A public interest group says it will appeal a judge's ruling that the military may require troops serving in the Persian Gulf to take unapproved drugs to guard against chemical and germ warfare.

Public Citizen, the group that filed the class-action suit, contended soldiers should be required to give consent before being treated with unapproved drugs, and that they should be allowed to refuse.But U.S. District Judge Stanley Harris ruled Thursday that the policy was based on "strategic military decisions" aimed at protecting troops, not an effort to experiment on unwilling subjects. "The court declines to second-guess the (Pentagon's) decisions regarding how to equip and prepare the armed forces for the war," Harris wrote.

Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, said, "No American, even in the military in wartime conditions, should be stripped of his right to refuse unapproved drugs."