Talk:Weapons of Mass Destruction

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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) are weapons of a class that kill massive numbers of people or which destroy the infrastructure in which they live, or both. It might include the use of a device or substance that destroys the parts or whole of an ecosystem, especially one that supports populated communities.

Generally, WMDs fall into certain types of weapons:

  • Nuclear
  • Chemical
  • Biological

Nuclear weapons would include any weapon whose destructive force depends upon the use of fissionable material (fusion bombs depend upon an initial fission reaction) to produce the destructive force. Chemical weapons are weapons making use of substances derived synthetically or from natural products whose action produces death, trauma, or illness by disrupting systemic physiological functions in the targets (humans or other forms of life). Biological weapons make use of natural (wild-type) or altered (purposely mutagenized) living pathogens of the targets to produce illness or death, or both, in the targets (humans or other forms of life); the pathogens are typically micro-organisms (usually bacteria, although parasitic protozoa or pathogenic fungi can be used).

By international agreement among most nations, the use, distribution, manufacture, and possession of some WMD-type weapons is forbidden. Not all nations may be signatories to treaties involving the type of WMD they may wish to build or obtain. Many nation-states, particularly the United States and Russia, possess a large inventory of nuclear weapons ready to use within seconds and whose destructive force is many times necessary to devastate all sentient life on planet Earth. India and Pakistan, two states neighboring each other and often at war with each other, both joined the "nuclear club" when they announced they had developed nuclear weapons after years of secret, forbidden research. North Korea, a typically belligerent nation, recently announced its development of nuclear weapons. What is particularly alarming is that North Korea has advanced missile technology, and thus has the ability to deliver nuclear weapons intercontinentally (such as large urban areas of the United States) within the span of a half-hour.

George W. Bush used the pretense of the possession and manufacture of WMD by Iraq to invade that nation-state, an act many characterize as a war of aggression, a crime against the peace, a violation of the charter of the United Nations, which formalizes a centuries-old understanding between nation-states regarding acts of war and the inviolability of the sovereignty of nation-states.