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Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

Question One: Weapons of Mass Destruction

The definition of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) has, over time, become confusing as new definitions keep on being made now and then (Carus, 2012). However, the most reliable definition is the one given by the United Nations. According to this definition, WMDs are weapons summarized by the acronym CBRNE (Carus, 2012). CBRNE stands for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive weapons, specifically designed to cause mass destruction of property and mass casualties (Reed-Schrader et al., 2017). Notably, mass destruction refers to a large-scale infliction of property damage, death, and injuries. As such, any weapon that has the capacity to inflict mass destruction on a massive scale is considered a weapon of mass destruction; for example, the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing over 300,000 people, approximately half the population in every city. Some weapons classified under these acronyms, like grenades in explosives, are not WMDs because they have a small-scale destruction capacity (Carus, 2012). Nevertheless, it is also worth noting that WMD can also be used to describe anything that is used to cause mass destruction, even though the object itself is not a weapon. An example of such is the September 11, 2001 attacks in America, where aeroplanes were turned into WMD. Also, more and more highly destructive weapons that do not fit in the acronym description continue to emerge. These include the mustard agent, Q fever, cyber-attacks, and emerging infectious diseases, which have the same effect as WMD but are still classified as such (Walsh, 2021).

Question Two: Sanctions against Foreign Persons as presented in Executive Order EO 12938

In Executive Order 12938, given by President Bill Clinton, sanctions were listed against, among other things, foreign persons (Rice, 2000). One sanction imposed on a foreign individual was with respect to biological and chemical weapon proliferation; in the case, the State Secretary determined that the said individual had intentionally and significantly helped another country’s or entity’s efforts of developing, using, manufacturing, amassing or procuring the said weapons (Clinton, 1995). Subsequently, the individual described above would not be able to enter into any contract for good and services procurement with any department or agency in America’s government. Importation of goods from such a foreign person into America would be prohibited. Thirdly, suppose a foreign person had the sanctions above imposed on them. With enough reliable evidence that the person had ceased all activities that brought about the sanctions, the Secretary of State could terminate the sanctions (Clinton, 1995).

Question Three: Counter-Proliferation, Non-Proliferation, and Consequence Management

Weapons of mass destruction are some of the most dangerous weapons, and as such, there should be no risk of them falling into the wrong hands, like in the hands of terrorists. Besides, WMD should also not spread out in all countries because they could easily be used when conflicts arise, and the consequences of such, including another world war, would be devastating for all of us. Notably, this spread of WMD is known as proliferation (Joyner, 2005). Therefore, in the late twentieth century, the Federation of American Scientists was formed in 1946, whose main objective was to prevent any further spread of WMD to non-state entities or other countries. The organization does this by researching the various methods that can be used to improve the controls placed on WMD technologies and by educating policymakers, the public, and the media about these methods. Further, the organization also came up with two main approaches that can be used to stop or limit the proliferation of WMD, which include counter-proliferation and non-proliferation.

Non-proliferation is a technique used to prevent the proliferation of WMD by forming and legislating treaties, transnational conventions, domestic regulations, and laws, among other rules. A perfect example of non-proliferation legislation is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970 (NPT) (Joyner, 2005). Prior to the enactment of this treaty, the Cold War had led to a few superpowers amassing weapons, especially nuclear weapons, in fear of another war. This caused a lot of concern within the international community, and they worked to find a way to curb the spread of WMD. This treaty aimed to stop the nuclear power countries from producing any more nuclear weapons and stop non-nuclear countries from ever developing any nuclear weapons. The treaty uses a safeguards system that is implemented by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA conducts inspections using these safeguards to ensure that countries comply with the treaty. Any defiance towards the treaty then elicits sanctions from the international community.

On the other hand, counter-proliferation is an approach that legally sanctions any actions aimed at the transfer of weapons of mass destruction, their raw materials, or the information of the matter (Joyner, 2005). Further, this approach also includes developing techniques that can be used to fight against WMD, like shooting down missiles and deploying military forces toward any entity or country threatening to produce WMD.

Lastly, there is consequence management. The definition of this is the procedures are taken to safeguard the public’s safety and health, offer emergency relief to every person, including businesses, persons and governments, and reestablish crucial government services in the event of a disaster or an attack, for example, in this case, a weapon of mass destruction. In a disaster, a rapid response is crucial. Still, the response also has to be controlled and well managed to mitigate the damages, provide rapid assistance to the most critical areas, and provide enough protection for all (Newport, n.d.). That is why consequence management is important.

Question Four: Resources the US Government Uses towards Weapons of Mass Destruction Counter Proliferation Efforts

One of the resources that America’s government is applying toward the counter-proliferation of WMD is the National Counterproliferation Center. This is a primary organization in America’s intelligence community whose primary objective is to inhibit and terminate any proliferation acts of WMD, their raw materials, delivery systems, and any other related components (Ellis, 2003). This Center combines the expertise of various agents from various departments, for example, from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Directorate of Intelligence, and Counterintelligence Division, among others. Secondly, the Department of Homeland Security Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (DHS CWWD) is yet another resource that the US government has established for the counter-proliferation of WMD (Tromblay 2022). The DHS CWWD was fully established in 2018, and its main aim is to curb WMD attacks against America. This office not only leads the DHS efforts but also coordinates with domestic and international allies to help safeguard America against threats of WMD.

Lastly, America has expanded its strategies to counter-proliferation from one to three. These strategies include the strategy of the Defense Department to counter WMD, the strategy to defend against and respond to WMD domestically, and finally, the national strategy to counter WMD terrorism (Walsh 2021).

Question Five: The Threat of WMD towards America and Where the Greatest Threat Stems From

WMDs pose a serious threat to the US, especially with the erosion of non-proliferation systems that have been in place for the last few decades (Brewer, 2020). As the world continues to evolve, so does every aspect of our lives, like technology. While this is a good thing, it does also have some serious adverse consequences; for example, in weapons technology, hypersonic missiles, artificial intelligence, drones, cyber weapons, and other biological agents that can be used as WMDs continue to be more sophisticated. For years, America had been the most powerful country in the world and, as such, has the power to influence other countries on matters like the NPT. However, this is not the case anymore (Brewer, 2020). Other countries like China, led by authoritarian leaders, have rapidly grown and are taking over. North Korea, Iran, and Russia are other countries that pose a WMD threat to America. All the same, the greatest threat comes from Russia and China (Walsh, 2021).


Brewer, E. (2020). Toward a More Proliferated World?.

Ellis, J. D. (2003). The best defence: counter-proliferation and US National Security. The Washington Quarterly26(2), 115-133.


Clinton, W. J. (1995). The President of the United States. Executive Order 12938.

Joyner, D. H. (2005). The proliferation security initiative: non-proliferation, counter-proliferation, and international law. Yale J. Int’l L.30, 507.


Reed-Schrader, E., Hayoun, M. A., Kropp, A. M., & Goldstein, S. (2017). EMS Weapons Of Mass Destruction And Related Injury.

Rice, M. (2000). Clinton Signs ‘Iran Nonproliferation Act’. Arms Control Today30(3), 26.

Tromblay, D. E. (2022). Botching Bio-Surveillance: The Department of Homeland Security and COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence35(1), 164-167.

Walsh, P. F. (2021). Evolving chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism: Intelligence community response and ethical challenges. In National Security Intelligence and Ethics (pp. 261-279). Routledge.


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This assignment is an essay assignment of five questions to test knowledge and assimilation of the course objectives. You may use any of the texts, readings from this course, and outside material that is academic in nature.

Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

1. Use two references and in your words, define Weapons of Mass Destruction.

2. Explain Sanctions against Foreign Persons as presented in Executive Order EO 12938.

3. Compare and contrast the terms counter-proliferation, non-proliferation, and consequence management. Provide examples of each.

4. Identify three resources the U.S. Government is using towards Weapons of Mass Destruction counter-proliferation efforts?

5. Do Weapons of Mass Destruction pose a threat to the United States? If so, where does the greatest threat stem from?

Technical Requirements

Your paper must be at a minimum of 4-6 page for the body of your work (the Title and Reference pages do not count towards the minimum limit).
Use section titles to separate each answer.
Scholarly and credible references should be used. A good rule of thumb is at least 2 scholarly sources per page of content.
Type in Times New Roman, 12 point and double space.
Students will follow the current APA Style as the sole citation and reference style used in written work submitted as part of coursework.
Points will be deducted for the use of Wikipedia or encyclopedic type sources. It is highly advised to utilize books, peer-reviewed journals, articles, archived

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