Chemical and biological weapons are the most dangerous threats that our soldiers face today. But just how much do most of us know about them? The American public had been bombarded by stories of how our government keeps secret weapons, does secret experiments, and the everlasting conspiracies. And many accept it all. Rather than simply trusting our government, (which is perhaps as foolish as believing several unsubstantiated), I've compiled several simple facts regarding recent and historic developments in chemical and biological warfare. Chemical weapons are defined as chemical substances of gas, liquid, or solid which are used because of a directly toxic effect upon humans, animals, or plants. Biological weapons are living organisms, whatever their nature, or the materials that are created because of their use.
Biological weapons can cause disease or death in living organisms, and are depended upon for their further ability to multiply inside the organism that it attacks. Even though the two weapons are closely related, chemical weapons are used far more commonly because they are inexpensive to make and use. Chemical weapons are more dangerous to America because of the conflicts we have involved ourselves in. Iraq for example, has a long and extensive history of using chemical weapons. In the 1980's, Iraq released poisonous gases against Iranian troops. Iraq has even used chemical weapons against it's own Kurdish citizens to subdue rebellions.
As one of the aftermaths of the Persian Gulf War, however, Iraq agreed to give up all materials and equipment for making chemical and biological weapons. An organization called UNSCOM or United Nations Special Commissions on Iraq was formed to ensure that Iraq followed through upon it's promises. However, when Lt. Hussein, Saddam Hussein's son-in-law and director of Iraq's weapons program, defected, it was found that Iraq had been dishonest in it's reports to UNSCOM. for four years. Today, everyone has heard even a passing reference to Gulf-War Syndrome.
In 1994, a Congressional report examined eyewitness accounts and declassified operation logs. They concluded that United States troops were exposed eleven times to chemical and biological weapons. Yet, two other reports concluded the opposite. The DSB and IOM reports found that there was no reliable evidence to support that American troops were exposed to chemical or biological weaponry.
Unfortunately, Iraq is not the only nation using chemical weapons. Former CIA director, William Webster, has revealed that nearly 20 other nations have the chemical industry that allows them to make chemical weapons, in fact, many these countries have even stockpiled these weapons for further use. Several nations, including the United States, have conventional arms and nuclear weapons. Numerous Middle Eastern nations feel that since they do not have the same capabilities or funds, they have the right to make and use chemical weapons in order to counter our advanced weaponry. Because of the fact that many third world countries feel the need to make chemical weapons, it is frequently called " the poor man's atomic bomb." Unlike chemical weapons, biological weapons have not been used in modern day warfare.
But in today's technologically advanced world, genetics is quickly becoming a threat in biological weapons. Scientists are using genetics to develop new deadly diseases that would be used to harm an opposing country. The new bacteria and viruses that the scientists already have the ability to develop, could be used against hostile forces with ease and precision.