Weapons of Mass Destruction have is a major concern for the United States and other countries around the world. The history of weapons of mass destructions goes all the way back to the Middle Ages and is still a major issue today. My predictions at this time for this issue is that if the United States and other countries do not continue to work together and monitor those people whom they believe are capable of committing acts of terrorism that a Terrorist group will attack this country if not another as they have threatened to support their beliefs. I recommend that the United States criminal justice system continue to take all measures to protect this country and continue to treat all threats as if they are real to ensure and protect this country from additional attacks or a major attack from a weapon of mass destruction.
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Weapons of Mass destruction is defined as a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and other life forms and/or cause great damage to man-made structures, natural structures, or the biosphere in general. The more technical terms refers to any chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons (Weapon of, 2010, para 1). The use of this term goes back to Cosmo Gordon Lang, an Archbishop of Canterbury, who first used the term weapons of mass destruction in 1937 in reference to the aerial bombardment of Guernica, Spain.
Lang (1937) states,
Who can think at this present time without a sickening of the heart of the appalling slaughter, suffering, the manifold misery brought by war to Spain and to China? Who can think without horror of what another widespread war would mean, waged as it would be with all the new weapons of mass destruction (Weapons of, 2010, para 2).
During this time there were no nuclear weapon, and the biological weapons were already being researched by Japan, and chemical weapons had been seen in wide use in World War I.
The first recorded use of weapons of mass destruction goes back to the Middle Ages. When the rules of war fell into disregard, the target moved from the enemy’s soldiers to his people. The weapon of choice against a civilian enemy became biological, then chemical, and nuclear, as soon as scientific advancement and technological developments made them available (Rebehn, 2003, para 1).
The first noted weapon of mass destruction goes back to 430 B.C. when Leucippus and his pupil, Democritus are credited with postulating the theory of Atoms and Void. Since then there has been an estimate of seventy-seven recorded building of mass destruction, attempts, discovery of weapons of mass destruction, and attacks around the world. The first use of a weapon of mass destruction came with World War I. World War I bore witness to the first chemical weapons attacks of the 20th century.
Research on biological warfare agents began after World War I and several nations continued research and development during the Cold War. The theories of Einstein and other eminent contributors to the 20th century physics provided the basis for the development of nuclear science. Research towards nuclear energy began in the 1930’s. Nuclear weapons were used during World War II, and nuclear deterrence played a major role during the Cold War. The nuclear arms race slowed in the early 1970’s following the negotiation of the first control treaties (Briefing, 2005, para 4).
During World War II the trope “mass destruction” came to be increasingly associated with aerial bombing and particularly, after August 6, 1945, with the atomic bomb (Oren and Solomon, 2006, pg 12). In the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a debate developed in Washington regarding American’s nuclear policy. Many atomic scientists expected the United States nuclear monopoly to be short lived; scientist sought to avert a dangerous arms race with the Soviet Union by turning over America’s atomic weapons to an international authority on the condition that future nuclear powers will do the same.
Treaties and agreement were developed to address weapons of mass destruction to get everyone nationally to turn over weapons and prevent additional weapons from being made. The 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) does not explicitly require states parties to adopt national implementation measures to give effects to the treaty. (Persbo and Woodard, 2005, pg 3). This treaty requires that states enter into nuclear safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency also known as the (IAEA), which has promulgated non-binding guidelines for national measures to protect nuclear materials and equipment from security breaches. The International Atomic Energy Agency verifies state compliance with their safeguards agreements primarily through material accountancy measures (Persbo and Woodard, 2005, pg 3).
Present day concerns with weapons of mass destruction arose after the attacks on September 11th. An even greater threat to U. S. and Western security is the potential for biological, chemical, and nuclear attacks. The United States is making alliances around the world, not just to track down the pockets of Al Qaeda, but to identify those countries that are trying to acquire the materials to develop and construct such weapons of mass destruction (Simonsen and Spindlove, 2007, pg 508).
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After the attacks on the September 11th America was attacked within weeks with letters containing Anthrax spores being sent around the country killing American. American citizens were afraid to open their mail for fear that it may contain Anthrax. As a result of these attacks former President Bush believed that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq which caused America to go to war. The danger posed by weapons of mass destruction was the Bush administration’s chief justification for invading Iraq. President George Bush declared a “War on Terror” after 9-11 and singled out Iraq as part of an “axis of evil.” (Simonsen and Spindlove, 2007, pg 509).
The United States went to war and invaded Iraq to search for weapons of mass destruction in addition to finding Osama bin Laden. The United States was able to locate Saddam Hussein whom felt that he was always at war with the United States and he was executed for his crimes against the United States. The United States continues to look for Osama bin Laden, the leader of the Al Qaeda and mastermind behind the attacks on September 11th.Osama continues to threaten the United States as well as others with future attacks that can lead to millions of people being killed. No weapon of mass destruction was not found and was reported by Iraq Survey Group to never exist in January 2004. Al Qaeda continues to grow and inspire globally is a major problem.
Al Qaeda, little known before the September 11, 2001, attacks is now linked to almost every terrorist atrocity around the globe-rightly or wrongly- this is the most notorious movement of the late twentieth and early twenty-first that will shape the lives of westerners over the coming decade (Simonsen and Spindlove, 2007, pg 510). Osama bin Laden continues to remain in seclusion and Al Qaeda continues to show signs that they plan to intensify attacks against the West.
Persbo and Woodard (2005) writes,
The terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001 catalyzed a significant shift by certain states away from efforts to strengthen the multilateral WMD treaty regimes (through improved verification arrangements) towards a rather less ambitious (or eminently successful) agenda to improve national implementation of these treaties. While national compliance is essential for the success of these treaties, the future to strengthen the treaty verification systems has made it more difficult to assess the status of states’ national implementation measures (pg 2).
My predictions are that Al Qaeda and the Taliban will continue to grow and use the United States resources to assist them with attacking the United States as well as other countries. I think that these terrorist groups are in the United States now flying under the radar as they have done before which assist them with their attack. I think that they will not attack in the next few years, because they know that the United States is aware and taking all threats seriously and will wait until they feel that the United States guard is down. I also think that if they do attack that it will be on a larger scale injuring and killing more people, instead of attacking building. These groups will continue to increase their organizational skills and may seek to expand outside assistance from other races that support their cause.
My recommendation to the criminal justice practitioners is that they must continue to treat all threats as if they were real and maintain and increase security measures to prevent additional attacks against this country as well as other countries in the world. The governments across the world must continue to work together to keep and protect their way of life and honor the treaties and agreements that they have put in place. Communication with each other is very important with ensuring everyone is on the same page and no one is in the dark, especially where the weapons of mass destruction are concerned. The United States should follow the lead of other countries and make it a little more difficult for immigrants to enter the country and remain here. The government should continue to monitor the activity of the Al Qaeda and Taliban and any other terrorist groups, we should not make the same mistake and believe that we will not be attacked again and expect the unexpected to protect this country. An attack of mass destruction does not only affect the target but also affects the entire world and we must always keep this in mind if we want to continue to live.
In conclusion, Weapons of mass destruction consist of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks. These weapons have been in existence since the Middle Ages and are still a major concern for the United States as well as others countries in the world. I predict that the terrorist groups will continue to grow and organize and will wait to attack on a much grander scales to support their cause. As stated earlier I recommend the criminal justices practitioners around the world need to continue to work together to assess for weapons of mass destruction and treat all threats as if they are going to occur,
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