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Matthew Funaiole

on 27 May 2015

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Transcript of WMDs

Defining WMD
Weapons that have a relatively large-scale impact on people, property, and/or infrastructure.
Chemical Weapons
Biological Weapons
Biological weapons intentionally disseminate agents of infectious diseases to harm or kill others.
Nuclear and Radiological Weapons
Nuclear weapons
are unique in their explosive energy, derived from nuclear fission- the splitting of the atom. Usually of highly enriched uranium or plutonium.
Chemical Weapons, cont'd
Chemical Weapons use the toxic properties of chemical substances to cause physical or psychological harm to an enemy.
Many different kinds, including:
Choking and blood agents
(like chlorine, phosgene, fentanyl gas) cause respiratory damage and asphyxiation.
Blistering agents
(like mustard gas and lewisite) cause painful burns requiring immediate medical attention.
Nerve gases
(like sarin gas and VX) degrade the functioning of the nervous system, causing a loss of muscle control, respiratory failure, and eventually death.
Can be delivered through bombs, rockets, artillery shells, spray tanks, and missile warheads.
Choking agents

such as
were used in WWI. Chlorine is a commonly manufactured chemical. In bleach, pesticides, rubber.
History of Chemical Weapons, I
Long historical basis for use of chemical weapons.
poisoned water supplies.
catapulted burning pitch and sulfur into cities during a siege.
World War I
: Chlorine and mustard gas were first developed and used, leading to an estimated 1,300,000 casualties, including 91,000 fatalities.
Between World Wars
: Used by British, Spanish, Italian, Soviet and Japanese forces in various conflicts.
World War II
: Lots of CW types developed, but not used in WWII (except possibly Japan).
History of Chemical Weapons, III
More specific cases - like an essay...
During 1980s had huge stockpile of mustard gas. Sold to Iraq by US manufacturer through Dutch businessman. Used during Iran-Iraq War (1980-88 ) and against Kurds.
Began CW program in 1980s to counter Israel's WMDs. Built two of the largest CW facilities in the world. Used mustard gas against rebels in Chad in 1986-7 Abandon program in 2003, allows international inspectors.
Syrian stockpile of CW known to US. Believed to be used during the Syrian Civil War (ongoing), but UN inspectors were unable to confirm which side used them.

Ease of manufacturing and low cost increase proliferation
Mustard gas
is most popular due to ease of production, low cost, and effectiveness. Also used in WWI.
CW consume military resources more than fatalities.
Nerve agents such as
gas and
require much lower quantities than blood, choking, blister agents. A few droplets can cause death in minutes.
Current Stockpiles
Chemical Weapons Convention
(CWC) is an arms control treaty that outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use CW.
Declared CW stockpiles (slated for destruction) in 4 countries: Albania, Libya, Russia, and the United States. India and South Korea recently destroyed stockpiles.
Countries that have not joined CWC include Angola, Egypt, North Korea, Somalia and Syria.
Israel, China and Iran have signed CWC, but are suspected of having secret CW programs; Israel has never ratified the CWC.
Instruction manuals reflect terrorists interests in chemical weapons
• 11th volume of Al-Qaeda’s 5,000-page Encyclopedia of Jihad is “How to construct chemical and biological weapons”
• The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook – see Blackboard folder
April 1985, United States: stockpile of cyanide discovered in a compound of the Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord
• June 1990, Sri Lanka: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) used chlorine gas in an assault on a Sri Lankan Armed Forces camp
• June 2003, Malaysia: chemicals found in a Jemaah Islamiyah compound
• March-June 2006, Iraq: Insurgents use chlorine gas as component in improvised explosive devices
Aum Shinrikyo
Iran have signed CWC, but are suspected of having secret CW programs; Israel has never ratified the CWC.
Biological Weapons
History of Biological Weapons, I
Relatively cost-effective weapons.
Considered by many to be the most insidious type of weapons.
Biological agents are hundreds to thousands of times more potent than chemical agents by weight.
Biological agents can be
delivered through common items such as food, clothing, and ventilation systems.
are also hosts.
Different types:
Bacteria (like
, Brucellosis, Tularemia,
Viruses (
, Marburg, Yellow Fever)
Rickettsia (Typhus fever, Spotted fever)
Fungi (the molds that cause stem rust of wheat and rye)
Toxins (like Ricin, Botulinum and Saxitoxin)
No. You don't have to memorize all of these. I haven't gone mad.
Two weaponized diseases pose a particular threat:
The disease is eradicated. People aren't vaccinated anymore.
These weapons are so powerful that they threaten the countries most powerful countries. What happens if a rogue American official goes mad?
Deliberate contamination of food and water supplies.
Use of biological toxins, animals, or plants (living or dead).
Use of contaminated fabrics and persons.
Before industrialization, biological warfare occurred in three major forms:
Notable examples:
In antiquity, arrows were often dipped in poison.
(184 BC) had sailors throw clay pots filled with venomous snakes onto the decks of enemy ships.
: Scorpions also work.
During the Middle Ages, bubonic plague victims were used in biological attacks. Bodies could be launched over castle walls. Forces subjugated by
Genghis Khan
used this tactic and may have brought the plague to Europe.
Native American population was devastated by old world diseases, namely smallpox. British purposely gave infected blankets to spread the disease. British also used the same tactic against Australian aborigines.
History of Biological Weapons, II
Similar to CW, industrialized militaries began exploring the use of "germ" warfare.
Early interest with ambitious programs. All of the major powers explored biological warfare. International efforts soon sought to reverse the trend. BW are not easily
Imperial Japanese Army
Unit 731
under the command of Lt. Gen. Shirō Ishii conducted human experiments on prisoners and produced biological weapons for combat use - which the Japanese considered using against the US.
Japan used intestinal typhoid bacteria to poison a Soviet water supply.
Japan used air cargo drops of rice and wheat mixed with plague-carrying fleas over China and Manchuria.
Gave anthrax-laced candy to unsuspecting children.
History of Chemical Weapons, II
A few more examples to demonstrate the prevalence of chemical warfare.
Vietnam War (1955-1975)
: Agent Orange used by US
North Yemen Civil War (1962-1970)
: Egyptians use mustard gas and phosgene.
Soviet occupied Afghanistan (1979-1989)
: Mustard gas used against rebels.
In 2002
: Fentanyl gas used to kill Chechen terrorists in Moscow.
White phosphorus
used by Israel, US, and others.
: can be used for illumination/smoke screens. Israel may have used as a weapon against Palestinians c. 2009-12.
Current Stockpiles
Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production of an entire category of weapons.
176 countries have agreed to not develop, produce, stockpile, or acquire biological agents or toxins, as well as weapons and means of delivery.
Countries that have not joined BWC include North Korea, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Guinea, Mauritania, Somalia, Tanzania, Haiti
China and Iran have signed BWC, but are suspected of having secret BW programs.
A radiation emission device (RED) or a radiological dispersion device (RDD) is also known as a “
dirty bomb.

Unlike a nuclear weapon, dirty bombs are designed to cause panic and mass disruption by contaminating areas with severe radioactivity. Location becomes uninhabitable for many years.
Nuclear Weapons
Already spent significant time discussing nuclear weapons. Quick recap.
Only ever used in WWII at
Today's nuclear weapons are far more powerful.
During Cold War:
Bipolar international system
Monopoly of WMD by strong, powerful states.
International treaties to curb proliferation
After Cold War:
Nuclear proliferation in S. Asia, N. Korea, Middle East.
The Non-Proliferation Regime’s crisis of legitimacy.
Fears of proliferation after Soviet collapse.
Not all nuclear "power" is the same.
A nuclear
refers to a strategic nuclear arsenal which consists of three components: (1) strategic bombers; (2) intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs); and (3) submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
A nuclear
significantly reduces the possibility that an enemy could destroy all of a nation's nuclear forces in a first-strike attack. Increases threat of a second strike, thereby increases a country's nuclear deterrence.
Dirty Bomb
The purpose of the weapon is to contaminate the an area around with
radioactive material
, whereas nuclear bombs release nuclear energy for the purpose of producing a
blast effect
that far in excess of what is achievable by the use of conventional explosives. Radiological contamination is a side-effect of nuclear detonation.
Radiation Emission Device (RED)
Radiological Dispersion Device (RDD)
Any means used to
radioactive material.
Can use conventional explosives or other means.
Or a conventional explosive placed near radioactive source. Eg. Nuclear power plant.
Any means used to
Radioactive material is placed somewhere while unshielded.
Can be left in crowded area. Eg. stadium, subway.
Not really a "bomb"
Dirty Bomb, Cont'd
There is limited evidence of states seeking dirty bombs. Saddam Hussein tested one in 1987, but abandoned it.
More likely threat comes from terrorist or insurgent groups like Al-Qaeda or the Chechen rebels. We'll talk more about this later on.
There is always the possibility of a state developing and deploying radiological weapons either on their own or in secret collaboration with a terrorist network. Eg. A rogue state like North Korea.
: CW produce similar kinds of effects (some deaths by explosives, more deaths from exposure) and are much cheaper and more easily available than radioactive materials. BW could have the same psychological effect.
Do we need Jack Bauer?
Triad powers
United States
Emerging triad powers
Non-triad powers
United Kingdom
North Korea
Suspected triad powers

IR Cases: Weapons of Mass Destruction

Dr. Matthew P. Funaiole

For the rest of the semester, we are going to start reviewing cases in more detail. This will allow us to better understand the intersection of theory and evidence.
: This is what you will need to do on your essays!
Lecture 1: Weapons of Mass Destruction
Lecture 2: The Emerging Global Order
Lecture 3: Interventions and Asymmetrical Warfare
Lecture 4: An Introduction to Terrorism
: These specific lectures touch on a number of related factors like power balancing, international law, and identities.
All entirely subject to change. We might also do some break out sessions.
Review from Last Week
Make sure to read the articles I sent.
Overview of Today
Discuss different types of WMD.
Historical overview of WMD use.
Defining WMD.
Potential break out session.
WMD are defined in US law (18 USC §2332a) as:
(A) any destructive device as defined in section 921 of this title (i.e. explosive device);
(B) any weapon that is designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors;
(C) any weapon involving a biological agent, toxin, or vector (as those terms are defined in section 178 of this title)
(D) any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life.
Different types of WMD:
No. You don't need to memorize this legal definition. It's just to help clarify what is we are talking about.
So why are we still talking about this in the first place?
WMDs are just one example of a controversial issue in IR that can be analyzed from different theoretical perspectives.
What changed between the World Wars?
cf. Fire bombing
Why these states? How do states acquire power?
Additional reading:
When is it okay for a state or non-state to use a WMD? Ever?
Does the international community have a duty to stop WMD proliferation?
Full transcript