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Biological Warfare/Terrorism Essay

2385 words - 10 pages

Biological Warfare/TerrorismWhile many members of the United Nations and other countries have agreed toforbid the use of biological weapons, several countries including terrorist groups,continue to use these weapons to frighten whomever they are putting under attack. Theseweapons have devastating effects that surpass many of the other traditional uses ofweaponry when attacking a nation or people. One great concern regarding biologicalweapons leans towards the fact that many people are ignorant as to what these weaponsare and how quickly the disease-causing agent can spread from person to person. Pastevents have demonstrated how catastrophic these diseases can be when unleashed on apopulation and are now becoming a favorite by terrorists when it comes to choosing aform of weaponry for an attack. We must not overlook how serious of an issue the use ofbiological weapons is and prepare ourselves for something that could put the lives ofmillions into jeopardy.One of our biggest fears when at war with another country spawns from the frightof nuclear weapons. They may be used to annihilate a vast population within seconds ofthe initial blow- this does not even include all of the post-explosion deaths and injuriesresulting from the radioactivity used in such nuclear weapons. Although nuclearweapons obviously pose an immediate and highly mortal threat against any country, theuse of biological warfare may be something that is of even greater danger. Expert JosephDouglass extends his fear of the damaging extent of biological warfare:While the United States debates the development of a massive defensive effortagainst nuclear attacks? the fact remains that this nation is almost entirelydefenseless against chemical, biological, and toxic weapons of mass destruction.Some of these weapons may already be secreted within our borders; otherscould be synthesized by our enemies within a matter of hours, or days at themost. (Douglass xv)I must agree with Douglass in that biological warfare is something that people generallylook over as something that could never pose as great of a disaster as it may have thepotential of actually doing. We must look back in history to see how disease has wipedout great populations that were not ready for such outbreaks. One great example of abiological crisis from disease reflects upon the Black Death of 1347 AD when theOriental Rat Flea from China swept through Europe wiping out approximately one thirdof the entire population (?The Black Death?). On a note closer to home, during WorldWar I, more Americans died from a massive outbreak of influenza between 1918 and1919 at home or on the way to war, than actually died fighting (20 million peopleworldwide, 500,000 of which Americans, died from this outbreak) (?20th Century?).These examples are only two of many the many incidents where disease has put an end tomillions of human lives. While nuclear attacks are obviously nothing to think lightly of, itis very well possible that the use of...

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