The most important problem related to Weapons of Mass destruction today is…… Note 1a: Definition of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” Note on Weapons of Mass Destruction This note will focus on WMD in a more historical and a more general sense, including chemical and biological weapons. Historically, the term Weapons of Mass Destruction is fairly new. The term “weapons of massive destruction” can be traced back to 1937, just before World War II, as people became concerned about the prospects of massive aerial bombardment, using conventional explosives. The development of the airplane as a means of deploying weapons, and the large number that could be flown over a city at one time, suggested a new order of devastation. In part, this had already been seen in the “dive bombers” used by the German Air Force (Nazis) in support of the Franco rebellion in Spain, just a few years earlier. Picasso’s painting “Guernica” tried to capture the horror of this kind of bombing, at the Spanish city Guernica, a town in the Basque part of Spain that was assaulted on April 26, 1937, with anywhere from 400 to up to 1000 civilian deaths. The Oxford English Dictionary lists as the first appearance of the term “weapons of mass destruction” a Dec. 28 article on a radio speech “Christian Responsibility” given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leading cleric in the Anglican Church of England. He reminded he audience that a year earlier he given an address “A Recall to Religion”, and now followed up with an appeal to individual responsibility in the face of growing threats to democracy from state collectivism, presumably referring to the totalitarian regimes (of the left and right ) in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. He urged that inidividuals also assume responsibility for peace, writing in the context of growing war fears in Europe and Asia: “Who can think without dismay of the fears, jealousies and suspicions which have compelled nations, our own among them, to pile up their armaments? Who can think at this present time without a sickening of the heart of the appalling slaughter, the suffering, the manifold misery brought by war to Spain and China? Who can think Term “Weapons of Mass Destruction” 2 without horror of what another widespread war would mean, waged as it would be with all the new weapons of mass destruction? Yet how fruitless seem to be all efforts to secure a really settled peace.”1 The A-bomb was developed during World War II, and used just at its culmination against Japan. Now, a single plane could produce the damage formerly requiring a thousand; and the effects were more than just death and destruction from fire and blast: radiation was now added to the toxic mix. So atomic weapons were added to the concept of weapons of mass destruction, in which was included also chemical and biological weapons: The first post – WWII appearance of the term is in two articles appearing in the NY Times on Nov. 16, 1945 reporting and commenting on a meeting of the President of the US and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain and Canada on the issue of atomic weapons. The unsigned article notes that the agreement itself refers to “means of destruction hitherto unknown, against which there can be no adequate military defense” – presumably atomic weapons – and then comments on this, stating that the “agreement goes as far as is possible in the present state of the world to avert the further use of atomic bombs and similar weapons of mass destruction… “2 An accompanying article on the same page by Athur Krock imagined what a stronger declaration by the three might say: “We propose that a special commission of the United Nations shall begin at once to pan international means for the attainment and permanent operation of this arrangement. The Commision should proceed in four steps:… “third, to draw up a protocal by which all nations will agree to eliminate the atomic bomb and other weapons of mass destruction.”3 1 “Archbishop’s Appeal: Individual Will and Action; Guardian Personality”, The Times (London), 28 Dec. 1937, p. 9 [no author provided in original] 2 “The Atomic Agreement”, The New York Times, Nov. 16, 1945, p. 16 3 Krock, Arthur, “In the Nation: “In Other Words” – Truman, Attlee, King”, The New York Times, Nov. 16, 1945, p. 16 Term “Weapons of Mass Destruction” 3 In both these early uses, the notion of “weapon of mass destruction” was specific to one type of attack: massive air attack using conventional explosives (no longer considered as a WMD) or attack by atomic bomb (without explicitly considering biological or chemical weapons). Prior to 9/11 in 2001, when an unconventional, but non-nuclear assault occurred against the US – using airplanes to attack and destroy the World Trade Towers and severely damage the Pentagon – the term WMD was only occasionally used. Preference was often accorded to the acronym ABC for atomic, biological and chemical weapons, or NBC, for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The distinction between these two terms lies in the term “atomic”, referring to fission bombs of the type used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and the more encompassing “nuclear” including fusion (hydrogen) bombs developed in the 1950s. The term WMD now encompasses three types of weapons, as indicated by the current Oxford English Dictionary definition, added in 2004: “weapon of mass destruction n(oun). a weapon intended to cause widespread devastation and loss of life, (now) esp. a chemical, biological, or nuclear weapon; usu(ally). in pl(ural)” The US Department of Defense Dictionary defines “weapons of mass destruction” as follows: “Chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons capable of a high order of destruction or causing mass casualties, and excluding the means of transporting or propelling the weapon where such means is a separable and divisible part from the weapon. Also called WMD” 4 Note the inclusion of “radiological” weapons as a fourth category of WMD. This refers to the release or spreading of radioactive material (eg: uranium, plutonium) as a radioactive metal without using the fissionable capacity of the material; that is to say, not as an atomic explosion, but rather as a heavy metal with associated radioactivity. This material could be released in the water, contaminating it for human consumption, or in the air, where the radioactive particles could be breathed in and 4 DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, as of 15 October 2016, p. 254 Term “Weapons of Mass Destruction” 4 cause biological damage. We will return to this type of weapon, for which there is no known case of use to date. Secondly, note the term “high order of destruction” producing “mass casualties” .Neither of these terms give an order of magnitude – whether hundreds, thousands, or millions of victims are implied. As conventional weapons (including machine guns and high explosives) can produce numerous victims it will be interesting to compare the scope of death and destruction produced by modern rapid fire and large capacity conventional weapons with that of WMD. In this course we will also look at the scientific, technological, political, economic, and ethical aspects of WMD. Note 1b: Just War Theory (origin of the theory) Note (1): Aquinas and Just War Theory The problems of war and peace affect everyone – from soldiers called to fight, civilians caught in cross‐fire, tax‐payers who pay for war, and academics who try to figure out why nations fight. Most people agree that war is not an end in itself, but a means to achieving a lasting peace; but as the evidence of the 20th and preceding centuries, and now the 21st indicates, that permanent peace seems always to elude us. This course introduces students to basic theoretical issues in the study of war and peace, and to several case studies. Although we may tend to agree on the goal of peace, we may also have very different intuitions or personal opinions about the need for war, the extent of war, and particular instances of war (eg:
Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, etc.). Therefore, I’d like to begin the course by finding a common basis for reflection, and a shared theoretical position – which is why we start this course with Just War Theory. Just War Theory can be traced back, in its first systematic formulation, to Thomas Aquinas, the the 13th century theologian (1125‐1274) whose greatest achievement was combining Greek philosophy – Aristotle in particular, and Christian theology. He did this in his multi‐volume Summa Theologica, completed about 1271. In the course of his analysis, he had to deal with the following dilemma: what is the correct attitude of Christians towards war – which he addressed in Part II, Question 40. Your first reading assignment is to read that text, which is included in the Week 1 Reading Assignment folder. The context for Aquinas was something you’ve all heard about – the Crusades. You may recall from high school or college history that after the “decline and fall” of the Roman Empire, usually dated to around 500 AD, Europe entered what is not quite accurately known as the “Dark Ages”, when learning and economic organization declined under the impact of invasions by “barbarian” tribes. Although this is an over‐generalization, it nonetheless does give a picture of a difficult time for Western civilization – though not a fully accurate one, as learning was preserved in monasteries, and periods of economic progress, such as in France under Charlemagne, did occur. Moreover, this was a period of economic progress and knowledge for non‐Europeans, notably the Arabs, who following their unification under Islam by Mohammed, rapidly expanded their territory (as far west as southern Spain), acquired and developed the knowledge of ancient Greece and Rome, and enjoyed a period of enlightenment. By the new millennium (1000 AD and after), western Europe had recovered to a large extent, with economic consolidation under the feudal system, local political rule through absolute monarchs, and a common religious system headed by the Pope in Italy. By 1083 the Arabs (known as “Moors”) had been expelled from their European outpost in southern Spain, and Christian rulers and the Pope turned to another item on their agenda: recovering Jerusalem, where Jesus had founded his new religion, and which was ruled by Moslems (Arabs or Turks). A series of Crusades were launched, beginning with the 1st, from 1096‐1099. After an initial victory and recuperation of Jerusalem in 1099, a series of setbacks led to NOTE ON AQUINAS -2- more Crusades, of which at least eight more occurred up to 1272, resulting in a defeat for the Christian effort to regain Jerusalem, which remained in Muslim hands until the 20th Century, when Palestine, which contained Jerusalem, was placed under British mandate after the defeat of the Turks (allies of Germany) in World War I. To this day, Jerusalem (now part of Israel) is an object of contention, now in the context of the Isreaeli‐Palestinian conflict. Returning to Aquinas, we can now see the problem that led to Question 40 of Summa Theologica: what is the correct Christian attitude to war, given that Christians now control armies and are engaged in this series of Crusades? This was a new situation in the sense that only relation Christians at the time of Jesus and the writing of the New Testament had to an army was fleeing one – the Roman army, which was attacking them as dissidents from the rule of Rome. But, as Christianity survived, and eventually became the official religion of Rome (after Constantine who was baptized at his death‐bed, in 337 AD), the problem of Christianity and war became more important. Augustine (354‐430) addressed the problem in passing; Aquinas, some six centuries later, provided a systematic response. In your reading, note that Aquinas uses what is known as the “scholastic method”. He begins each of the four questions about war that he addresses with Objections to the answer that he will eventually provide. In other words, he begins with arguments AGAINST his own point of view. This will be new for most of you, who are more accustomed to reading an author first present arguments FOR their position. But Aquinas considered that his answer would be more convincing if he first presented the opponent’s point of view. So you will read first a series of Objections, then a statement which begins: “On the contrary …”, where Aquinas first states what will be his own view, usually quoting some authority (especially Augustine, Aristotle, or one of the early Church fathers) in opposition to the Objections. This is followed by a paragraph beginning “I answer that … “ where Aquinas fully states his position (again, backed up by Biblical references and quotes from philosophical and theological authorities). He then more fully “Replies” to each of the Objections. It takes a moment to get used to this kind of presentation, but you should especially focus on the part beginning “I answer that… “, which presents the core of Aquinas’ position. Note one special problem that Aquinas had, evident in some of the Objections to the basic question, (1): “Whether it is always sinful to wage war”. That is the famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew, 5‐7), where Jesus is quoted as saying “Blessed are the peacemakers” (5.9), “Resist not evil… turn the other cheek (5.39) and rejects the morality of “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” (3.38). You may wish to look up Matthew 5 (readily available on the Internet in many formats) and compare. Go on to read the next two notes on Just War Theory in its modern, secular format. Note 2: Just War Theory (modern theory) Note (2): Johnson and Just War Theory Just War Theory passes from a theory within the Christian (and after the split, Catholic) tradition to a fully secular theory, as evidenced in books such as James Turner Johnson’s Morality and Contemporary Warfare (with a minor link to Catholic tradition) and Michael Waltzer’s Just and Unjust Wars (without any further link to Catholic tradition). We will see that this results in three major components: (1) Justice in going to war; (2) justice in waging war; and (3) justice in ending/after war (not included in Johnson) Note: the preceding three terms are sometimes given in their Latin form, as a mark of respect for the writings of Aquinas, also in Latin (the academic language of the Middle Ages). The correspondences are as follows, with the Latin “jus” (or sometimes: “ius” for the English “justice”) and the Latin “bellum” for the English “war”: English Latin Reason Justice in Going to War Jus ad bellum “ad” = going toward Justice in Waging War Jus in bellum “in” = during or in Justice in Ending/After War Jus post bellum “post” = afterward (1) Justice in Going to War: On p 28, Turner lists a number of issues associated with Justice in going to war. The first three refer back to the three criteria mentioned by Aquinas: (i) Just Cause (ii) Right Authority (iii) Right Intent The major difference is that (i) “Right Authority” can now be any state or government, not just the Pope or Christian monarchs acting under Papa authority, as for Aquinas. Moreover, the scope of (ii) “Just Cause” has narrowed: whereas in the 19th Century a country could be invaded for defaulting on bank loans, this would not be considered as acceptable in the 20th. The question for us is evaluate to what extent the concept of just cause been further narrowed, a question we’ll look at later in terms of “preventive war” when discussing the invasion of Iraq. (iii) “Rightful Intent” remains a mechanism for linking the individual soldier to the just cause: they must fight for that cause, not personal glory or gain. Johnson also includes the further items: (iv) Proportionality of Ends (v) Last Resort (vi) Reasonable Hope of Success (vii) The Aim of Peace Proportionality of Ends means that the overall good achieved must surpass (perhaps by a considerable extent) the harm caused. Waging war involves using armed force and destructive means –
this results in death and destruction. Proportionality of Ends means that the good achieved by the war has to make these negative effects secondary in comparison. For example: If Canada were to invade the US and seize the town of St. Albans, Vermont (population 25,000), atom bombing Canada in response would not be a proportional response, since the harm caused (deaths of civilians in Canada, fallout over the Northern US) would not be worth the end achieved (the return of St. Albans to the Stars and Stripes). NOTE ON JOHNSON -2- Last Resort means just that – all means of settling the conflict short of the use of armed force must have been tried and proved futile before the resort to force. This includes diplomatic negotiations, economic boycotts, political alliances, etc. Reasonable Hope of Success implies that a government should not enter into a war without a reasonable expectation of victory. This can be a major problem, as the history of this and the last century shows that antagonists tend to underestimate their opponents : World War I was supposed to end in weeks; after less than a month of combat, Pres. Bush declared “mission accomplished” in Iraq, etc. The Aim of Peace is obvious, and indicates that the end of war is not more war, but exactly its opposite. Unfortunately, many wars end in more wars (eg: World War I led to World War II via the Versailles Treaty). Why? – we’ll see part of the answer when we examine the third component of JWT: justice POST bellum (see a further note on this I’ll post later on). (2) Johnson identifies just two aspects of Justice in Waging War: (i) Proportionality of Means. This is related to Proportionality of Ends in Justice in Going War in the following sense: just as more good must come from the war than harm it causes, the amount and type of force used (as means) must be such as to avoid unnecessary harm. This is related to the prohibition of excessive force: the amount of force used in a military operation must be such as is really needed to achieve the desired end, and not more. This is reflected in international law (Geneva conventions) on the use of force, taking and holding of prisoners, etc. (ii) Noncombatant protection/immunity. This is perhaps the most problematic requirement, as it presupposes that (a) military combatants are clearly distinguished (by uniform, place of action) from civilians, and (b) “collateral damage” – the unintentional harming of civilians as a byproduct of military action, is excused. In fact, this is often a problem – as the civilian casualties in the recent Israel‐Gaza war indicate. One further comment on Johnson’s division of Justice in Waging War into two aspects. A third component comes readily to mind, which he may already include in ( i) but could well be separated as a distinct item: (iii) Prohibited Weapons and Means: Some munitions has been excluded since the early 20th century – eg: expanding or “dum‐dum” bullets, which have hollow tips and expand inside the body when penetrated, causing extensive damage. Presumably, it is better to maim and kill more rapidly and with less extent of damage. Chemical and biological weapons have been outlawed by international treaties, even if chemical weapons were used in World War I, and biological weapons in World War II (by the Japanese in China). The question arises whether nuclear weapons, which do not discriminate between military and civilians (in violation of civilian immunity) should be banned, and we will examine this later in the course. What about torture? (more on this later too). Note 3: Just War Theory (Justice after war) Note 3: JUSTICE AFTER WAR ADDED WEDS, JUNE 29 BY PROF. BLITZ James Turner Johnson has elaborated a modern, secular conception of two key aspects of Just War Theory: justice in going to war, and justice in waging war. In a preliminary way, I encourage you to look at these (a) to determine what you find most important and/or interesting in Just War Theory; and (b) to determine what you consider the strengths and weaknesses of the theory. We can discuss all that via the discussion group. But now I want to turn to a limitation of the theory, which is addressed in the work of Brian Orend, among others. Logically, if we consider a war as a means to settle a dispute, it has a beginning, middle and end. For our purposes, let’s focus on the lead up to the war, during which time justice in going to war is key; the war itself, during which justice in waging war is essential (for Just War Theory, that is: someone who rejects JWT would not be interested in the niceties of warfare, though there are international laws that cover some aspects that can’t be completely ignored). That leaves one more aspect: ending the war and the period following the war. Consider the above diagram, which actually contains five points or periods of interest: According to JWT all means short of war have to be exhausted during the pre‐War period (1) and the cause must be just. Supposing that these conditions have occurred, a Declaration of War (1a) may, and indeed, must occur, for the war to begin. We then have the period of war (2) during which justice in waging war comes into play. Most (though not all) wars are ended by a Peace Treaty (3), and what Orend insists on is that JWT be extended to include Justice in ending the war and Justice after the war, which seems, from the above diagram, to be required if only for the sake of symmetry. We can immediately think of the bad consequences of failing to end a war justly, and failing to maintain justice in the post‐war period. The Treaty of Versailles ending World War I is considered as a major cause for the rise of the Nazis and the subsequent World War II. This is due to the reparations imposed on Germany, which had to pay back to the Allies the cost of the war it had just lost. This led to the ruin of the German economy, hyperinflation, massive unemployment, and bad feelings – just the conditions for a strongman like Hitler. ‐2‐ Today, we have a major conflict with North Korea over nuclear weapons. But what is usually forgotten is that the Korean War (1950‐53) is not officially over; it has been stopped by an “armistice” agreement, which led to the DMZ (demilitarized zone) between the two Koreas. But neither N. Korea, nor either of S. Korea of the US (the major force in the UN sponsored war) have signed a Peace Treaty with the communist regime; a source of constant tension for over 50 years. Incidentally, not only was there no Peace Treaty officially ending the war, the US never declared war in the first place. Rather, Pres. Truman relied on a UN resolution as the basis for sending forces, so technically, the whole action is called a “police action”. Finally, consider the problem of lack of justice after war, in the case of Afghanistan. When the former Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to shore up a collapsing communist‐led regime, the US supported the anti‐Soviet “mujahideen” or “fighters for jihad – the Muslim equivalent of just war). Key to the outcome (Soviet defeat) was the US supplying sophisticated Stinger shoulder launched missiles that were used to shoot down Soviet helicopters and destroy Russian tanks. But once the war end, the US (and the UN) left the area to its own ends, and in the resulting chaos, two things happened: a mujahideen group known as the “Taliban” (“the teachers”) eventually took over to end political chaos with iron‐fist rule, and another, known as “Al Qaeda” (“the house”) entered into close association with it, and began to prepare terrorist actions abroad. You can read the book Charlie Wilson’s War (or see the movie); the eventual outcome was 9/11. (Note: this is not to say that Al Qaeda and their hosts, the Taliban were not fully guilty of the crimes of war they committed; it is rather to note that favorable circumstances were provided for their actions by the lack of interest in the US to events in Afghanistan, and more importantly, lack of interest in establishing a just social system after the war.) The problem of “Justice after War” was recognized at lea
st once much earlier. The German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724‐1804) is best known for his famous “critiques” (of pure reason, practical reason, and judgment). But in the 1780s he wrote a very important text for Peace Studies, “On Eternal Peace” , which set out arguments for the plausibility and necessity of world peace (on philosophical grounds); and in the 1790s he wrote a work entitled The Metaphysics of Morals, intended mainly as a textbook for his classes, in which he identifies three, not two aspects of JWT, and sets out a vision of international law based on world peace as its goal. Each section of the book is numbered, and Kant discussions the “right to go to war” in sect. 56, “right in waging war” (sect. 57) and “right after war” (sect. 58). Note that Kant talks of rights in the sense of rights of the state, considered by him as equivalent to a moral person whose actions can be right or wrong, just or injust. Brian Orend, a young academic at the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario was a student of Michael Waltzer, whose book Just and Unjust Wars is a classic in the field; Orend has written a book on Waltzer and also a volume entitled War and International Jutice:A Kantian Perspective, where he sets out his own views and has a whole chapter on “Jus post bellum” (Justice after War). The article we have to read is a good sum‐up of Orend’s reading of this concept, with contemporary examples. I’ll add a discssion board for Justice after War later on Wednesday. Note 4: WMD – Chemical and Biological Weapons of Mass Destruction 1 Chemical Weapons……………………………………………………………………………………………………1 Biological Weapons ………………………………………………………………………………………………….4 Humanitarian Law regarding Chemical and Biological Weapons ……………………………………6 Chemical Weapons Chemical weapons are molecular compounds which act against victims in a number of ways: ∗ Blistering agents, such as mustard gas were used during WWI and cause blistering of the skin, eyes and other sense organs through contact; they burn the lining of the lungs through inhalation resulting in choking, and the burn the lining of the stomach resulting in vomiting. ∗ Blood agents, such as hydrogen cyanide once inhaled enter the bloodstream and prevent the blood from using and transporting oxygen, causing suffocation. ∗ Nerve agents, such as sarin and tabun disturb the transmission of electrical and chemical impulses in the nervous system; they are usually the result of combining two inert chemicals that are mixed to form the agent. ∗ Toxins are chemical poisons produced by biological organisms; though chemical in nature, they are usually discussed under biological warfare. Chemical agents are also used in a non-military context to disable individuals in police actions and riot control. These include tear gas used to dispserse mobs, and pepper spray, which is available for civilian self defence. When used both cause excessive tearing of the eyes and disable the victim; in rare cases, they can be fatal if they produce a heart attack. . Chemical weapons had been used in the First World War – specifically, mustard gas, which caused blistering on the skin and internally in the lungs. This latter brought about death by asphyxiation, as the victim could no longer breath. Troops were equipped with gas masks to try and counter the gas. An important limitation of this weapon was the problem that with a shift of wind, the gas could be blown back on the troops that had used it in the first place. As a result, this weapon was not subsequently used in World War II. However, napalm, a form of gasoline in gelatin form, was widely used during World Weapons of Mass Destruction 2 War II and subsequently in Vietnam. During World War II the Allies conducted aerial bombardment of Germany and Japan using two different strategies: conventional explosives were used during daytime bombing aimed at strategic targets: rail yards, munition factories, and military emplacements. But nighttime “area bombing” was also extensively practiced, using incendiary bombs (made of magnesium or thermite) aimed at saturation bombardment of cities, and consequently, their civilian population. Civilian casualties were very high, due to the fire storms that the saturation incendiary bombing produced – much like a forest fire sweeping over buildings, the fire storm set buildings ablaze, killing individuals through their collapse. Individuals in direct contact with the fire succumbed to third degree burns; those who sought shelter in basements were suffocated as the fires overhead consumed all available oxygen. In both Germany and Japan hundreds of thousands died this way. The most famous (or infamous) of these attacks occurred towards the end of the war, when German and Japanese anti-aircraft batteries were largely ineffective. On Feb. 13, 1945 a series of British led (with US assistance) fire bombings of the city of Dresden resulted in over 50,000 and perhaps up to 100,000 deaths. The American Kurt Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in the city at the time and he writes of the aftermath in his novel, Slaughterhouse Five. The following month, on March 9, a US attack on Tokyo using fire bombs resulted in the destruction of most of the city (largely made of paper and wood buildings) and the deaths of over 100,000 people. During the Vietnam war, the US used “Agent Orange”, a defoliant which was used to clear tree canopies that shielded the “Ho Chi Minh Trail” created by the North Vietnamese to move equipment, supplies and troops to the VRXWK. Agent Orange was not directed primary at troops, but rather at the vegetation and leaves, but residual quantities did affect both the North Vietnamese troops who were caught under it, as well as US troops spraying the defoliant from helicopters. This brought about the subsequent death of many Vietnamese soldiers and US troops. Chemical weapons were used by the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war (1978 – 88) both against Iranian forces, and against Kurdish population in Iraq itself, notably on March 16, 1988. Estimates of deaths range in the thousands Weapons of Mass Destruction 3 (3000 – 5000), and the exact chemical composition of the agent(s) used is not fully known. Use of a chemical weapon against his own population was one of the war crimes with which Saddam Hussein was charged after his capture in December 2003, and for which he was ultimately executed. It is believed that US authorities were aware of this attack when it occurred, but as the US covertly supported Iraq in the war, did nothing at the time. It is reported that the Iranians also used chemical weapons. Sarin, a powerful nerve agent, was used in a series of attacks by a doomsday cult group Aum Shinrikyo : on the Tokyo subway (killing 12 injuring thousands) on March 20, 1995, and in the town of Matsumoto on June 27, 1995 (8 killed, hundreds injured). The cult was subsequently broken up by police and its leader, Shoko Asahara convicted and sentenced to death, though the penalty has not been carried out. Most recently, chemical weapons were used in the civil war in Syria by the Assad government. Attacks were launched against rebel forces in the suburbs of the major cities of Damascas, the capital, and Aleppo in 2013. This provoked a major crisis, as western powers, notably the US and Great Britain prepared to attack the Syrian government in response to these actions. However, the parliament in Great Britain in an unexpected setback to the British government. rejected the call to the use of armed Force on Aug. 30, 2013. US President Obama then contemplated a unilateral action to punish the Syrian regime, but was unsure of passage of authorization to use force by the Senate. During a press conference held abroad, Secretary of State Kerry, in response to a journalist’s question of how war could be averted, said that the US would not use force if the Syrian government agreed to give up its chemical
weapons, and have them destroyed by international forces. Perhaps to Sec. Kerry’s surprise, that same morning, the Russian foreign minister Lavrov, whose government is an ally of the Assad regime in Syria, called Kerry to say that indeed Syria would agree to that demand. Chemical weapons were then removed by UN convoys to the coast, placed on board ships, and taken out to sea to be destroyed. (The Syrian regime, however, continues to attack its ow
There is a massive threat due to weapons of mass destruction and it has occupied a specific place in global politics. Weapons of mass destruction is normally used to categorize the different weapons which shares various features like ability to destruct on large scale basis and the nature of effect is found to be indiscriminate. Get solution

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Research Paper

What Is a Research Paper?

A research paper is the culmination product of an involved process of critical thinking, research, organization, composition and source evaluation. In other words, it is an extended essay that presents your own interpretation or argument or evaluation of the information you discover with absolute documentation of the sources. When writing a research paper, you build your thought about the question and make a purposeful attempt to find out what experts write or know.

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Research Paper Outline

Most courses in the university involve some extended writing assignments, often in the form of a research paper. The papers always require a student to identify a broad area of research related to the course. Becoming an experienced researcher in any field takes a great deal of practice. Remember, even the most seasoned academic writers had to learn how to write a research paper at a given time of their career. Here is the basic research paper outline:

Research Paper Title Page

The title should tell the reader what to expect in your research paper, addressing keywords that will be used in the literature review. It must include the author(s): full name and affiliation for persons who might have questions about the research.

Research Paper Abstract

The abstract is used by readers to quickly review the overall content of your research paper. It should provide a complete synopsis of the research paper, introduce the topics and specific research questions. It must provide a statement regarding the methodology and the general statement about the finding and results. It is often written last because it is the summary of the whole research paper.

Research Paper Introduction

It introduces the overall topic and provides the basic background information. Introduction narrows down the research questions relating to your study. It either gives the focus and purpose for the rest of your research paper or sets up the entire justification for the research paper.

Research Paper Methods

This section describes the methodology and research design used to complete the study. For instance, you should provide the context and setting of the study, population if applicable, specify the study design, identify the main study variables, sampling strategy, outline analysis methods and data collection procedures and instruments.

Research Paper Results

What did you find? This section focuses only on results that are related to your research question, and not their significance. However, the results presented will depend on whether the study was qualitative or quantitative. Tables and graphs should only be used when you have too much data that cannot be efficiently included within the text.

Research Paper Discussion

Give information that interprets your results like the main finding of the study, strengths, and limitation of the results, practice and policy implications of the results. The hypothesis should be to give the answers as validated by your interpretation of the results. It should also discuss how your findings relate to the previous research.

Research Paper Conclusions

Do not mention the discussion or the data. State inferences, hunches or speculation and offer the perceptions of future work.

References/Bibliography

Here, you ensure you cite all the references made in your paper to other sources of information and research studies. This should be laid out according to the specified format, including APA, MLA, Chicago, Oxford and other formats as directed by your professor. Check out our FREE APA REFERENCING TOOL

How to Write a Successful Research Paper

A research paper is your thought on a given topic, informed by the research you have done. It is a daunting process for both new and experienced writers alike. Here is our step by step guide to help you keep focused down to the path of a successful research paper.

To write a successful research paper you should select a topic and aet your objective, research and take some notes, create an outline, edit your paper, add bibliography and citations, format, proofread and submit for evaluation

1. Getting started. Sit down with your computer and identify tasks and build a schedule. Identify the milestone for all steps involved in research and writing process. Check your final due date, and take some time to scheme the task ahead of you before you get started. Ensure you understand your assignment: type, research paper format, and length.

2. Select a topic. The topic of the research paper is what you want to write about. Narrow the topic by reading the background articles on general references, the internet, magazine, encyclopedia or talk to your professor and peers, while jotting down main ideas.

3. Set your objective. Before you start your research, you need to compose a thesis statement, which describes your viewpoint concerning the research. Because your aim is to prove the validity of your thesis, your thesis statement offers a controlling idea that will enable you to choose the resource materials and limit your note taking.

4. Research and take notes. List the potential sources of information. Apart from the card catalog and guides for reference books, there are other important sources that can help you locate books and articles relevant to your topic. Often look for unique sources that can distinguish and strengthen your paper.

5. Create an outline for a research paper. Your outline should reflect the organization format you have selected for your paper, depending on the topic and the thesis statement. It is a process of organizing your thoughts to help you write your research paper. Consider what points you will include, the introduction, the order of the points and how you plan to conclude.

6. Write the draft. After you have completed creating the outline for a research paper, you can begin to write your draft. At this point, you need not worry about the grammar, spelling, typos, and style. Instead, you should concentrate on content based on your outline. It only consists of three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.

7. Edit your paper. When you are through with the draft, edit it, paying close attention to the organization and content of the paper. Is each idea supported by evidence? Do the paragraphs have topic sentences that relate to your thesis? Are there clear transitions in one paragraph to the other? Let your paper ideas or arguments support the research and structure.

8. Bibliography and citations. Give credit to the sources of ideas, facts, and quotations that have included in your research paper to avoid plagiarism. In fact, documenting your sources of information, allow your leaders to follow your thought process and see how you creatively built upon the thoughts.

9. Formatting. Depending on the formatting style your professor instructed you to use (APA/MLA/Chicago/Oxford), the title page should be part of the title of the research paper, the instructor’s name, your name, the name of the course and the date the paper is due.

10. Proofread and submit. A professional proofreading is the last step that enables you to submit your paper in the best light possible. Don’t skip this step! Correct the grammar, spelling and punctuation errors, and mistakes that your system could not catch. Double check the formatting, plus bibliography and citations. If everything is right, submit!

How to Start a Research Paper

Writing a research paper is a challenge to many college and university students. One of the biggest problems for many students is how to get started. Choosing the topic and doing the research might be half the battle, but starting an introduction always proves to be a daunting task. If done effectively, starting a research paper would be simple and can help you write the whole paper quickly. Here is how to start a research paper:

Choose a topic and research it thoroughly. One problem most students run into when starting a research paper is failing to do proper research on the chosen topic. Research is not all about gathering resources; it involves reading and digesting the source material. Make sure you understand the topic.

Create an outline of your research paper. You must understand the direction of your research paper before you write an effective introduction. Your main aim should be to summarize the research in one or more paragraphs, without giving away the conclusion.

Draft the opening paragraph. Write several opening paragraphs, completing each independently. Write the introduction without directly relying on the structure, but it doesn’t mean you ignore your paper outline. You must look at the resource material when writing the introduction.

Choose the best draft of your introduction. Choose one of the best versions of your draft and revise it. Make sure you have the introduction ready before moving to the body of your research. The introduction should indicate its importance of the future research of your paper, summarize and describe the extent of your research.

Critique the introduction. Ask your friends, teacher or professor read the introduction: it must conform to the requirements of the assignment. Remember, a well-written introduction will automatically flow.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

When you reach the conclusion of your research paper, you probably think there is hardly anything left to include, right! However, writing a conclusion for a research paper is crucial for anyone doing research papers. Here is how to write a research paper conclusion:

Here is how to write a research paper conclusion: 1) Return to the opening paragraph to understand the original purpose of your research paper; 2) Summarize your main points and convey the larger significance of your study; 3) Present a bold statement that gives your topic a deeper meaning; 4) Restate what you have found, acknowledge that there are still more to be done on the topic and briefly highlight the issues you think are remaining; 5) Choose a topic that inspires you; 6) Do proper research; 7) Organize your notes; 8) Create a substantial outline; 9) Write a first draft; 10) Read through and write a final draft; 11) Add the citations; 12) Edit and proofread your final paper.

Research Paper Topics

Finding a research paper topic is one of the most challenging steps in writing a research paper. Focus on a broad topic, find topic ideas and be creative in the process. Here is a list of research topics you can use:

  • business
  • crime and law, drugs and drug abuse
  • education
  • environment
  • family issues
  • media and communication
  • health, psychology
  • political issues
  • social issues, religion
  • women and gender
  • terrorism

We’ve got a great list of research paper topics for you:

60 Best Research Paper Topics


Generally, students have higher expectations of themselves when writing a research paper because they believe the paper has to be perfect. The paper should be clear and thoughtful, written to the point and say things that make sense. Research about what other scholars have written about the topic and the formulating your own theories and ideas based on the existing knowledge and data.

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