Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have been emerged as one of biggest threats to the humanity in recent times. WMD are weapons that have very devastating effects on humans and can damage buildings or other human made structures substantially. There are several types of destructive weapons including nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons and radiological that are known as WMD’S. These weapons are a major concern for politicians, policymakers, law enforcement agencies, army officials and make up a big threat to United States of America. US is on the top in hit list of terrorists and one major concern is the threat of WMD’s because some fear that these weapons are in access of terrorists.
US is fighting a war against terror since a long time inside and outside its territory. Several Americans have lost their lives and property in this fight against terror. Attack on world trade centre as well as bombing of Oklahoma compelled America to rethink about its strategy and tactics to counter terrorism. On the other hand, Terrorists succeeded in messaging how big threat they are and how big damage they can cause to the US and world. Their modus operandi was changed and they started striking with an intention to cause maximum damage in different parts of world including US (Heflebower et al., 2005).
Politicians and security advisors were compelled to make strategies to disarm terrorists who possess such weapons and also started monitoring all activities related to WMD’s across the world. US is an open society and people have liberty to do things their way and this fact makes US more vulnerable. Terrorists may cause severe damages to US by using any kinds of WMD’s and considering all theses aspects, it was necessary to make new strategies and tactics to counter terrorists (Mamikonian, 2005).
Terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda are believed to possess WMD’s and they are a major threat to US and have been targeting US every when and then. Though Americans witnessed a new face of terrorism but the war against using WMD’s is not new. War against Iraq was fought on this ground only as Saddam Husain allegedly misused weapons of mass destruction and killed thousands of people using such weapons. US threatened Syria very recently on the issue of misusing WMD’s were thousands of people were allegedly killed by using WMD’s (Dokos, 2008).
US started monitoring terrorist activities with the help of advanced technologies like wide area tracking system (WATS), joint biological remote early warning system (JBREWS). Special teams are deployed on this mission ad several devices are innovated that focuses on activities related to WMD’s. Highly advanced portable radio active detectors have been developed to monitor ad detect radioactive activities. DNA ad biological sensors are made to detect biological activities. Technology has been widely used by United States of America as a major tactics to counter WMD’s at domestic level while on international level military actions, collaborations, treaties, missions are used along with technology.
Delivery system of WMD’s is complex yet easy. Raw material that is required for manufacturing of WMD is easily available in different chemical forms. People can easily avail these chemicals from commercial suppliers. Sources of radioactive material are closely monitored but due to lapses and breaches in security system, radioactive material can also be used in developing WMD’s. Production of chemical or biological weapons can be kept as secret by using ‘dual-use’ theory. Which means various scientific studies that uses chemicals or other biological material to invent new theories, medicines, or other elements that are useful for the society can be utilize for production of WMD. Chemical, Pesticide manufacturing plant could also be for production of chemical weapons. In case of threat production can be converted into production of commercial chemicals.
Delivery of such weapons can be very complex like launching a missile or simple like placing infected powder or chemical in an envelope. Intensity of causality depends upon the risk involved in delivering the weapon. Complex delivery system requires huge cost, technical expertise and time; whereas, simple delivery system is inexpensive and hard to detect. Dusting aircrafts and other hand-held devices that utilizes while applying chemicals on crops are also important delivery systems to defuse chemical and biological WMD.
Delivery of mass destruction weapons requires proper and efficient planning. A complex delivery plan involves higher number of persons which increase the chances of information leakage. Involvement of people who shares common goals helps in maintaining the secrecy. Complexity levels of such plans are very similar to hijacking commercial jetliners. People who deliver WMD are hardly bothered about their lives and possess great will to destroy (Gardner, 2005)
C. R. Heflebower, L. J. Le Gallo, J P. Lawrence and B. A. Cline. (2005). Weapons of Mass Destruction. Alabama: DIANE Publishing.
Dokos, T. P. (2008). Countering the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction: NATO and EU Options in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. London: Routledge.
Gardner, H. (2005). American Global Strategy and the 'war on Terrorism'. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Mamikonian, A. (2005). NS 310: Strategy and Tactics. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press.