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U.S. Armed Forces Nuclear, Biological And Chemical Survival Manual

U.S. Armed Forces Nuclear, Biological And Chemical Survival Manual PDF

Author: Dick Couch

Publisher: Basic Books


Publish Date: April 3, 2003

ISBN-10: 046500797X

Pages: 256

File Type: Epub

Language: English

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Book Preface

You don’t need to be a soldier or a politician or a police officer to understand the threat posed by nuclear, biological and chemical weapons—not just to the United States as a nation, but to each and every man, woman and child in our country. You need only read the president’s introductory letter in our nation’s capstone security document, The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, where President George W. Bush sums up this threat:

The gravest danger our Nation faces is at the crossroads of radicalism and technology. Our enemies have openly declared that they are seeking weapons of mass destruction, and evidence indicates that they are doing so with determination.

This threat is so grave that, in December 2002, the White House published, for the first time ever, The National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, an extraordinary document that states:

Terrorist groups are seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction with the stated purpose of killing large numbers of our people, and those of our friends and allies, without compunction and without warning. . . . For them, these are not weapons of last resort, but militarily useful weapons of choice.

Alternatively, one could listen to the public speeches of our political leaders. In his remarks at the U.S. Military Academy in June 2002, President Bush stated:

Our enemies have declared the intention to attain catastrophic power to strike us. They want the capability to blackmail us, or to harm us, or to harm our friends.

Or one could listen to the speeches of our executive branch officials directly charged with the defense of the United States, such as John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, who declared shortly after September 11, 2001:

There is no doubt in my mind that had the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon possessed weapons of mass destruction they would have used them in these attacks.

With this high-level attention and such strong words, it is easy and comforting to think that our government is addressing the problem—that the military will defend us or that the Department of Homeland Security will protect us. We would like to believe that the national response to the events of September 11, 2001, has resulted in a robust defense against the terrorists who would bring weapons of mass destruction to America. I wish it were so. The United States Commission on National Security, led by former Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman, noted:

A year after September 11, 2001, America remains dangerously unprepared to prevent and respond to a catastrophic terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

When I was asked to edit this book, my first reaction was “I’d like to, but I’m just too busy.” I’m working on a novel that will be released by Pocket Books in late summer, with a second in the series due a year from now. The series is called The Mercenary Option. I’m also preparing a nonfiction work on advanced Navy SEAL training called The Finishing School, a sequel to The Warrior Elite. And I am collaborating with my photographer friend Cliff Hollenbeck, for a pictorial book on SEAL Training. This full-color, tabletop book is scheduled for release this spring. I have a lot on my plate. But I could not turn this project down. There are several reasons for this: guilt, fear, and anger.

The first is guilt. After the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union left the stage as our primary adversary, novelists like me turned to terrorists for scenarios that threatened our national security. When I develop a fiction scenario, I try to think like a terrorist and I do an immense amount of research. Military and disaster-preparedness experts tell me that my plots are plausible, accurate, and scary. I’ve written some very realistic novels that feature chemical and radiological terror. And for well over a decade, hundreds of thousands of readers have bought these books. In these thrillers, the terrorists attempt some very nasty things and they almost succeed, but in the nick of time, the good guys come to the rescue. Now I feel a little guilty that my fiction is on the verge of becoming fact, and in real life the good guys don’t always get there in time. And this gives me a great deal of concern.

Now the fear. What do you do—indeed what do I do—when the unthinkable events in my novels become fact? It can certainly happen; many experts believe it is only a matter of time. This text is a primer that can save your life and the lives of your loved ones. It is a ready resource to help you prepare for a nuclear, biological or chemical terrorist attack. The only antidote for fear is knowledge. Who has this knowledge? Who has been in the business for decades of preparing Americans to survive a nuclear, biological or chemical attack? There is only one answer: The United States Military.

In addition to guilt and fear, I’m also angry, and I hope you are, too. These terrorists feel that they can take advantage of our free and open society, with its guarantees of individual liberties, and use these freedoms as an avenue to attack us. Sometimes I feel like the outraged newscaster played by Peter Finch in the movie Network: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” But what can you and I do? I’ll tell you what we can do. We can become informed, and in so doing, we can eliminate some of the fear and the potential loss of life that these terrorists wish to inflict on our wonderful nation.

We are all exposed—your family and mine. So I decided to take on this project and write something that you and your family can use. This book will quiet your fears, as it has mine, and it may save your life and the lives of those you care about. I have no children of my own, but many of my friends have grown kids who are off to college or working in a major city. I plan to see that each of them has one of these manuals.

To prepare this manual, I have poured through volumes of military and government agency material on nuclear, biological and chemical warfare. Consider it your “field manual” against terror. It is designed to help you and your family to survive a terrorist attack with these weapons of mass destruction. The text contains the best practices of all the United States military services for dealing with the threat of these horrifying killers. This manual is straightforward in the presentation of the facts and dangers of a terrorist attack and user-friendly in its application. I sincerely hope that all those who have bought and enjoyed my novels over the years will purchase this book. Sadly, it is time to prepare for the real thing.

One of my challenges in preparing this work was to make it a useful document with practical advice. Many of my sources were heavy on “military speak” and “medical speak,” and the jargon of the professional soldiers and healers. In the book’s eight Chapters I have toned this down and presented the information in a way that is accessible and engaging to the public. In the appendices, however, I wanted the reader to have the information directly from the experts. I hope I have struck the right balance between the useful and the technical. The information in this book represents a best practice approach to these issues.

Keep in mind that advances in medical science and field medical procedures are taking place every day. Later editions of this manual will reflect updated information as it becomes available. Also, civilian disaster response doctrine and civil defense efforts may be more applicable than standard military procedures developed for combatant use. And finally, the clinical and medical treatments and procedures in this text are not meant as a guide for self-treatment. Just as if you are the first person at a terrible automobile accident, you have to take action to save lives until help arrives. There is no substitute for a trained medical professional. But the more you know about the proper action to take until help arrives may be critical in saving life.

I believe this field manual is your best defense against the nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons that our enemies have sworn to use against us. Keep it close by as a handy reference. I urge you to read it and use it to protect your family from the terrorist attack that we will all likely have to face in the near future.

Dick Couch
March 2003

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