Are Biological Weapons Correctly Classified as WMD?
“Discrepancies can often be found among definitions used by the scientific and political communities when topics overlap their respective fields. While the role of terminology in science is to rigorously describe things in a repeatable manner, in politics terminology is often manipulated and used to achieve a particular goal. An amusing, more benign, example of this occurred in the 1980’s when the United States courts determined that the tomato was a vegetable despite all scientific data classifying it as a fruit. In this particular instance, the effects of the difference in labeling were insignificant. However, there are some cases in which differences in terminology can have wide ranging effects. In the case of weapons classification, the terminology used can greatly influence geopolitical situations, international policy, and national security issues. There are three categories of weapons that fall under the designation “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (WMD): nuclear, chemical, and biological. Nuclear warheads are truly WMD’s. Even the earliest versions were capable of killing tens of thousands of people and destroying large amounts of infrastructure in a single strike. The 1945 bombing of the Japanese city of Nagasaki leveled 6.7 million square meters of surface, damaged or destroyed roughly 18,000 homes, killed roughly 74,000, and injured approximately 75,000 more. Modern nuclear weapons have a greatly increased capability for massive death and destruction.” Are Biological Weapons Correctly Classified as WMD – PDF Report