Response to Weapons of Mass Destruction

Response to Weapons of Mass Destruction


Weapons of mass destruction consist of biological, radiological, nuclear, chemical, or other weapons, which could kill or cause significant harm to several human beings or influence critical damage to property, the environment, and artificial human structures such as buildings. The issue of accumulation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) presents a threat to the existence of the free world. The United States of America has raised the concern of accumulated weapons in countries such as North Korea, Russia, and China – countries that practice authoritarian forms of governments (Bleek et al., 2016, p. 17). Besides, the accumulation of WMD by these countries threatens the position of the United States as the world Superpower (National Defense Strategy, 2018, p. 1). As a result, the elimination of WMD leads to a reduced threat to the free world and the protection of the United States’ superpower status in the world.

This article aims to address the issue of accumulation of WMD from the face of the world through the analysis of lessons learned during the first three years of the last decade. Besides, the paper contains edited sections from various papers presented at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation, Washington DC, during the conference on eradication of WMD. The paper has addressed two sections that would contribute to the eradication of WMD (Bleek et al., 2016, p. 15). First, the paper looks into the theme, such as diplomatic, strategic, legal, inter- and intra-agency perspectives of elimination. The second part investigates the lessons learned from activities in Iraq, the former Soviet States, South Africa, Syria, and Libya. This paper addresses (I) purpose of this article, (II) Importance of investigating the article (III) author comments on the subject under investigation and assessing its validity, (IV) findings from the article, and (V) the effect of the study on the existing knowledge.

  1. Purpose of This Article

The article looks into the importance of understanding the purpose of comprehending lessons learned from previous WMD elimination processes. Bleek et al. (2016) emphasize on the importance of understanding lessons picked from previous WMD elimination that occurred in countries such as Libya in preparedness for new incidences, which require similar interventions. Experts involved in the elimination processes must reinvent a new procedure of eliminating weapons from a new case, despite their involvement in the previous elimination processes. The reinvention of strategies recurs due to the expert’s failure to understand lessons from previous WMD elimination processes. In the majority of the future incidences, the experts might get exposed to little or no time to study or comprehend the required response during the next WMD eradication process. Currently, America has a poor overall record of elimination mission preparedness due to its involvement in internal and external security missions (Carlson & Kosal, 2017, p. 2; Ismail, 2015, p. 38). For instance, the fall of the Soviet Union resulted in insecurity influenced by the presence of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, which caught the United States WMD eradication team by surprise.

Yet, no one anticipated the 1990 Iraq invasion of Kuwait or the intensity of weapons applied during the war (Bleek et al., 2016, p. 17). Past elimination cases receive considerable attention. However, there exists no analysis of future policy planning. According to Bleek et al. (2016), “This special issue is the culmination of a project funded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, intended to help governments, international organizations, and nongovernmental experts prepare for WMD elimination contingencies” (p. 17). There exist consequences of failing to implement National Defense Strategies, which leads to decreasing United States global influence, erosion of allies and partners, and minimize access to markets that contribute to the prosperity of the American people (Glick, 2015, p. 26). Therefore, experts must grasp the insights of previous WMD eradication processes.

  1. Importance of Investigating the Article

The article analyses the importance of comprehending previous WMD eradication processes in various countries around the world. Learning from the past occurrences remains essential for the elimination of future threats to the free world (Bleek et al., 2016, p. 17). For example, strategizing for future eradication allows for preparedness against threats influenced by countries such as North Korea. North Korea perceives the possession of WMD as a step towards global recognition from other states and countries (Cordesman et al., 2016, p.39). The Nuclear weapon test conducted by North Korea signaled its attempts to establish itself as one of the world’s nuclear powers or as a de-facto state such as Israel, India, and Pakistan (Cordesman et al., 2016, p. 39). De-facto nations experience implicit recognition by the global community as a nuclear state. Besides, the lessons from the eradication process allow the National Defense Strategic department to evaluate the weaponry resources that these countries possess (Cordesman et al., 2016, p. 39). The article under review remains essential due to its consideration of the future effects of preparedness during the process of WMD eradication.

  • Methods and Comments Appropriateness

The paper uses available materials on relevant WMD elimination work to investigate the implications of future preparedness. The author, Bleek et al. (2016), relies on two sets of materials for the exploration of the eradication of WMD (p. 18). The first division of the available material evaluates themes such as diplomatic, technical, strategic, legal, and intra- and inter-agency dynamics. Further, the second section covers over five case studies, which consist of Iraq during the 1990 period, Iraq in 2003, post-Soviet CTR, Libya, Syria, and South Africa. The authors of these articles investigated credible practices and realization learned, which future decision-makers could apply during the planning and execution of elimination missions. The special issue used provides for the most comprehensive insight of the contemporary need for WMD eradication and stimulation of further analysis. In addition to case studies, the author would consider political utterances from significant politicians in the United States to evaluate their reactions or effect of the need to eradicate WMD from the face of the world. Wood and potter (2016) applied real instances from political leaders’ misstatements (p. 4). Further, the two authors used subjects to evaluate reactions on the issue of WMD eradication by presenting the political leader’s utterances and political statements as excerpts from newspaper articles. According to Wood and Potter (2016), “among all issues tested, the only one that generated backfire, related to the presence of WMD in Iraq” (p. 4).

  1. Findings

The evaluation identified some gaps occurring in the institutions tasked with the WMD elimination, both at the global or United States government levels. At the global level, there exist available mechanisms for Biological Weapon (B.W.) elimination. Besides, the gap involving information sharing still exists, which presents a critical problem betwixt the international partners against WMD (Bleek et al., 2016, p. 22; Graham and Talent, 2010). Besides, the United States’ internal structure and entities lack precise responsibilities for strategizing and executing WMD elimination missions.  Yet, the military institution, the highly tasked government element with the eradication of WMD, has failed to maintain the capability necessary to conduct such missions (Bleek et al., 2016, p. 22). Besides, funding these missions has remained a challenge for the Department of State’s Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund and other Department of Defense programs.

Additionally, niches in capabilities necessary for WMD eradication exist. For example, there prevails an ineffective diagnostic capability that identifies and defines WMD on time before they cause any harm to the human population. Secondly, no other country would dismantle countries’ nuclear weapons other than the one that manufactured the weapons. Subsequently, the failure to cooperate towards the elimination of these weapons presents a threat to the mission of WMD eradication (Bleek et al., 2016, p. 22). Besides, gaps exist in not only capabilities presence of technologies but also spill over to equipment, training, and other resources. The Defense forces must update their skills and weaponry necessary to influence the mission against WMD (Duvall, 2016, p. 17). The preparation for coming missions requires the governments to together with international organizations and partners to formulate emergency plans, the supply of required eradication technologies, and provide training for their application.

  1. Impact of Advanced Knowledge

The United States Government must influence and ensure the validity of WMD eradication in various sectors such as the organizational, legal, budgetary, technological, security, together with other elements, which seek to enhance local and international security. The information gathered from this article encourages the governments of the world to come together through a consensus to disarm the world from WMD (Bleek et al., 2016, p. 23). The United States government must engage its security resources in new strategies as the current strategies experience the issue of invalidity due to emerging contemporary threats (Snow, 2015, p. 162). The United States’ majority strategies got planned during the cold world war, which has since changed, requiring the devising of new plans that accommodate technology. The countries of the world must join hands to seize the manufacture of WMD and eradication of the existing weapons from the face of the world.


Bleek, P. C., Kane, C., & Pollack, J. H. (2016). Elimination of weapons of mass destruction: Lessons from the last quarter-century. The Nonproliferation Review23(1-2), 15-23.

Carlson, L., & Kosal, M. E. (2017). Preventing Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation– Leveraging Special Operations Forces to Shape the Environment

Cordesman, A. H., Kendall, J., & Colley, S. (2016). China’s Nuclear Forces and Weapons of Mass Destruction. CSIS, CSIS.

Duvall, S. (2016). Strategic Evolution of the Defense against Weapons of Mass Destruction. United States Army.

Glick, S. J. (2015). Consequence, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Fourth Amendment’s “No-Win” Scenario. Fourth Amendment Commons

Graham, B., & Talent, J. (2010). Hearing on the Weapons of Mass Destruction Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2010. Homeland Security.

Ismail, S. (2015). American Foreign Policy towards Iraq, Iran, and North Korea: American Hegemony and Neo-conservatism against the Axis of Evil. JURNAL WANUA1(1).

National Defense Strategy. (2018). Summary of the 2018 national defense strategy of the United States of America: Sharpening the American military’s competitive edge. U.S. Defense Forces.

Snow, D. (2015). Thinking about national security. thinking-about-national-security.pdf”>

Wood, T., & Porter, E. (2016). The elusive backfire effect: Mass attitudes’ steadfast factual adherence. SSRN Electronic Journal

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