Weapons of Mass Destruction

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War has been a driving factor in human existence since the dawn of time, it has always been with us. War has influenced science as well, it has forced the development of weapons, from the first bone clubs which let man rise to the top of the food chain, to the complex and highly destructive weapons of today. This century has seen the most development in the technology of warfare since the combination of sulfur, charcoal and saltpeter resulted in gunpowder. For the first time in history weapons of mass destruction have been developed and used in a limited fashion. Limited only due to the initial crudeness of the weapon and lack of effective delivery systems. This is now changing, as more and more nations develop them, it is now only a matter of time before they are used in a total warfare situation. Weapons of mass destruction have three categories; the oldest being biological weapons; followed by chemical weapons, which were first used in the beginning of the century; and the newest being nuclear weapons. More and more of the worlds nations have either already developed or are capable of developing weapons of mass destruction, and with the fall of the Soviet Union the threat of theft of these weapons has increased exponentially. One factor that has always hampered the use of weapons of mass destruction is the lack of availability of effective delivery systems for them, in recent years such systems have dramatically improved in range, accuracy, and efficiency. The future will not be limited to the current weapons of mass destruction, as more are added the threat of their widespread use increases as well. Weapons of mass destruction are generally known to be any weapon who's destructive capabilities are far greater than conventional explosives or firearms. Since their power is vastly superior than conventional weapons, and their method of achieving their power often different than conventional weapons, the manner in which they are delivered to the target area must also be different than conventional weapons. The first recorded use a chemical weapon in a war was in 600 BC. When Solon, the legislator of the Athenians, contaminated the River Pleisthenes with hellebores (skunk cabbage) to give the defenders of Kirrha violent diarrhea leading to their defeat (Nicholas). Chemical weapon use peaked during the first World War, when mustard gas was a devastatingly effective battlefield weapon being thrown into a targeted area with artillery shells and grenades.
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