The Army has spent up to $114 million to develop defenses against germ weapons that pose no current military threat, Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman John Glenn (D-Ohio) said yesterday.

At the same time, he said, the Army has failed to develop effective vaccines against recognized weapons such as the anthrax apparently possessed by Iraqi military forces.

His statements were based on a report by the General Accounting Office that criticized the Army's Biological Defense Research Program for misspending funds and ordering research that may duplicate work by federal scientific agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

The GAO concluded after a one-year review that the Army had commissioned 49 research projects worth $47 million on potential germ warfare agents that the intelligence community had not assessed as "warfare threats." It also commissioned 57 projects worth $48 million that neither the Army nor the GAO could link to known "warfare threats."

The Army also spent $19 million to develop vaccines or drugs associated with germ weapons that have not been developed or produced by potential adversaries, the GAO said.

While the Army was funding speculative research on these pathogens, Glenn said, "it failed to produce medical countermeasures against many 'conventional' biological agents, such as a vaccine against anthrax."

The Defense Department, fearing a germ warfare attack by Iraqi military forces, recently began administering an anthrax vaccine obtained from the Michigan Department of Health to an undisclosed number of troops in Saudi Arabia.

Military officials told Glenn's committee in August 1989 that the only available anthrax vaccine was not suited to mass troop vaccinations because of a "higher than normal rate of reactogenicity," or adverse medical effects, and its relative lack of effectiveness once troops were exposed to the germ.

An Army spokesman said yesterday that managers of the germ weapon defense program could not respond to the report because they had not seen it. The report said the managers had objected to suggestions that they only work with germ weapons known to be under development by a potential adversary.

"It's not a very pretty picture," said Brookings Institution fellow Elisa Harris, an expert on chemical and germ weapons. "Some hard questions will be asked of the Army if Iraq uses {biological weapons} and U.S. troops suffer casualties because of shortfalls in supplies of vaccines."