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Napalm

 
  

Project: History of US Interventions

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1963-1971

       During the Vietnam war, it is estimated the US used a total of 338,237 tons of napalm. [Article]
          

1980

       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 not a party to this protocol. [Protocol]
          

March 22, 2003

       The Sydney Morning Herald and CNN report on the US' use of Napalm in Iraq. [Sydney Morning Herald article; Article]
          

August 2003

       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. [Disinformation Alert]
          

August 2003

       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 different composition. [Sydney Morning Herald article; Article; 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. [Sydney Morning Herald article; Article; Article; 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 old napalm in Tora Bora'. [DoD Operational Briefing]
          

Today

       Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois is continuing to make napalm, producing a further 500 MK-77 firebombs for the marines. [Sydney Morning Herald article]
          


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