were instrumental in the seizure of the village of Flers.1 This began the inevitable seesaw, which continues to this day, between armour protection and armour-penetrating munitions designed to defeat these vehicles.

    This paper will examine the place of depleted uranium (DU), because of its ballistic properties, in the inventories of a number of modern armies. A subsequent paper (Part 2) will discuss the threat that the use of DU may pose to combatants and subsequently to peacekeepers and civilians. It will also report on studies currently being conducted on troops, including Canadians, who may have been exposed to DU.


    Figure 1: A representation of the frontal armour of a modern Russian main battle tank.

    HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
    The employment of armoured fighting vehicles in armed conflicts has an unbroken history since the First World War, with extensive armoured forces being deployed during and since the Second World War. The political freeze of the Cold War following the truce in 1945 resulted in huge mechanized and armoured forces being deployed in Central Europe by member nations of both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Warsaw Pact. The most formidable vehicle fielded by both sides became the main battle tank (MBT), current versions of which now weigh some 60 tonnes.2 Much of this mass can be attributed to the protective armour, which until the late 1970s was usually steel plate, known as rolled homogeneous armour (RHA), or steel castings. With the increasing effectiveness of anti-armour munitions, particularly the molten jets of shaped charge warheads, more exotic materials such as ceramics, glass, composites, and even explosive reactive armour (ERA) have been added to the steel shell. Figure 1 shows an example of the frontal armour of a modern MBT, a Russian T80U.


    Figure 2: Examples of full-calibre armour-piercing shot. Left to right: simple steel shot, a round with a cap added to prevent shatter on impact (termed armour piercing capped or APC), and a round with a further ballistic cap to reduce aerodynamic drag during flight (armour piercing capped ballistic capped or APCBC).
    Figure 3: An example of an early armourpiercing discarding sabot (APDS) round, with the tungsten core penetrator in the centre.




    During the Second World War, the principal material for armour penetrators was also steel, used in full calibre warheads (Figure 2), with the intention that the striking energy of the projectile (some 10 MJ for the 88 mm gun on the German Tiger tanks) would overmatch the target armour. The 88 mm Kw.K.43 (L/71) gun of the Tiger II is quoted as being able to defeat some 234 mm of armour at 100 metres.3, 4 This, however, results in the application of an impulse load of 1,644 MJ/m2 to the target.

    As vehicle protective armour increased in thickness, sub-calibre dense cores (initially tungsten carbide and later tungsten alloy) were used as penetrators, with light petals or sabots attached to the penetrators while the round was in the barrel. This allowed a larger surface area at the base of the round to permit the propelling gases to increase the muzzle velocity (and hence the muzzle energy) of the round at launch, while attacking a smaller area at the target.




    US Army photo

    Figure 4: An armour-piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot round in flight.

    The reduced diameter in flight also reduced the aerodynamic drag, thus permitting penetrators to retain a greater proportion of their initial energy at the target. Thus, the 105 mm armour-piercing discarding sabot (APDS) NATO round penetrator, similar to that shown in Figure 3, had a muzzle velocity of 1,475 metres/second, and again a muzzle energy of about 10 MJ. Now, however, the energy applied at the target was of the order of 7,800 MJ/m2. These rounds achieved aerodynamic stability by spinning in flight and so were limited to a length/diameter (L/D) ratio of about 5:1. To increase the penetrator’s terminal ballistics performance, smooth bore barrels replaced the rifled bores required to induce spin in the projectile prior to launch. Projectiles now achieved aerodynamic stability by having tail fins (Figure 4). They are known as armour-piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) or, more simply, long rod penetrators.




    Figure 5: The ballistic ‘S’ curve, showing the increase in penetration with increasing velocity in the ordnance range, and the independence of penetration from velocity in the hypervelocity range.

    The major consequence of the design change, however, has been a dramatic increase in the L/D ratio. Initially, the L/D ratio for APFSDS was about 13:1 for the Russian/Soviet 3BM3 and 3BM6 projectiles fired from the 2A20 115 mm smooth bore gun on the T62, but has grown to 40:1 for experimental rounds.5 The resulting energy applied to the target is 35,800 MJ/m2 for the current US 120 mm DU penetrator in the M829A2 round.

    BALLISTIC PROPERTIES
    To understand the use of DU as a penetrator material, a brief look at penetration mechanics is warranted. In the hyper velocity regime, for penetrator/target impacts in excess of 3 km/s, penetration is achieved by the mutual erosion of both the target and penetrator. Assuming that both the penetrator and target behave as incompressible fluids and that penetration occurs at constant velocity, and invoking conservation of momentum, it can be shown that:



    where
    P is depth of penetration in target


    L is penetrator length


    rt is target density


    rp is penetrator density.


    It can be seen that the amount of penetration is dependent only on the length of the penetrator and on the target and penetrator densities, and is independent of striking velocity. As pressures at the penetrator/target interface are well in excess of the yield strengths of either material, material characteristics (other than densities) are not significant. This type of analysis is valid for shaped charge jets and explosively formed penetrators,6 as can be seen in Figure 5, but not for the long rod penetrators discussed above. These latter, striking in the ordnance velocity range of 1,500 to 1,800 m/s, are better described by the semi-empirical Lanz-Odermatt equation:7



    where
    a is a function of the penetrator length/diameter (L/D) ratio,


    S is a measure of target resistance, and


    v is the impact velocity.




    Both of the fitting parameters a and S are related to the mechanical properties of both the penetrator and target. It can be seen that as the impact velocity, v, increases penetration becomes independent of velocity, as described in Equation 1.

    For long rod penetrators, then, penetration can be increased by increasing the length, the density, and the velocity. While current guns and propellants appear to be at the design limit for muzzle velocities, enhancements continue to the L/D ratio. As for density, the move from steel to tungsten penetrators increased the density from about 7,800 kg/m3 to 17,500 kg/m3. Depleted uranium provides a further, albeit marginal, increase to 18,500 kg/m3, considering that penetration varies with the square root of the density.

    While armour-piercing rounds fired from 105 mm, 120 mm, and 125 mm MBT guns are fin-stabilized long rod penetrators, not all the guns firing these rounds are smooth bore. The British L7 (US M68) and French CN105F 105 mm guns and the British L30 120 mm gun are rifled, but use slipping driving bands to limit spin from being imparted to the round by the rifling. What is lost in complexity of APFSDS ammunition is felt to be gained somewhat for longer range spin stabilized high explosive rounds. For automatic cannon where there is a variety of projectiles, barrels are also rifled. The 25 mm M242 Bushmaster cannon is used primarily on light armoured vehicles, and as such the anti-armour round would engage the sloped and heavier armoured turret and hull fronts on target vehicles. Consequently, the US uses the APFSDS M919 with a DU penetrator. The 25 mm and 30 mm aircraft cannon would be expected to be used to attack the thinner top armour at angles closer to normal, so the anti-armour munitions are spin stabilized armour piercing incendiary (API), albeit with DU penetrators.


    US Army

    Figure 6: Sketch of an American M1A2HA Abrams tank showing the location of DU protective armour.

    As an aside, from the perspective of providing armour protection, it can be seen that increasing the target density, rt, will diminish penetration. Consequently, on the ‘heavy armour’ (HA) version of the American Abrams M1A1 and M1A2 tanks, DU panels have been added to the turret frontal armour, as shown in Figure 6.


    US Army

    Figure 7: Diagram depicting two different penetration mechanisms– left: adiabatic shear failure in DU resulting in ‘self-sharpening’, and right: work hardening causing mushrooming in tungsten heavy alloy armour (WHA).

    Returning to the penetrators, the initial post-war tungsten cores were tungsten carbide, but these were eventually replaced by tungsten alloyed with nickel, iron, and cobalt, sometimes known as tungsten heavy alloy (WHA). These latter have the hard but brittle tungsten particles embedded in a soft, ductile matrix, which serves to retard cracks and redistribute stresses. WHA penetrators are usually manufactured by sintering, with special attention required to ensure complete densification and preclude porosity resulting from entrapped gases or solidification shrinkage.

    On impacting an RHA target, pressures at the penetrator/target interface approach 6 GPa. As seen in Figure 7b, the penetrator mushrooms within the target, with macroscopic plastic deformation followed by erosion. The initial strain is principally localized within the matrix, which rapidly work hardens to form the mushroom shape. A consequence of the mushrooming due to work hardening is that energy is expended radially to expand the penetration cavity.8

    By comparison with tungsten, DU also has some processing challenges. It is sensitive to corrosion, trace element impurities, variations caused by heat treatment and hydrogen embrittlement and re-embrittlement. Also, finely divided DU particles are pyrophoric, so powder metallurgy is normally foregone in favour of casting and hot working (although special tooling is required). Also like tungsten, DU is alloyed, usually with 0.75 weight percent titanium.

    Like WHA, DU alloy penetrators will mushroom on impact as the molten material is forced radially away from the penetrator. This plastic deformation results in an increase in the flow stress of the material due to work hardening and a competing decrease in flow stress due to thermal softening. Some 90 to 95 percent of the deformation energy appears as heat, with temperatures of about 1,800°C being reached locally. In DU, unlike in WHA, the thermal softening overcomes the increase in flow stress, permitting adiabatic shearing to occur. This results in a ‘self-sharpening’ of the penetrator, as the mushroom head is continually sheared from the penetrator body, as seen in Figure 7a. The net result is less energy expended in expanding the penetration cavity radially, with a concomitant increase in energy available for axial penetration.

    In general, then, against semi-infinite targets, DU penetrators can achieve penetrations of 10 to 15 percent in excess of comparable WHA penetrators. Of even more significance, however, is the fact that DU rounds can achieve the same penetration as WHA rounds at significantly lower velocities, meaning that the DU round remains effective against any given target to significantly greater ranges (up to about 50 to 70 percent greater).

    Another particular advantage of DU over WHA is in its performance against oblique and/or spaced-plate targets, as well as ERA. The greater ductility and toughness of DU penetrators seems to permit them to bend without fracturing, as opposed to the harder but more brittle WHA penetrators, which often shear after impact.



    Impacts against hard targets result in local temperatures as high as 1,800°C, which results in a phase change in uranium from solid to liquid. At these elevated temperatures, the uranium reacts readily with atmospheric oxygen. The oxides formed subsequently condense to solid aerosol particles. Oxidation is the source of the pyrophoric nature of DU impacts and is not present with WHA impacts. This burning effect enhances the effectiveness of DU penetrators, particularly inside the target.

    Much work has been conducted in the US on determining the extent to which penetrators are converted to aerosols and on characterizing the aerosol particle size distributions. Against thick, hard targets, it is estimated that some 18 percent of the DU penetrator of 120 mm tank munitions is aerosolized, with virtually all these aerosols (91 to 96 percent) having sizes < 10 um.

    MILITARY USE OF DU
    Depleted uranium has been used by a number of countries in rounds designed to attack armoured targets. For example, the US inventory includes for the US Army, the following DU rounds: the M833 and M900 series 105 mm tank rounds for the M68 gun, the M829 series 120 mm rounds for the M256 gun, and the M919 series 25 x 137 mm for the M242 Bushmaster cannon. All the above are APFSDS rounds. The US Air Force uses DU in the 30 x 173 mm PGU-14 API round for the GAU 8/A cannon in the A-10 aircraft, while the US Marines use the 25 mm API PGU-20/U round for the GAU-12/U cannon for the AV-8B Harrier aircraft.

    Interestingly, the US Navy adopted a DU core for its 20 x 102 mm APDS round for the Phalanx close-in weapon system, or CIWS (an adaptation of the US Army anti-air Vulcan system). As there was no significant difference in performance between the tungsten and DU cores against relatively ‘soft’ anti-ship missiles and aircraft targets, the decision was made in 1988 that the DU cores would be replaced by tungsten ones.9 Canadian ships deploying to the Gulf War in 1991 carried DU ammunition for their Phalanx systems.


    Sites identified in Kuwait and Iraq where depleted uranium rounds were employed during the Gulf War.10

    UNEP

    Sites identified in Kosovo where depleted uranium rounds were employed in the 1999 conflict.11

    A number of other countries, including Great Britain, France, Russia, Ukraine, Israel and China, still retain DU munitions in their inventories, while other countries such as Germany, Switzerland and Canada do not, as a matter of policy.

    Operationally, DU munitions have been used extensively in both the Gulf War (Kuwait and Iraq) and in Kosovo, as can be seen in the maps below. Examples of the amount of expenditures are, for the US Army in the Gulf War: 504 rounds of 105 mm and 9,048 rounds of 120 mm tank ammunition. The British Army fired 88 rounds of 120 mm tank ammunition. US Air Force A-10 aircraft fired 783,514 rounds of 30 mm DU ammunition and US Marine Corps AV-8B aircraft fired 67,436 rounds of 25 mm DU. In Kosovo, the US Air Force A-10s fired over 31,000 rounds of 30 mm DU ammunition. U.S. sniper and special forces teams had 7.62 mm and 12.7 mm (.50 cal) DU ammunition, although expenditures are not readily available. Overall, some 300 tonnes of DU munitions were fired in the Gulf War and in excess of 9 tonnes in Kosovo.12 A further 10,800 DU rounds were fired around Sarajavo during the NATO air campaign in Bosnia in 1994-1995.13

    Like all other natures of munitions, DU rounds are not just fired on the battlefield. In fact, many more are expended in testing and training than in battle. One source quotes US Army sources as claiming that of more than 14,000 large calibre DU rounds expended in the Gulf, approximately 4,000 were fired in combat, another 7,000 were fired in practice, and some 3,000 were consumed in the ammunition fire at Doha in Qatar.14 In the United States, defence facilities that handle or test-fire DU munitions require a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The US Air Force and US Navy each has one master license, while the US Army has 14 separate licenses. Facilities such as these are necessary for any type of weapon system. The presence of DU, however, includes the extra dimension of radioactivity and thus regulatory control. This additional burden, and the associated publicity and public concern, are perhaps among the reasons some countries eschew the use of DU munitions. Ironically, facilities for testing and firing conventional munitions are also heavily contaminated. Most small arms rounds (at least until recently) contained lead, a known toxic element. Further, the WHA warheads, as already noted, contain tungsten and cobalt, which are more of a toxicological hazard than uranium (especially DU) is a radiological hazard.



    AVAILABILITY OF DU
    Natural uranium is composed of three isotopes, 238U, 235U and 234U. When processed for reactor fuel, particularly for light water reactors (PWRs and BWRs), the uranium is enriched in 235U and 234U, with the consequence that the tailings are depleted in these isotopes.

    It is interesting to note that DU, although slightly more dense than natural uranium, is about half as radioactive.

    Reactor fuel, though, does not come only from the enrichment of natural uranium. It can also be reclaimed from spent fuel. In fact, over 107 000 t of uranium were recycled in the USA from 1952 to 1977. This would result in the probable inclusion of the plutonium, neptunium and uranium isotopes (all radioactive) 239Pu, 237Np, and 236U, respectively, in the enrichment tailings of DU, and thus in any penetrators fabricated from these tailings. This is significant in that it helps provide a means of differentiating between natural uranium and DU, particularly when in trace amounts in bioassays.

    Another source of DU is tailings from uranium enriched for nuclear weapons. Current practice in the US is to only use DU from de-militarized or recycled rounds, as opposed to tailings from either reactor or weapons processing plants, although these latter may have originally been sources of DU. Regardless the source, DU is essentially a waste by-product of enrichment processes, and as such is inexpensive, especially compared to WHA. Combined with the fact that DU alloyed with 0.75 percent Ti can be cast and rolled rather than having to be sintered, the fabrication of DU penetrators is about the same cost as comparable WHA penetrators made in the US and less than half the cost of those made in Germany.

    CONCLUSION
    As noted, DU munitions have a limited increase in depth of penetration of homogeneous RHA compared to tungsten penetrators (about 10 percent). In terms of performance, however, this means that the same penetration can be achieved at significantly greater ranges (due to the limited velocity loss of low drag long rod penetrators). Another significant advantage of DU is felt to be its relative toughness – its ability to resist shear fracture failure on impacting sloped, spaced or even ERA targets. A third asset is its pyrophoricity – its ability to burn in air. Because of all these factors, coupled with the success of DU rounds on the battlefield (particularly when used by coalition forces against Iraqi targets) and given cost considerations, DU rounds are likely to remain in inventories around the world indefinitely.

    Public concern about the use of DU munitions, however, seems widespread. DU use has been attributed by some to be the cause of the debilitating symptoms commonly known as ‘Gulf War Syndrome’. For this reason in particular, and environmental concerns in general, alternatives to DU as a penetrator material are being sought.

    FUTURE WORK
    In the US it is felt that DU penetrator technology is at a mature stage and that there is little room for future exploitation. This, and the general public’s inherent distrust of and environmental concerns about DU, have led the US Army to try developing tungsten alloys using innovative nanocrystals and tungsten ‘filaments’ to mimic the performance of DU. To date, none of these measures has been successful.15

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    This work was supported by the Director General Nuclear Safety (DGNS) and the Director of Medical Policy (D Med Pol) of the Canadian Forces. The author is particularly grateful for the assistance of Dr. E.A. Ough at RMC, Dr. S. Kupca at DGNS, and Dr. K. Scott at D Med Pol.


    Dr. William S. Andrews teaches in the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Applied Military Science at the Royal Military College of Canada.



    NOTES
    1. B.H. Liddell Hart, History of the First World War (London: Pan Books, 1970).

    2. C.F. Foss, Jane’s Tank and Combat Vehicle Recognition Guide (New York: Harper Collins, 2000).

    3. P. Chamberlain and H. Doyle, Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two (London: Arms and Armour, 1999).

    4. L.R. Bird and R.D. Livingston, World War II Ballistics: Armor and Gunnery (Albany, N.Y.: Overmatch Press, 2001).

    5. W. Lanz, W. Odermatt, and G. Weihrauch, Kinetic Energy Projectiles: Development History, State of the Art, Trends in Proc. 19th Int. Symp. of Ballistics, Interlaken, Switzerland, 7-11 May 2001.

    6. J. Carleone, (Ed.), Tactical Missile Warheads, (Washington: AIAA, 1993).

    7. R. Subramanian and S.J. Bless, Reference Correlations for Tungsten Long Rods Striking Semi-Infinite Steel Targets in Proc. 19th Int. Symp. of Ballistics, Interlaken, Switzerland, 7-11 May 2001.

    8. S.P. Andrew, R.D.Caligiuri and L.E. Eiselstein, Relationship Between Dynamic Properties and Penetration Mechanisms of Tungsten and Depleted Uranium Penetrators, in Proc. 13th Int. Symp. of Ballistics, Stockholm, Sweden, 1-3 June 1992.

    9. A.G. Williams, Rapid Fire, The Development of Automatic Cannon, Heavy Machine Guns and their Ammunition for Armies, Navies and Air Forces, (Shrewsbury, U.K.: Airlife Publishing, 2000).

    10. The National Gulf War Resource Center at <http://www.ngwrc.org/Dulink/DU_Map.htm>

    11. Depleted Uranium in Kosovo Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Switzerland 2001 at <http://postconflict.unep.ch/index.htm>

    12. Vladimir S. Zajic, Review of Radioactivity, Military Use, and Health Effects of Depleted Uranium, at <http://vzajic.tripod.com/6thchapter.html#DU> Ammunition Use in Iraq

    13. WISE at <http://www.antenna.nl/wise/uranium/diss.html>

    14. Leonard A. Dietz, Contamination of Persian Gulf War Veterans and Others by Depleted Uranium, 1999 at <http://www.antenna.nl/wise/uranium/ dgvd.html#DUTONN>

    15. L. Magness, L. Kecskes, M. Chung, D. Kapoor, F. Biancianello and S. Ridder, Behavior and Performance of Amorphous and Nanocrystalline Metals in Ballistic Impacts in Proc. 19th Int. Symp. of Ballistics, Interlaken, Switzerland, 7-11 May 2001.


    Last Modified: 2004-03-17 Important Notices

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    RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

    DEPLETED URANIUM ON THE BATTLEFIELD
    PART 2 – BIOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS
    by William S. Andrews, Edward A. Ough, Brent J. Lewis, and Leslie G.I. Bennett


    As discussed in Part 1 of this article (in Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 2003), depleted uranium (DU) has a number of ballistic properties that make it an attractive and effective material for anti-armour penetrators. Consequently, DU is likely to be used in operations by the armed forces of a number of countries, including the United States and Russia, for a considerable time. However, one of the significant concerns about the use of DU in armour-piercing rounds is the potential health hazard to combatants and civilians that may result from the oxidization of DU on striking a hard target, and the subsequent precipitation of oxidation products as fine solid particles, which can be inhaled. This paper will examine the potential hazard posed by the use of DU rounds, and will report on studies currently being conducted on troops who may have been exposed to DU.

    Temperature (°C) Phase Structure
    < 669 solid a – orthorhombic
    669 – 776 solid ß – tetragonal
    776 – 1132 solid g – body centred cubic
    1132 – 4134 liquid
    > 4134 vapour

    Table 1. Physical phases of uranium.

    AEROSOLIZATION
    Uranium can exist in three solid forms as well as in liquid and vapour phases. Table 1 below shows the transition points.

    As already noted in Part 1, the impact of a depleted uranium penetrator against a hard target generates local temperatures as high as 1800°C, which result in phase changes to liquid. At these elevated temperatures, uranium is readily oxidized, principally to U3O7 (47 percent) U3O8 (44 percent) and UO2 (9 percent). (These proportions are considered to have an uncertainty of 25 percent, and were determined using x-ray diffraction during the analysis of uranium dust generated by DU rounds striking hard targets.1) Oxidation is the source of the pyrophoric nature of DU impacts and is not present with tungsten heavy alloy (WHA) penetrator impacts. This effect enhances the effectiveness of DU penetrators, particularly inside the target. The oxides subsequently condense as solid aerosol particles.

    Much work has been conducted in the United States to determine the extent to which DU penetrators are converted to aerosols and on characterizing the aerosol particle-size distribution. Against thick hard targets, it is estimated that some 18 percent of the DU penetrator of a 120-mm tank munition is aerosolized, with virtually all these aerosols (91 to 96 percent) having sizes less than 10 um, i.e., they are readily respirable. These particles can remain suspended in air for a significant period of time (hours to days), most of which will remain inside the target vehicles, but with some likely to escape into the atmosphere through open hatches or remain outside the target. Re-suspension of already settled particles would, of course, constitute a hazard to personnel engaged in entering or inspecting contaminated vehicles. At any distance from contaminated vehicles, it is considered that aerosol concentrations would be diluted to safe levels.

    Country Subjects Tested Comments
    Belgium 3580 U in normal range, fewer malignancies than expected
    Bulgaria 39 No health problems
    Estonia 91 No pathologies
    Finland 50 U in normal range, no health effects
    France 54 No elevated U, malignancies within expected range
    Germany 122 No elevated U, no health effects
    Greece 1800 Normal findings
    Italy 40 No contamination
    Lithuania 68 No leukemia detected
    Luxembourg 100 Blood samples, no abnormalities
    Netherlands 6 No sign of DU exposure
    Portugal 341 No abnormally high levels
    Slovakia 63 No DU-related diseases
    Spain 6000 Normal U levels, no malignancies
    Sweden 110 Normal values

    Table 2. Personnel testing by NATO and non-NATO troop-contributing nations.6

    POTENTIAL HEALTH CONSEQUENCES
    The human body’s natural (aqueous) solutions act as solvents for any uranium with which they may come into contact. The principal oxides generated on aerosolization (UO2, U3O7 and U3O8) all dissolve slowly. Once dissolved, however, uranium may react as a uranyl ion with biological molecules to produce cellular necrosis (cell death) and/or atrophy in the tubular walls in the kidneys, resulting in a diminished ability to filter impurities from the blood.

    Of the respirable particles resulting from aerosolization, roughly two-thirds have dissolution half-times greater than 100 days, while the other one-third have half-times less than 10 days.2 (Dissolution refers to the rate at which particles are dissolved in body fluids – principally in the lung.) Once dissolved in blood, some 90 per-cent of the uranium will be removed by the kidney and excreted in urine within 24 to 48 hours of entering solution. The 10 percent remaining in the blood can be deposited in bones, lungs, the liver, kidneys, fat and muscles. Inhaled insoluble uranium oxides can remain in the lungs for years, especially if the particles are smaller than 2 um and thus more likely to be deposited in the alveoli. Gradually, however, these particles will also enter the bloodstream and eventually be excreted in urine.

    Like other stable heavy metals, the principal biological hazard of uranium is felt to be toxicological, rather than radiological, with the organ at greatest risk being the kidney. The radiological hazard itself, via either external or internal pathways, is felt to be negligible. The worst exposures to US Army troops during the Gulf War were less than 10 mSv, i.e., less than one fifth the formal annual occupational dose limit and well below the level known to cause any health effects.

    To date only 25 of 20,000 US Army Gulf War veterans have been diagnosed with types of kidney damage for which DU would be a causative agent. None of these individuals, however, was among the 33 veterans who had the highest exposures to DU and are undergoing medical monitoring, and it should be noted that the diagnosis rates are consistent with rates for similar kidney problems among the general American population.3

    Similar studies have been made of other veteran and civilian sub sets, with similar results, i.e., most service-men tested through urinalysis showed no evidence of elevated DU (or natural uranium, for that matter) in their bodies, or elevated levels could not be correlated with any specific illness, including renal. A study of veterans belonging to the Mississippi National Guard found no evidence of a general increase in birth defects or health problems among children born to these veterans, in spite of anecdotal claims to the contrary.4 Urinalysis of 122 German peacekeepers deployed to Kosovo after the air campaign revealed that none had any “incorporated DU”.5 Two cohorts of Swedish soldiers were examined, 200 who had spent six months in Kosovo and another 200 who were yet to deploy. The latter group had four times the average uranium levels in their urine than the returnees from Kosovo had.6 A summary is provided in Table 2. On the civilian side, 31 employees of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent who were present in Kosovo during the air campaign had urine samples analyzed. In these tests uranium concentrations ranged from 3.5 ng/L to 26.9 ng/L, which are consistent with values found among non-exposed individuals.7

    All the cases listed above involved transients, that is, the test subjects only spent limited amounts of time in-theatre potentially exposed to DU. For balance, the local populations of Bosnia and Kosovo were sampled by Priest and Thirlwell for BBC Scotland, and in 23 subjects from three different locations they found DU present in all subjects. The measured body burdens, however, were less than the average burden of natural uranium in humans, leading to the conclusion that the radiation dose to the skeleton is likely to be dominated by any natural uranium present, which in turn would be dominated by such alpha-emitters as radon-220 and polonium-210, which are more common in the body than uranium.8


    Author's collection

    DU penetrator strikes on an Iraqi tank, presumably from the 30 mm GAU 8 mounted on A10 aircraft. Some larger penetrator strikes, possibly tank 120 mm APFSDS DU rounds, are also evident.

    MONITORING CANADIAN VETERANS
    Canadian Forces (CF) personnel have served in areas where DU munitions have been expended, particularly in the Persian Gulf and Kosovo, where the principal danger from DU would have been in the form of re-suspended aerosols that could have been ingested. Similar to servicemen from a number of countries, some Canadians have developed a variety of debilitating symptoms for which causes have yet to be determined. Some see the significant difference from previous experiences, including other off-shore missions, as being the presence of DU in the environment. To establish or eliminate DU as a causative agent for these symptoms (often termed “Gulf War illness”) the CF, along with the military forces of other nations, have instituted a programme of urinalysis of such veterans. The aim has been to determine the extent of uranium in the urine and, where possible, to identify the isotopic ratios of any uranium isotopes present. This latter determination would indicate whether uranium contamination was due to DU or to natural uranium.

    In 2000, 103 active and retired CF personnel participated in a uranium bioassay programme. The total uranium concentration in each urine sample was analyzed by two laboratories, with one laboratory using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) and the other using instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). The mean concentrations found were 4.5 ng/L and 17 ng/L, respectively.9 These values were consistent with quoted literature values of 1 ng/L to 40 ng/L for non-occupationally exposed individuals.10 The uranium concentration levels in the urine samples were too low to permit direct isotopic ratios to be determined, so hair assays were also conducted, which showed ratios of uranium-238 to uranium-235 ranging from 120 to 145 ± 20, (± 1 σ). By comparison, natural uranium has a ratio of 137.8 versus a ratio of 498.7 for DU. Finally, a single bone sample was analyzed from a deceased veteran, where the isotopic ratio was determined to be 138 ± 4, again consistent with natural uranium.11

    It is believed that the ICP-MS results were more accurate than the INAA, considering the lower detection limit of 0.5 ng/L for the former. Further, the ICP-MS results are consistent with published data for non-occupation-ally exposed individuals. However, INAA may well be an appropriate technique for the routine analysis of hair samples.

    ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS
    As mentioned above, on hitting hard targets, a significant portion of DU projectiles will aerosolize and oxidize. These projectiles, along with those that hit the ground and fail to fracture, will result in surface, or slightly subsurface contamination. A post-conflict environmental assessment study by the United Nations Environment Programme of eleven sites in Kosovo (including the most heavily attacked) found that there was no detectable widespread contamination of the ground surface by DU. In other words, the contamination resulting from the use of DU is present in such low levels that it cannot be detected or differentiated from natural uranium. Consequently, it was concluded that the radiological and toxicological risks were “insignificant and even non-existent”. Any detectable contamination was localized to within 10 m to 50 m on the surface and 10 cm to 20 cm below the surface of actual munition impact points. Further, the study found no DU contamination in water or milk, nor even any significant increased uptake in plants, with no risk anticipated in the future.12

    In Canada, work continues to improve measurement capabilities for bioassay. A round robin comparison has been conducted among a number of university and private laboratories using blind synthetic urine samples (both blank and doped), to be followed by real urine samples. Efforts are also underway to investigate the appropriateness of including high resolution ICP-MS, or HR ICP-MS as a potential measuring instrument.

    CONCLUSIONS
    Penetrator impact on hard targets generates aerosols, most of which are respirable thereby raising the possibility of human ingestion of DU. To date, no direct linkage has been established between uranium contamination of the body due to DU munitions and “Gulf War illness” symptoms observed among some veterans. In fact, virtually all veterans and comparably-exposed civilians tested for uranium content have been found to have levels consistent with the unexposed general public and were generally symptom-free. Environmental contamination due to the use of DU penetrators is thus considered to be marginal and highly localized, with no long term consequences anticipated.



    Drs. Andrews, Lewis and Bennett teach in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the Royal Military College of Canada. Dr. Ough is a research associate in the same department.

    NOTES
    This work was supported by the Director General Nuclear Safety (DGNS) and the Director of Medical Policy (D Med Pol) of the Canadian Forces. The authors are particularly grateful to the assistance of Dr. R.G.V. Hancock at RMC, Dr. S. Kupca at DGNS and Dr. K. Scott at D Med Pol.

    R.Z. Stodilka and R.E.J. Michel, Analysis of Fired Depleted Uranium Dust (Ottawa: Defence Research Establishment, Ottawa Technical Report TR-2001-108, 2001).
    United States Government, Office of the Secretary of Defence, Gulf War Illness at <www.gulflink.osd.mil/du/du_tabm.htm>
    F.J. Hooper, K.S. Squibb, E.L. Siegel, K. McPhaul, and J.P. Keogh, “Elevated Urine Uranium Excretion by Soldiers with Retained Uranium Shrapnel”, Health Physics 77 (1999), p. 512. See also M.A. McDiarmid et al” Health Effects of Depleted Uranium on Exposed Gulf War Veterans”, Environmental Research 82 (2000), p. 168.
    A.D. Penman and R.S. Tarver, “No Evidence of Increase in Birth Defects and Health Problems among Children Born to Persian Gulf War Veterans in Mississippi”, Military Medicine 161 (1996), p. 1.
    P. Roth, E. Werner and H.G. Paretzke, A study of uranium excreted in urine, an assessment of protective measures taken by the German Army for KFOR contingent (Nurnberg: GSF – National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Radiation Protection, 2001).
    United States Government, Office of the Secretary of Defence web site: <www.deploymentlink.osd.mil/du_balkans/du_balkans_s04.htm>
    D.R. Meddings and M. Haldimann, “Depleted Uranium in Kosovo: an Assessment of Potential Exposure for Aid Workers”, Health Physics 82 (2002), p. 467.
    N. Priest and M. Thirlwell, “Depleted uranium in Balkan residents (progress report)”, First International Conference on Environmental Recovery of Yugoslavia (ENRY2001), (September 2001), pp. 27-30.
    E.A. Ough, B.J. Lewis, W.S. Andrews, L.G.I. Bennett, R.G.V. Hancock, and K. Scott, “An Examination of Uranium Levels in Canadian Forces Personnel Who Served in the Gulf War and Kosovo”, Health Physics 82 (2002), p. 527. See also E. A. Ough, R.Z. Stodilka, B.J. Lewis, W.S. Andrews, L.G.I. Bennett, R.G.V. Hancock, T. Cousins, and D.S.Haslip, “Uranium: Detection of Contamination and Assessment of Biological Hazards – A Literature Survey”, Royal Military College of Canada Report, Kingston, Ontario, 9 January 2002.
    A. Lorber, Z Karpas and L. Halicz, “Flow injection method for determination of uranium in urine and serum by inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy”, Analytica Chimica Acta 334 (1996), p. 295. See also H.S. Dang, V.R. Pullat and K.C. Pillai, “Determining the normal concentration of uranium in urine and applications of the data to its biokinetics”, Health Physics 62 (1992), p. 562.
    Ough et al, “An Examination of Uranium Levels in Canadian Forces Personnel Who Served in the Gulf War and Kosovo”, p. 527.
    Depleted Uranium in Kosovo Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment, United Nations Environment Programme, Switzerland, 2001.


    Last Modified: 2003-09-24 Important Notices

  14. #14
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    tw-acs, can you contact my via Instant Messenger, my screen name is The24thFoot. I find your story very interesting.

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    This is an example: I am making the numbers up but the concept holds true.

    lets say on a scale of 1 to 10...
    1 being low amounts of radiation and 10 high amounts....

    The world before man used nuclear power, nuclear weapons (nuclear warheads, and nuclear munitions) had...

    a radiation level of 3.00 (naturally occuring radiation, that is radiation that occurs without any changes to nature caused by man)

    life on the surface of the planet can exist if the radiation level is below 6.00

    after using nuclear warheads the radiation level on the planet went from 3 to 3.75

    Life on the surface is still safe.

    Nuclear power is used and not regulated at the proper safety levels, thus chernobyl. This increases the level of radiation on the surface of the planet from 3.75 to 5.00.

    Life on the surface is still safe.

    A war ( well at least military engagements) start up and nuclear munitions are used. The amount of increase of the radiation level depends on the duration of the war. lets say for every month of battle time .1 level of radiation increases.

    At that rate if the level of radiation is 5.00 then the radiation level can be increased to 5.99 but no higher. If it were to be increased by .01 level of radiation, life on the surface would cease to exist.

    This would mean that such military engagements could last for up to but no more than 9.9 months, before any more increase in radiation level would cause life on the surface to cease to exist.

    Radiation is harmful to life, so as the radiation level increases many plants and animals will not be able to exist. Some may last longer than others but none will last on the surface if the level of radiation is 6.00.

    It seems to me that if we continue to use nuclear munitions and continue to deplete the ozone layer and/or if nuclear warheads are used and/or a nuclear power plant has an accident we may increase the level of radiation on the planet EARTH beyond levels that life can exist on the surface of EARTH.

    In this case life would want to take refuge somewhere else other than the surface. Mars is not habitable now, nor any other planet, but EARTH.

    A large body of water might be able to block the radiation. So people on earth would then be forced to live underwater.

    If we did live underwater though realize we have killed a lot of marine life, so it might not be all that easy to survive.

    ATLANTIS??? just an idea but maybe tahts what atlantis was. People escaping radiation. I dont know its just an idea.

    Though the fact remains too much radiation will not allow life to exist.

    IF AN ENVIRONMENT IS NOT SUITABLE FOR LIFE, LIFE SHALL CEASE TO EXIST.

    I dont know whether the level of radiation that would be unsuitable for life will come in a one or a hundred or a thousand years, but that does not matter because we shouldnt push our luck.

    WE DO NOT HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY TO CLEAN UP RADIATION.

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