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Highlights

GAO confirmed differences among the United States, the United Kingdom, and France in the rates at which illnesses have been reported among their Gulf War veterans; their assessment of nuclear, biological, and chemical threats in the Gulf; and their preparations to meet them. However, because of differences in the experiences of the three sets of veterans, there is no single, unambiguous cause that can be identified for the reported illnesses. If multinational allies are to act in a coordinated fashion, they require a similar level of awareness of and preparation for the threats to be faced; otherwise, force protection and operational success could be jeopardized and the utility of some forces restricted. Gulf War Coalition members prepared for somewhat different threats and used different countermeasures. In addition, the U.S. lacked clear doctrine for timely and systematic warning of allied forces and U.S. ground troops about pending strikes on suspected nuclear, biological, and chemical targets.

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