Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare

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Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) warfare is one of the most dreaded forms of attack on the battlefield. In the last century, we learned a great deal about how life works, how it is organized. We have used that technology to save many lives by curing diseases and vaccinating against viruses. But it seems that whenever we have a breakthrough in science, there is an ever-present danger of a form of weapon resulting from the discovery. Biological Warfare is defined as bacteria, viruses, fungi or rickettsia, which are used in wartime to cause disease or death in people (Hay, 1984). It seems like a contradiction. Doctors work hard to find cures and vaccinations for the various diseases and viruses that plague our population. On the other side of the coin, however, there are people that would use disease as a weapon. They not only use the sort of disease that nature provides, but try to create more effective and horrific manmade diseases. Biological weapons, as opposed to chemical weapons, are effective with a relatively small quantity of agent. However, most of these agents have a limited shelf life, as their activity is continually declining (Hay, 1984). Most biological agents are dispersed in aerosol form. They can be sprayed from a small cylinder with compressed air, spread by guided missiles, dispersed as a powder from aircraft, or used in a cluster of bombs. The danger is the potential for these biological agents, if successful in infecting a population, can be spread quickly. The U.S. Navy tested the effectiveness of Biological weapons on a metropolis in November of 1950. They released harmless bacteria off the California coast, sufficient to contaminate 117 squar... ... middle of paper ... ...chnology? This depends on the goodwill of those who possess the destructive technology. As stated previously, it takes just one sociopath with the right technology to wipe out an entire continent. Hopefully, the persons who poses the power to destroy the world, will realize that everyone is a loser in an NBC war -- and that long term peace will mean the pursuit of technology to better mankind. Bibliography: Abelson, Philip. "Biological Warfare." Science. Vol. 286 p. 1677. 26 Nov 1999. Hay, A.; Murphy, S.; Rose, S. No Fire No Thunder. New York, 1984. Monthly Review Press. Horowitz, Leonard. Emerging Viruses: Aids and Ebola. Rockport, 1997. Tetrahedron, Inc. Osterholm, Michael. "The Silent Killers." Newsweek. Vol. 130 p. 32. 17 Nov. 1997. Solomon, Brian. Chemical and Biological Warfare. New York, 1999. The H.W. Wilson Company.
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