Weapons of Mass Destruction
This phrase is one of the most overused and least understood clichés of our time. Broadly speaking, “weapons of mass destruction” refers to what the US military terms “NBC warfare”: Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical weapons, which by nature are capable of killing or incapacitating large numbers of people, with little or no warning, and often with a lingering effect in the target area.
These are not rare and or semi-mythical artifacts possessed only by evil nations and wicked men. Nearly a dozen nations are known to possess fission or fusion bombs, and a dozen more are technologically capable. Most industrialized nations have agreed to destroy their stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, but some have also been slow to comply with these agreements-including the US. There are also numerous methods of inflicting large-scale destruction and death that are not generally considered “WMDs”-such as fuel-air explosives or flying aircraft into buildings.