Episode 2508 – Prof Olson – Were herbicides used in Thailand Tactical of Commercial

Thai air for base perimeter, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Thai air for base perimeter during the Vietnam War

Episode 2508 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a look at the question of whether the herbicides used in Thailand were “commercial” or “tactical.” The information shared in this episode is a portion of the report created by the Merry Band of Retirees titled, Use of Agent Purple, Agent Orange and Agent Blue on Royal Thai Air Force Base Perimeters in Thailand during the Vietnam War.

The paper was submitted by Kenneth R. Olson and Larry Cihacek. Olson was a professor in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois [krolson@illinois.edu]. He is a US Army Vietnam Era Veteran and professor emeritus of soil science. Cihacek is a professor at the School of Natural Resource Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota. He is US Army veteran and professor of soil science.

In this episode, the following portion of the paper that is titled 2.4 VA’s Illusory Distinction between “Commercial” and “Tactical” Herbicides is Unlawful and Arbitrary. will be featured. According to Olson and Cihacek, the Veterans Administration (VA), with advice from the Department of Defense, constructed an arbitrary distinction between “commercial” and “tactical” herbicides. They routinely used this “distinction” as justification for denying Thailand exposure claims. 

Historical documentation shows no evidence that the military made any distinction between “tactical” and “commercial” herbicides at the time of the Vietnam War.

Five bases in Thailand, including Nakhon Phanom (NKP), Ubon, Korat, U-Tapao and Udorn endured sniper fire interdiction, perimeter penetration, and sapper (combat engineer) attacks.Nam Phong an eighth Royal Thai Air Force base was used by the United States Marine Corps air operations starting in 1972. The Rules of Engagement (ROE)  provided authorization and limits for the employment of herbicides throughout the Southeast Asian conflict.

Listen to episode 2508 and discover more about the question of whether the herbicides used in Thailand were “commercial” or “tactical”

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