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Political Science

Terrorist and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Question One

            With the advent of the 21st century, the face of terrorism has shifted from deterministic positions relayed by terrorism patterns over the past. Uncertainties attached to this pervade constraints in possible terrorism prevention efforts making WMD attacks very probable[1]. This article instills insight concerning prioritization factors linked with WMD; definitions are important but very insignificant as to what WMD constitute. Of importance rather is the price that terrorists are willing to forego to ensure successful attacks or threats. Terrorists take their time in the planning and execution phases as well as the effort and finances needed. Efforts are often sacrificial and may entail death of the weapon setter while money is no problem at all. This is the definition of passion. For governments, these would be worthy principles to be used in the fight against terrorism.

Question Two

            I do not agree with the given publication based on the nature of the September 11 attacks. The writer argues that even with the possession of money and time, a grand effort is needed in form of human resources for the building/ purchase and implementation of a successful WMD attack. The September 11 Al-Qaeda initiatives may not have procured the mainstream weapons categorized as WMD namely, CBRN, but the intent of mass destruction was achieved[2]. This however should not be used to argue that CBRN (the main categories of WMD) attacks are unlikely but rather that terrorist attacks have now become more composite and less conventional as compared to the earlier periods. Terrorism definitions should be expanded to encompass the new forms of terrorism.

Question Three

            The article provides a precise account of radiological weapons and the two main ways they can be used as WMD. The Radiological Dispersion Device is employed for disbanding radioactive material like C-4 and dynamite in gaseous or solid form across extensive human habitation areas. Introduction of radioactive powder and/or pellets in water sources has psychological rather than physical effect on humans[3]. Radiation weapons are not as popular as the rest of the NBC, but they are dangerous and upon effective implementation, they are well capable of delivering staggering destructive results and infect an area for years. They should therefore be treated with equal concern as the rest of the WMD.

Question Four

            With regard to the former discussion, the article presents a precise comparison between the Radiological Dispersion Device (RDD) and the Radiological Exposure Device (RED). The latter disbands radiological material on smaller area making it less lethal than the former device[4]. Despite the device used, radiation contamination levels remain the same. The article further informs the reader that external radiation can be greatly reduced by the contact time, distance and sheltering. Unless a person has been exposed to the alpha and beta rays for a while, the effect will be minimal and manageable. This is the biggest setback in the use of radiological weapons as WMD and perhaps explains why they are less used or even considered as real WMD. The most effective way of using radiological weapons is when combined with biological tools such as food air capable of introducing radiology as internal; this is uncontrollable and fatal.

Question Five

            This writing offers an accurate analysis into the complexity that is related to modern forma of terrorism. With the changing face and the mechanisms used by terrorist groups, the containerization mode of transport on ships would be an easy target for terrorists. The main reason for this is that unlike airlines that are secures and travelers as well as travel items are screened, docked property does not go through security processes and measures. It can only be left to imagination of the destruction that a WMD with reference to a nuclear weapon would achieve[5]. The government should upgrade security in all possible terrorist entrant points.

Question Six

            The publication gives accurate fortification on the argument concerning the move from mainstream use of WMD to other unforeseeable means of mass destruction. The implacable message embedded in the September 11 attacks by the Al-Qaeda faction has served as an example that different substances inclusive of what may not be categorized as WMD can be used to achieve mass destruction. Industrial chemical weapons and/or materials, and explosives have been on the rise in the US among the Muslims as they are easily accessible and require no special assemblage skills[6]. The task force needed for a successful hitting makes it more viable since a single suicide bomber is well capable of an effective execution. Security should also move from a mainstream point by envisaging possible threats in order to enhance the defense measures.

Bibliography:

Brown, Chad. Transcendental Terrorism and Dirty Bombs Radiological Weapons Threat

Revisited. Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala: Center for Strategy and Technology, Air University, 2006.

Cirincione, Joseph, Jon, Wolfsthal, and Miriam, Rajkumar. Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear,

Biological, and Chemical Threats. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005.

Cordesman, Anthony. Terrorism, Asymmetric Warfare, and Weapons of Mass

Destruction: Defending the U.S. Homeland. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2002.

Edwards, David. “Lieberman calls Ft. Hood shooting ‘terrorist attack,’ The Raw Story, 2009, http://rawstory.com/2009/2009/11/lieberman-wants-terror-probe/ (accessed June 21, 2010).

Nichelson, Scott M. Radiological Weapons of Terror. Ft. Belvoir: Defense Technical Information Center, 1999.

Ramana B. “Al Qaeda has changed tactics, but as deadly as ever,” International Terrorism Monitor Paper NO.439, 2008, http://ramansterrorismanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/09/al-qaeda-has-changed-tactics-but-as.html (accessed June 21, 2010).

 

 

 



[1] Anthony Cordesman, Terrorism, Asymmetric Warfare, and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Defending the U.S. Homeland (Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2002).

 

[2] Joseph Cirincione, et al, Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Threats (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005).

 

[3] Scott M. Nichelson, Radiological Weapons of Terror (Ft. Belvoir: Defense Technical Information Center, 1999).

[4] Chad Brown, Transcendental Terrorism and Dirty Bombs Radiological Weapons Threat Revisited, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala: Center for Strategy and Technology (Air University, 2006).

 

[5] Anthony Cordesman, Terrorism, Asymmetric Warfare, and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Defending the U.S. Homeland (Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2002).

 

[6] Ramana B. “Al Qaeda has changed tactics, but as deadly as ever,” International Terrorism Monitor Paper NO.439, 2008, http://ramansterrorismanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/09/al-qaeda-has-changed-tactics-but-as.html (accessed June 21, 2010).

 

 

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