Weapons of mass destruction

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A basic and deliberately limited definition for the term weapons of mass destruction, also known as WMD, comes from the National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction of 2002:

"Weapons of mass destruction (WMD)--nuclear, biological, and chemical--in the possession of hostile states and terrorists represent one of the greatest security challenges facing the United States." Also included in this category are missiles capable of reaching both the United States and U.S. interests abroad.

This limited "NBC" definition also occurs in other official and quasi-official projects such as the Nuclear Threat Initiative. However this focus may be a distraction, similar to the notion of cyberterror or cyberwar, intended to move attention away from several facts that are rarely or never mentioned by any official American document:

Fighting Words: An Iraq War Glossary says that Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are "chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. The Washington Post quoted historian Paul Fussell on the subject: 'A machine gun, properly fired, is a weapon of mass destruction. We're pretending that only awful and sinister people own weapons of mass destruction. We own them, too. We just call them something else.'"


Also see

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Further reading

  • "weapons of mass destruction" in the Wikipedia. Note: This article has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality. See the Wikipedia talk page for details.


  • Let the Record Speak, TomPaine.com: Bush Administration Quotes from August 26, 2002 through May 30, 2003.


History of the U.S. Relationship With Saddam Hussein Prior to War