Essay: Weapons of Mass Destruction

1. Analyze the history of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), biological weapons, chemical weapons, and nuclear weapons and the future threat of WMD.
As far back as can be imagined there have been many biological weapons of mass destruction. Many were used in wars. In World War I-Germany was accused of trying to spread cholera bacilli in Italy, the plague in St. Petersburg, and anthrax in Mesopotamia and Romania. Japan also created a weapon of mass destruction called unit 731. This weapon of mass destruction was different because it involved the use of fleas that were infected with the virus’s smallpox, typhus, and gas gangrene. There are many different types of chemical agents used in chemical weapons:
Biotoxins, ricin, abrin, and strychnine, sulfur mustard (aka mustard gas), chlorine gas, tabun, sarin, and toxic gases and nerve gases.
There are many states today that have nuclear weapons in their arsenal for self- preservation. This way they have a way of protecting themselves in case another serious war breaks out they can detonate their own bomb without having to wait on another state to decide on their fate for them. They will be able to determine their own fate and decide how to handle the situation without outside interference.

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There are four different kinds of biological agents that are considered to be nasty elements on the markets now that are considered bad weapons of mass destruction and terrorists are looking to get their hands on them. These four weapons are listed as:
Bacteria’ Small free living organisms (anthrax)
Viruses’ Organisms that require living cells in order to replicate (smallpox)
Rickettsiae’ Microorganisms that have characteristics of both bacteria and viruses (Coxiella burnetti)
Fungi’ Primitive plants that do not utilize photosynthesis are capable of anaerobic and draw nutrition from decaying vegetable matter (Trichoththecene mycotoxins)
Here are more weapons of chemical destruction:
Biotoxins’ Poisonous substances produced naturally by microorganisms, plants or animals can be produced or altered by chemical means
Botulinum Toxin’ The single most poisonous substance known (nerve gas)
Plague’ Incredibly virulent, but not always lethal biological agent (respiratory and gastrointestinal distress)
Tularemia’ A potentially lethal infectious organism developed by the United States as a weapon (sprayed as an aerosol cloud weapon)
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Smallpox’ An infectious disease that many nations have tried to make into a weapon (sprayed as an aerosol cloud weapon)
Anthrax’ An infectious disease caused by spore-forming bacteria (sprayed as an aerosol cloud weapon)
These are the kinds of weapons that a terrorist would love to have in his/her arsenal because they can cause so much havoc without having to literally put your hands on the intended target. This way a terrorist can sit back and watch his intended victim suffer and endure as much pain as he wants them to endure because he/she has total control of this weapon.

2. Explain the types of WMD that are readily available to terrorist groups and explain the toxicity of the agent.
Many of the biological weapons of mass destruction contain Biotoxins, ricin, toxic gases, sarin, tabun, strychnine or mustard gas. They are all dirty bombs. They could kill millions of people and hurt thousands of others. No matter how the ball was to bounce there would be a lot of people hurt in the long run. The terrorist would have the upper hand if they were to get their hands on any form of these types of weapons of mass destruction.

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Terrorists groups who want to use aerosol spray cloud weapons would basically use weapons that are made with: Tularemia, smallpox, and anthrax. This way they are sure to get the their point across and to hurt as many people as they want to hurt and they never have to be anywhere near the site of the potential target.

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Reference

Combs, C. C. (2013) Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century (7th Ed.): Pearson Edition

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