Weapons Control Essay, Research Paper
What can we do about weapons control? In times like the present, the U.S. and the United Nations are dealing with a huge international problem known as weapons control and an example of the weapons control problem, is the constant battle with Saddam Hussein and Iraq, involving weapon inspections by the UN. The UN has the right to inspect weapon facilities and the manufacturing of weapons of any country in the world. But the problem is how do we go about demolishing weapons that are chemical, biological, or nuclear? The process of ridding the world of these weapons is a lot harder than one might think. With the technology increase in the last 50 years weapons of mass destruction are more deadly than they have ever been. So the question is, what do we do about these weapons that have been invented and what would be the ramifications of our actions on weapons control? Any time that you have a problem that involves a large population, one must solidify reasons for and against to ratify the situation. A proposal that we should have thought about was why are we inventing these weapons in the first place? This proposal can be answered very easily, and the answer is that we invented these weapons for the security and safety of our nation. As a result of pending problem the U.S. created a National Security Agency as a part of the National Security Act of 1947. The National Security Agency was created to control governmental actions involving national and international problems and policies; and to secure the safety of our nation.
Now that weapons control is a hot topic of the world, we need to look at situations on how to solve these problems that are affecting the well being of men, women, and children across the world.
In 1988 Pan Am Flight 103, in Lockerbie, Scotland, was bombed down by a terrorist attack from two Libyan terrorist masterminds. This bombing killed 259 passengers and 11 people that were on the ground. This devastating terrorist attack shows why we should control weapons. If terrorists could get a hold of weapons of mass destruction just think of the kind of problems that could evolve from their actions. Terrorists are only out for themselves and do not care about the welfare of others. Flight 103 was a result of a bomb on board and could have easily been averted if we only had a tighter security. Terrorism does not just exist overseas but also exists in the U.S. In the U.S. the bombing in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and the bombing of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York are the two worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history.
Robert H. Kupperman is a science advisor of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and an authority on national security, counterterrorism, and crisis management is frequently called upon as a consultant by U.S. government agencies, foreign governments, and multinational corporations. Before going to CSIS, Kupperman was chief scientist at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, where he led the first interagency studies of foreign and domestic terrorism. Kupperman stated in his Capitol Hill Hearing Testimony, ” We tend to deal with complex security problems episodically, waiting for crisis conditions to force our hand. Terrorism is a case in point, and issue laden with subtle and not-so-subtle traps. More than the political embarrassment from incidents in which “tail wags the dog,” terrorism can turn truly ugly, overnight and the shock of another Pan Am 103 disaster cm [sic] pale in comparison with nuclear, chemical, and biological acts of mass destruction” (Kupperman: Capitol Hill
Hearing Testimony). Kupperman’s idea is that if weapons of mass destruction were to get into the hands of terrorists then we could eventually come to an all out war.
Another situation that involves national security and weapons control is the present situation involving the nation of Iraq. The Gulf War of the early 1990’s was a result of Saddam Hussein’s lack of cooperation with the UN and their weapons inspection. After the Gulf War Hussein allowed UN inspectors to look into the production and manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction. After a period of time Hussein reneged on his promise and kept UN inspectors from seeing his countries weapon stockpile. A result of this may in turn cause another crisis in the gulf.
Now since some of the situations involving national security and weapons control have been stated we can look at possible solutions to these problems.
1.How powerful are these weapons of mass destruction?
2.How much of these chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons does the U.S. have?
3.What possibilities do we have of getting rid of these weapons?
First of all, weapons of mass destruction means that, MASS DESTRUCTION.
1 mg of VX nerve gas can kill you in about 6 seconds and 1/10 of Shellfish Poison (Aerosol Agent) in a 1 meter-cubed area would only take 1 minute to kill you (Schroeer 263).
Second, the U.S. has a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons consisting of 30,000 tons of Mustard nerve gas, 10,000 tons of Saran gas, and 8,000 tons of VX nerve gas (Schroeer 269). But, there is no set number on our nuclear weapons amount.
Third, there is really no solution on how to get rid of these weapons. We can’t transport them for many reasons. If we try to transport them by air, the plane could crash and the weapons could kill hundreds of thousands of people. If we try to transport them by train, they could be intercepted by terrorists or the train could derail and kill hundreds of thousands of people. And, if we try to transport them by boat, the boat could easily be sunk or blown up, the oceans could be polluted by these weapons and people along with animals could be killed. In all of these easy solutions great amounts of people and animals can be killed, not counting out what could happen to the ecology of the environment.
The previously stated solutions are the easiest solutions one could think of trying to transport these weapons to a safe place, so that they can be dismantled properly. But, these solutions would never work. As a result of none of these solutions being able to work, the U.S. have implemented policies that state: the U.S.’ biological weapons will never be used and our chemical weapons are on a no use first basis. This means that we are basically at a stand still when it comes to our weapons of mass destruction programs.
Our nuclear weapons policy is only different by a little bit. The nuclear weapons policy is not really the U.S.’ but a policy of the UN. In 1925 at the Geneva Convention a treaty known as the Comprehensive Test Band Treaty was passed that stated no country is allowed use poisonous gases and bacteriological weapons or test them. The U.S. did not sign the treaty until 1975 and but it will not go into affect until after the last remaining countries sign it (Banning Chemical Weapons). The U.S. is not allowed to test nuclear warheads that are attached to the end of nuclear missiles, but they are allowed
to test missile projections and destination without the warheads attached.
As pointed out in the previous information it is virtually impossible to control all weapons or even transport them to a destination to possibly get rid of these very lethal weapons. The citizens of the U.S. should be more aware of governmental actions involving weapons of any sort. Weapons of mass destruction could be the downfall of any nation if these weapons were to get into enemy or terrorist hands. The old saying “what you don’t know, want kill you” doesn’t work in this instance because “what you don’t know could vary well kill you.”
“Banning Chemical Weapons.” Journal of Commerce. Editorial. (June 1994).
Kupperman, Robert H. “Capitol Hill Hearing Testimony.” Federal Document Clearing House Congressional Testimony. (28 July 1994}.
Schroeer, Dietrich. Science, Technology, and the Nuclear Arms Race. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1984. 263-269