Weapons of mass destruction?

Christian Enemark

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Although the term ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (WMD) is well-established in contemporary discourse on strategic studies, it is still unclear which weapons are WMD and which are not. The use of this term can be problematic on both technical and political grounds. From a technical perspective, devices not generally categorised as WMD can nevertheless inflict enormous damage. For example, fuel-air explosives, of which the primary casualty-producing force is a high-pressure blast wave, can have the effect of a tactical nuclear weapon.1 In the political arena, applying the label ‘WMD’ has sometimes been more about moral condemnation than scientific assessment. When former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani addressed the United States Republican National Convention in 2004, he said former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein ‘was himself a weapon of mass destruction’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationStrategy and Security in the Asia-Pacific
    Editors Robert Ayson, Desmond Ball
    Place of PublicationSydney
    PublisherAllen & Unwin
    ISBN (Print)1741147980
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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