wmdfinal1 - Outline Abstract According to the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Outline Abstract According to the "Dictionary of International Security", the phrase Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) is used to refer to "nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. ..which are believed to be qualitatively different to other weapons due to their destructive potential and indiscriminate nature." (227). Though its definition may differ slightly across institutions, this definition serves as an efficient foundation from which to work. The category of biological weapons pre-dates its classification under WMDs, but there has yet to be any documented large scale attacks using these agents in recent history and eventually the issue was put to the back burner in the concern over WMDs. The occurrence of recent threats and attacks, particularly by terrorist actors, has highlighted biological weapons as an issue of growing concern to the US military and general population, and overall as a global issue. This recent heightened concern may seem, based on traditional strategy, to be paradoxical seeing that documented accounts of actual biological weapons attacks are less evident than they were in previous eras. In the case of biological weapons, we see that there is another variable, other than the sheer number of actual attacks, which can propel this traditionally 'back-burner' issue to the forefront of national security priority. The advances in technology and scientific research that we have today has greatly increased the 'danger' factor of biological weapons because it has vastly widened its scope of 'potential' (or capabilities) by making possible what was traditionally thought to be impossible, simplifying what was once thought to be too complex, and discovering/enhancing what was once hidden. The question at hand is just how effective traditional security strategies, particularly deterrence and armed controls, in this realm of WMDs, and is addressed from the perspective of United States because of two fundamental reasons: 1) its position as a world power (having the most to lose) and, 2) its position as a constant target (therefore going to great lengths to protect its 'assets'). Studies on biological weapons, their very nature, the lack of an extensive and reliable history, and the changes and technological advancements, amongst other factors, exposes the fact that the strategies that the US has used in the past concerning WMD cannot yield the same level of effectiveness when applied to biowarfare. The effectiveness of these strategies vary case-by- case and we see that there is no 'model' situation because the vast number of factors that influence this category are able to interplay with each other in an even greater variety of ways. One such factor is that terrorists, rather than state actors, have become the primary group of concern in the issue of biowarfare. This group, and the volatility of BWs, defies the traditional frameworks that have been used to plan and strategize the defensive and offensive mechanisms that our military and government employs to ensure national security and advance our interests. We see that traditional frameworks, such as the formulation of a set of requirements for the
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 9

wmdfinal1 - Outline Abstract According to the...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online