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They have only been around for about 100 years or less because before that the technology for them did not exist. These weapons can be nuclear or biological or chemical.
Due to the…
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Download file to see previous pages During this time there were numerous protests and people of a certain political persuasion demanded to “Ban the Bomb.” People felt that WMDs—especially nuclear weapons—were a kind of genie let loose from a bottle. Once loose, every country would develop nuclear weapons and everyone would hold everyone else hostage. These fears were heightened when both India and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons about 10 years ago. And when North Korea declared itself a nuclear power three years ago. Fear of a nuclear Iran continue to dominate American and Israeli foreign policy.
But there is more to weapons of mass destruction than nuclear weapons. There are chemical and nerve agents, there are biological agents such as plague and anthrax. Many governments are known to maintain WMD programs and they are part of many militaries’ attack plans. On the flip side, there are many treaties in place to block their use but some countries stockpile them and use them as a deterrent. They have been used in the First World War (mustard gas), the Second World War (the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), and when Saddam Hussein used them against his own people (the Kurds), as well as in many other instances.
The term entered the public domain in a very significant way during the Iraq War, when the American government said Saddam possessed WMDs and that was the main reason why they would have to invade Iraq. It was, however, very hard to finds these weapons in Iraq in the end. There were great debates at the time about whether he had an active program or whether he had dismantled it. In fact he had had a program in the past and had dismantled it, but had told everyone publicly that he still had it in order to deter his enemies. Because of the terms salience in the debate about the Iraq War, weapons of mass destruction was named word of the year in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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