During the Vietnam war, it is estimated the US used a total of 338,237 tons of napalm.
[[ http://www.danshistory.com/varms.shtml | Article ]]
Protocol III of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons in
Geneva bans the use of napalm due to it being 'deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate
effects'. The US however is <a href="http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/d268e7e7eea08ab74125675b00364294/31cb28dd880a3601c1256b6600594ccf?OpenDocument">not</a>
a party to this protocol.
[[ http://www.icrc.org/IHL.nsf/52d68d14de6160e0c12563da005fdb1b/3a507447d94ad829c125641f002d2729?OpenDocument | Protocol ]]
March 22, 2003
The Sydney Morning Herald and <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/21/otsc.irq.savidge/">CNN</a>
report on the US' use of Napalm in Iraq.
[[ http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/21/1047749944836.html | Sydney Morning Herald article ]]
[[ http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/21/otsc.irq.savidge/ | Article ]]
The US air force website makes a point of emphatically denying its use, posting a
'disinformation alert' demanding the article's withdrawl and noting that the US's
stock of napalm bombs was destroyed in 2001.
[[ http://www.af.mil/news/opscenter/OIF_talker.shtml | Disinformation Alert ]]
Soon after, however, officials admit that the US did in fact use a compound which has the
same effect as Napalm, but with a different name ('MK-77 firebombs'), and a slightly
[[ http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/08/1060145827920.html | Sydney Morning Herald article ]]
[[ http://www1.iraqwar.ru/iraq-read_article.php?articleId=15089&lang=en | Article ]]
[[ http://www1.iraqwar.ru/iraq-read_article.php?articleId=15084&lang=en | Article ]]
The technicality seems a bit irrelevant however when the soldiers involved referred to
the bombs as napalm, and that technically napalm only refers to a combination of naphthalene
and palmitate which was only used in the very earliest versions of such bombs anyway
(the napalm used in Vietnam for example used a different mixture, and was termed 'Napalm-B').
It appears in fact that the MK-77 firebombs represent simply a further improvement, having
been made harder to extinguish than 'Napalm-B', thus perhaps 'Napalm-C' might be a more apt
name and would certainly create less confusion.
[[ http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/08/1060145828249.html | Sydney Morning Herald article ]]
[[ http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2003/02/mil-030211-usmc02.htm | Article ]]
[[ http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=432201 | Article ]]
[[ http://smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/08/1060145870882.html | Article ]]
With the above in mind, one can correctly understand Tommy Franks' comments following
Al Jazeera's reports on the use of napalm in Afghanistan - 'Right. We're not using -
we're not using the <i>old</i> napalm in Tora Bora'.
[[ http://www.centcom.mil/CENTCOMNews/transcripts/franksdec14.htm | DoD Operational Briefing ]]
Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois is continuing to make napalm, producing a further
500 MK-77 firebombs for the marines.
[[ http://smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/08/1060145870882.html | Sydney Morning Herald article ]]