In Defence Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism the editors examined the class of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) for terrorist use, and have found that their effects range from serious nuisance value up to catastrophic destruction of a large urban area. There are some differences in the effects depending on whether they are used against military or civilian targets, whether they are used from inside the target area or outside, and between those weapons for which MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) gear can provide useful protection (Biological Weapons, Chemical Weapons) and those for which it often cannot (radiation, nuclear explosions). These are useful ways to begin thinking about establishing protocols for protecting our armed forces and the civilian population they are sworn to defend.
This study is the result of the Defence Against Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Terrorism Advanced Research Workshop funded by NATO's Security Through Science Programme held on 10–11 April 2008 in Ankara, Turkey under the guidance and the direction of the Centre of Excellence Defence Against Terrorism (COE–DAT).
The workshop aimed to provide a forum for exchanging information on WMD related issues, to enhance understanding of the nature of the threat posed by WMD terrorism and to discuss ways and means to counter the threat. This book project should be seen as an attempt to lay the basic groundwork for future research and study of the subject.
The editors would like to acknowledge the contributions of the co-director of the workshop, Col. Teimur Zavrashvili from the Georgian Ministry of Defense.
The Centre of Excellence – Defence Against Terrorism was established in 2005 with the purpose of supporting NATO on defence issues related to terrorism. In addition to the framework nation Turkey, there are currently six other sponsoring nations, namely the United States, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Romania, the Netherlands and Germany, which contribute to the activities of the Centre by providing staff as well as funds. The COE–DAT organizes numerous workshops, seminars, and courses every year with the goal of advancing academic, institutional and practical knowledge, expertise and information on terrorism to interested parties in NATO members states, Partnership for Peace (PfP), and Mediterranean Dialogue countries, as well as Non-Triple nations and others.
The merit this volume is ultimately due to the arguments and insights of the authors whose essays are collected here. We are grateful to them for their contributions to this volume.
The increased use of terrorism by terrorist groups requires NATO and its allies to re-examine existing security norms. A need to re-evaluate the approach to deterrence by establishing new non-proliferation initiatives, as well as strengthening existing ones, has become necessary to effectively target non-state adversaries. The use of WMD by terrorist groups, as in the case of Aum Shinrikyo, necessitates the need to adequately defend against these types of threats; however, there is no “silver-bullet” which can prevent WMD terrorism. The chain of actions that lead to a WMD attack presents NATO and its allies with opportunities to thwart the terrorists and those who support them.
This chapter outlines the current status of ballistic missiles in different states and addresses the issue of why states choose to further proliferate. An analysis of states that pose a challenge to the NPT is made and the responsibilities of nuclear weapon states are outlined. One of the main arguments of the chapter is that what nuclear states do matters for the considerations of other states regarding the legitimacy of the regime and the utility of nuclear weapons.
The number of states possessing or seeking chemical and biological (CB) weapons has declined in recent years because of increased adherence to the two international treaties banning these categories of arms. Nevertheless, the changing nature of warfare in the 21st century, combined with the dramatic advances in chemistry and the life sciences, could alter the perceived military utility of CB weapons. For this reason, it is vital to enhance the effectiveness of the CB disarmament treaties by strengthening their implementation at the national and international levels.
Although some terrorist groups clearly have the intent to use weapons of mass destruction, the credibility of the nuclear terrorist threat is still unclear. Even though acquiring, assembling and creating nuclear weapons remains an extremely difficult task for terrorists, this does not mean that it is impossible. The materials and technology necessary for nuclear weapons are present in our world and are not kept as safely as we would hope. Joint participation in ventures such as the Global Initiative or Combat Nuclear Terrorism along with coordination in the area of defense and law enforcement are necessary to combat terrorists with nuclear or radiological aspirations.
When we stop to look at history we see many examples of the use of biological and chemical weapons. Many civilizations have preferred to use these weapons due to their economic and efficient performance. Throughout history it is easy to see the use of a corpse either to contaminate the water supply or to infect those protecting a fortress. Our current day does not use such simple chemical and biological weapons. In order to produce and use biological and chemical weapons know-how and technological personnel are needed.
Attacks by terrorists armed with radiological, chemical and biological weapons, and even true nuclear explosives are assessed as credible by many analysts and scholars. This paper examines ways in which nuclear attacks might be staged, and comments on the effects of all four types of weapons used by terrorists against some military and some civilian targets. It appears likely that civilian and military targets have different vulnerabilities to each of the weapon types.
This chapter outlines the emergence and explains the rationale of the European Union's strategies and polices aimed at preventing nuclear proliferation to states and terrorists. It charts briefly the EU's response to the illicit trade in nuclear materials in the 1990s, which already raised concerns about terrorist access to such materials, and contrasts this with the US approach. It then shows where and explains why the EU has since made substantial progress in defining and implementing a non-proliferation strategy which focuses on the control and containment of nuclear material, technology and know-how. The rise of global terrorism and the transatlantic rift over Iraq are identified as key stimuli for the EU's formulation of two central documents: the European Security Strategy and WMD Non-Proliferation Strategy. At the core of both is the EU's emphasis on strengthening multilateral approaches to security. The chapter shows how this is translated into the EU's nuclear non-proliferation policies and discusses where the EU has a credibility problem. The final part of the chapter suggests which lessons learnt from the Libyan experience might be applied in EU (and US) approaches to Iran.
The threat of a WMD attack is quite real and requires comprehensive efforts to counter its usage. The policies enacted at the domestic and international level require a new outlook in the role of armed forces. This chapter outlines possible scenarios involving the use of WMD and tries to assess the role that the armed forces should play in combating WMD terrorism.
Flexible response to chemical and biological terrorist threats relies on the ability of first responders to conduct missions in five areas: situation assessment, operations coordination, logistics, health and human services and decontamination. First responders also need to balance this act with the law enforcement investigation required for the criminal act of chemical and biological terrorism. This chapter gives an overview of chemical and biological weapons, the response strategies necessary in case of their usage or attempted usage and the preparedness required, including planning and training, both at the national and international level.
The term Nuclear Forensic Analysis (NFA) first appeared in the early 1990s in the context of combating nuclear smuggling. Currently it is a rapidly developing field of science. This chapter discusses the use of NFA in the investigation of different possible cases of nuclear terrorism.
Nuclear terrorism poses a significant threat to NATO and its allies in the 21st century and has led to many global cooperative initiatives. This chapter discusses the nuclear terrorist threat and focuses on the set of actions aimed at prevention, deterrence or influence, and consequence management and response of nuclear terrorism.
The problem of chemical-biological (CB) terrorism can be divided into two categories: (1) low-end threats involving crude attacks with toxic industrial chemicals and natural disease agents such as anthrax; and (2) high-end risks requiring the mastery of advanced chemical and biological technologies. Although low-end threats are far more likely in the near term, high-end risks will become of greater concern as dual-use technologies proliferate widely. Policymakers should consider both current threats and emerging risks when developing strategies of prevention and response.
Since the end of the Cold War the international system has seen the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Although most non-state armed groups (NSAGs) are unlikely to attempt to access WMD, a certain subset of NSAGs – terrorists – may find such an attack appealing. This chapter outlines the threat posed by NSAGs who aspire to use WMD and considers the possible responses to such an act.
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