Terrorist and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
CBRN weapons pose enormous risks to any state and they vary in nature and consequences. Nuclear weapons unarguably front the gravest risk yet they are accorded little attention and strategic discussion in the 21st century. Pakistan, Iran, China, North Korea, Iraq, India and Libya have been identified as possessing nuclear weapons and the risk and the danger elicited by these is that they are US non-allies. North Korea signed the Agreed Framework with the US agreeing that the Yongbyon and Taechon nuclear production plants would be shut down yet anomalies arose from the arrangement. The US government strongly deems that North Korea manufactured and deflected some nuclear material to a covert location. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), North Korea has to disclose its location in exchange for the nuclear reactors documented in the agreement.
Stipulations as per the agreement also offer continual surveillance of the former production plants maintained by the IAEA. This has been an effective strategy in the prevention of nuclear production in North Korea. The country has consented to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act (NPT) yet it has refused to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). North Korea’s raised attention towards a dual-technology that can be used in nuclear projects pose a challenge to the US since the country is freed from the obligation of nuclear testing by its non-CTBT state. Iran is both an NPT and CTBT participant although it harbors efforts in the fabrication of plutonium and uranium components. Iran maintains that the project id for the national energy plan but is feared that it is a hoax in its bid to produce nuclear weapons. This scenario strengthens the concerns why nuclear non-proliferation discussions should be steeped.
The article provides precise observation concerning nuclear war. After the cold war, different treaties like NPT, ABM, CTBT, and START II and I were adopted in a bid to govern the world against nuclear weapons use. This tilted nuclear weapons possession to governments, yet proliferation of such has been on the increase leaving the pragmatic assumption that state actors are involved legally or illegally in supplying nuclear weapons to non-state actors. This may be in a bid for the states to claim or reclaim their lost powers.
I disagree with the given views in the article. The argument that the new states in the nuclear weapons ownership stand as the threats to nuclear warfare attributed to lack of control is biased and wrong. In as much as the older countries are reducing their weapons stock, they are still far ahead in terms of weapons unit. The point lies in the ability of countries to realize that the canon of Mutual Assured Destruction is what keeps nations from indulging into nuclear warfare and not the amount of arsenals in possession.
The comments provide an accurate position with regard to Iran. In 2004, the 1993 UN treaty proposal that recommended a single international state in the control of nuclear weapons was tabled and one 148 nations participated in the voting. Countries having the need to use nuclear materials can only procure them from the international institution. The US opposed the treaty and was only backed by one other state, Britain. However, the other participants, inclusive of Iran, were pro the proposal. The proposal was thereby annulled and I believe gave power to Iran and other nations to deal with situation as they deem fit.
The excerpt identifies the main strategy against WMD proliferation as lying within the upgrading of security measures. This is a precise stand and it parallels the WMD experts’ view that the 21st century has led to the evolvement of terrorism. With no deterministic or anticipatory patterns left in the fight against terrorism, the states power lies in the ability to ensure that the terrorists do not acquire WMD materials or technology.
The article offers precise insight regarding the challenges of nuclear terrorism. State actors like Russia have legally or illegally supplied terrorist groups and other non-state players with nuclear materials. All materials needed to assemble a nuclear weapon in the 21st century are easily acquired even online but the fissile material needed to make the weapon functional is still inaccessible. Governments should protect these materials at all costs because they hold the power for life preservation or obliteration.
Alibek, Dr. Ken. Behind the Mask: Biological Warfare Perspective. September-October, 1998. Reprinted from http://www.bu.edu/iscip/vol9/Alibek.html
Burr W. The National Security Archive 1960s ‘Nth Country Experiment’ Foreshadows Today’s Concerns Over the Ease of Nuclear Proliferation, 2003 Retrieved from
Cirincione J., Wolfsthal J., & Rajkumar M. Deadly Arsenal; Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Threats. The Brookings Institution Press, Washington D.C, 2005.
Cordesman, Anthony. Terrorism, Asymmetric Warfare, and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Defending the U. S. Homeland
Federal Bureau of Investigation Strategic Plan 2004-2009 Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/publications/strategicplan/stategicplantext.htm
Galamas, Francisco. Biological Weapons, Nuclear Weapons and Deterrence: The Biotechnology Revolution. Comparative Strategy 27.4, 2008.
Joint Chiefs of Staff. JP 3-11. Operations in Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Environments. 2008.
Joint Chiefs of Staff. JP 3-41. Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosives Consequence Management. 02 October 2006
Shapiro, Shlomo. Poisoned Chalice: Intelligence Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons. International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. 22.1. 2009.
Shoham, Dany. An Antithesis on the Fate of Iraq’s Chemical and Biological Weapons. International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. 19.1 2005
 Anthony Cordesman, Terrorism, Asymmetric Warfare, and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Defending the U. S. Homeland
 Francisco Galamas, Biological Weapons, Nuclear Weapons and Deterrence: The Biotechnology Revolution. (Comparative Strategy 27.4, 2008)
 Joint Chiefs of Staff, JP 3-11, Operations in Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Environments (2008)
 Cirincione J., Wolfsthal J., & Rajkumar M. Deadly Arsenal; Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Threats (The
Brookings Institution Press, Washington D.C, 2005)
 Federal Bureau of Investigation Strategic Plan 2004-2009 Retrieved from
 Burr W. The National Security Archive 1960s ‘Nth Country Experiment’ Foreshadows Today’s Concerns Over the
Ease of Nuclear Proliferation, 2003 Retrieved from http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20030701/