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Ground access remove the trees were impossible because of unexploded rounds. Less than a month later, the leaves on the trees had dried and fallen greatly improving visibility.This experiment at Camp Drum, New York, foreshadowed what was to come later in Vietnam and used the same chemicals for the same purpose that Operation Ranch Hand would in Southeast Asia.To understand the effects of Agent Orange, one must first become familiar with the chemical components of Agent Orange and other herbicides used in the Vietnam War.
The Defense Department advocated the use of defoliant agents along main supply routes.
The Department of State did not object to a closely controlled and selective defoliation program arguing that such operations would not violate any international law and could even be considered an acceptable tactic of war. Kennedy personally approved in the start of Project ‘Hades’ (later renamed as Operation Ranch Hand), and for a year afterwards, all herbicide targets to be sprayed by U. aircraft had to receive specific Oval Office approval.” However, a year later, President Kennedy limited the authority needed to spray herbicides. Even though both South Vietnamese officials and the Defense Department favored herbicide spraying, there were some people that opposed herbicide use. Averell Harriman of the State Department argued that there was no way to insure that only Viet Cong (North Vietnamese) crops would be destroyed and the inevitable mistake would lead to the destruction of South Vietnamese crops.
But some spraying was done by Operation Ranch Hand in airplanes with temporary South Vietnamese insignias painted on to protect the U. The early use of herbicides in South Vietnam did not incite hostile international reactions, as some had feared.
After the first missions conducted by Operation Ranch Hand, radio stations in communist countries criticized America’s use of herbicides deeming it as chemical warfare.
Beginning in 1962 and ending in 1971, Operation Ranch Hand sprayed over 18 million gallons of herbicide affecting over 5.5 million acres of land.
The effects of Agent Orange can still be seen today, a devastating scar engraved in the veterans and civilians of the Vietnam War and on Mother Nature, herself.The United States Air Force conducted tests in World War II to see whether sprayed chemicals could be used to mark navigation points and defoliate jungle covers.Allied officials in World War II considered but did not employ tactics to destroy crops grown by Japanese Units on isolated Pacific Islands.However, reactions from non-communist countries was light until in February 1963, a reporter by the name of Richard Dudman wrote a series of articles on the United States’ policy in Asia. Kastenmeier of Wisconsin so much that he wrote President Kennedy and urged him to cease the use of herbicides as chemical weapons in Vietnam, questioning whether the survival of the Diem regime was worth compromising America’s moral principles.However, the Department of Defense responded to Kastenmeier’s letter by contending that the herbicides were not chemical weapons and charging the press and communist countries for distorting military facts.Despite this, development of herbicides continued because the U. government believes that Agent Orange was relatively harmless to human and animal life. One successful experiment was conducted at Camp Drum, New York, in 1959.Sugar Maple leaves were obstructing the view of lost artillery equipment and ammunition. Brown, later in involved in the earliest stages of the herbicide program in Vietnam, to Camp Drum.” He oversaw helicopter spraying of a mixture of experimental 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T on the maple trees.The scientific studies proved inconclusive because no human exposure, direct or indirect, was studied.However, laboratory tests showed that animals developed cancer when exposed to dioxins. National Cancer Institute discovered that exposure to dioxins could cause cancer and possible birth defects.” In the decades preceding the Vietnam War, the United States Air Force funded programs to develop and improve herbicide delivery techniques and equipment.In laboratory tests on animals, exposure to TCDD caused a wide variety of diseases, the majority of them fatal.Herbicide testing for Agent Orange began in the 1940’s shortly after World War II broke out.