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SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

The Clear and Present Danger of Chemical and Biological Weapons Mary Dub, Editor

“What has changed in the 21st century is that, in the hands of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction would be a first resort. These terrible weapons are becoming easier to acquire, build, hide, and transport. Armed with a single vial of a biological agent or a single nuclear weapon, small groups of fanatics, or failing states, could gain the power to threaten great nations, threaten the world peace.” Former President George W. Bush, remarks at the National Defense University, February 11, 20041

Despite the huge loss of life and destructiveness of World War II, and the crimes committed against humanity, the main belligerents did not use chemical or biological weapons against each other

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ITH 10 years hindsight, President Bush’s view is still prescient, alarmist, but in many ways accurate. The challenge of identifying, decontaminating and destroying chemical and biological weapons stockpiles is a much needed skill. The international community banned the use of chemical and biological weapons after World War I, as part of the Geneva Protocol in 1925, and reinforced the ban in 1972 and 1993 by prohibiting the development, production, stockpiling and transfer of these weapons. The International Committee of the Red Cross summed up the public horror at the use of such weapons in its appeal in February 1918, calling them “barbarous inventions” that can “only be called criminal”. The use of poisonous gas in World War I led to the first international agreement that their use should be banned. And the Geneva Protocol has been effective. Despite the huge loss of life and destructiveness of World War II, and the crimes committed against humanity, the main belligerents did not use chemical or biological weapons against each other. This may have been due to the fear of reprisals using similar weapons, but the 1925 Geneva Protocol had nevertheless established a new and clear norm in international law.2

More Recent Updating and Reinforcement of the Geneva Protocol The 1925 Geneva Protocol was seen as a landmark in international humanitarian law. Further legal instruments followed in the form of international Conventions adopted by many 6 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

states in 1972 and 1993. The 1972 Convention is often referred to as the Biological Weapons Convention or the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). This was a major step towards the total elimination of these weapons. As the use of such weapons was already banned by the 1925 Protocol, the Convention prohibited the development, production, stockpiling, acquisition, retention and transfer of such weapons, including their delivery systems, and required their destruction. The Convention also required each country to enact national legislation to enforce these prohibitions. Regular international review conferences of all signatories monitor compliance with the terms of the Convention and adopt recommendations to promote its implementation and effectiveness. What is important here is that the monitoring of the convention, required identification of these weapons. Further, the international community began to demand verification of the convention’s prohibitions. For, of course, these conventions were only be as powerful as their active verification.

The Importance of Independent Verification Organisation International verification measures were made the responsibility of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in The Hague. It provided technical assistance to states in implementing the provisions of the Convention. Each state is also required to set up a national authority to ensure liaison and implementation.3

Special Report – CBRN Solutions Testing for Military Operations NINCB  

Defence Industry – Special Report on CBRN Solutions Testing for Military Operations

Special Report – CBRN Solutions Testing for Military Operations NINCB  

Defence Industry – Special Report on CBRN Solutions Testing for Military Operations