Weapons of Mass Destruction

Topics: 2003 invasion of Iraq, George W. Bush, Nuclear weapon Pages: 3 (1179 words) Published: May 6, 2011
The term Weapons of Mass Destruction has two indications. In its broader, literal sense, it is used to refer to weapons whose destructive power far surpasses that of guns or conventional explosives. However, the term is more often used in a narrower sense, to refer specifically to nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which raised awareness of America’s vulnerability, the United States has greatly intensified its efforts to stop the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. When the president and other officials refer to “weapons of mass destruction,” they usually mean NBC weaponry. An organism or toxin found in nature is used in them that is meant to kill or incapacitate an enemy. Though there are different types and they are made up of different ingredients, they are all meant to kill and do significant destruction. The United States Military refers to them as "weapons that are capable of high order destruction and being used to destroy large numbers of people." Many countries posses weapons of mass destruction for one main cause. Because they "generate a culture of fear", they are held in reserve by countries as a scare tactic. They are set aside to be used as a threat, if another country were to use them, they would in turn be bombed with weapons of mass destruction. During the Cold War, the term "weapons of mass destruction" was primarily a reference to nuclear weapons. At the time, in the West the euphemism "strategic weapons" was used to refer to the American nuclear arsenal, which was presented as a necessary deterrent against nuclear or conventional attack from the Soviet Union.The term "weapons of mass destruction" continued to see periodic use throughout this time, usually in the context of nuclear arms control; Ronald Reagan used it during the 1986 Reykjavík Summit, when referring to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. Reagan's successor, George H.W. Bush, used the term in an 1989 speech to the...
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