Countries of Proliferation Concern - China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan, Syria

weapons figure nations threat

Since the end of the cold war and the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threat no longer focuses solely on two superpowers but includes a host of nations, among them China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, and Syria. Figure 3.2 and Figure 3.1 (both in Chapter 3) show the countries actively involved in developing biological and chemical weapons. Although several countries including the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China reduced stockpiles from 1986 to 2002, significant stores of these weapons remain in these countries. North Korea's declaration of an active nuclear weapons program in late 2002 is an illustration of the gravity of this transnational threat.

Many nations are also working to develop missile systems capable of carrying nuclear weapons. (See Figure 4.1.) Figure 4.1 and Table 4.1 list the differing ranges of such missiles. In a June 2000 address to the Asia Society, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation Robert J. Einhorn called the proliferation of WMD and their missile-delivery systems the gravest threat to world security.

This chapter provides an overview of the nuclear, chemical, biological and conventional weapons programs and capabilities of selected nations. It also presents a more detailed examination of the history of Iraq's weapons development, program, and capabilities as well as the events in Iraq that led to its invasion by the United States in March 2003.

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 7 years ago


Who is responible for the proliferation of WMD's? It is
those Western countries that threaten and invade other countries. And when those countries can put up a credible defense they are threatened with WMD's. All you have to do is read on the internet that Iran's nuclear research facilities can be easily knocked out by the use of nukes. And we are reminded that if Isreal attacks Iran, and Iran responds in force with conventional weapons Israel can always its nukes. It is the US and the West that have made it necessary for smaller countries to consider building nukes.

A few years ago all we heard was threats that the US could attack North Korea to take out their nuclear research. Now that they have built them before the US or the West found out there is no longer any talk of attacking North Korea. There are two standards of how countries sovereignty is respected. Those with nukes are respected, and those that do not have their sovereignty threatened. If Iran had nukes do you think for one moment the US would have its Navy threatening Iran and its Congress passing sanctions against it. It is this lack of respect for countries that do not have nukes that has caused the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Share
Popular Pages