Secrecy and Lies
The United States have not revealed how much DU has been used by their forces in Iraq nor whereabouts it was used. They have revealed only that 75 tonnes were used by their A-10 planes but not by other weapons systems such as tanks. British disclosure of amounts and whereabouts is useless without US cooperation since their forces used the vast majority of all DU munitions.
This information is vital to all countries with troops in Iraq to prevent exposure, but the British Government fails to grasp this saying, "Ordnance expended by US forces is a matter for the US authorities." In the Netherlands this has caused a controversy when the Dutch Government told its parliament that the US Government had said that the area where Dutch troops had been sent, Al Muthanna, had had no significant fighting or DU usage. This was quickly exposed as a lie as the province had in fact been a strategic location between Basra and Baghdad. Having misled its own parliament, and perhaps having let itself be misled by the US (the information was publicly available) the Dutch Government has been accused of "failing to allow an adequate judgement on the risks of exposure to DU contamination" to be made.
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Page last updated: January 28, 2003