Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Warfare

Chemical, biological and nuclear warfare have always been in the news for wrong reasons. They are modes of non-conventional warfare. Non-conventional warfare differentiates itself from the conventional usage of weapons.

Non-conventional warfare consists of 3 categories as follows:

•  Chemical Warfare

•  Biological Warfare

•  Nuclear Warfare

All these 3 techniques, when combined are called as NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical).

Chemical Warfare:-

Chemical warfare which is often abbreviated simply as ‘CW’ refers to usage of properties of chemical substances which are toxic in nature. Chemical warfare consists of using these toxic properties as weapons. There have always been huge debates on reasons for its usage. Many countries insist that these are used as a mode of protection which is mostly not the case.

Print media persists with the theory that chemical warfare is more related to destruction than protection. Chemical warfare is dependant on properties of chemical agents rather than explosive forces. ‘Chemical Weapons Convention’ suggests that all toxic chemicals can be considered as chemical weapons if used for prohibitive purposes.

Biological Warfare: –

Biological warfare involves usage of pathogens or toxins (produced by these pathogens) as weapons. These pathogens can be bacteria, viruses or other biological agents which cause diseases. Biological warfare is also known as ‘germ warfare’ and is often abbreviated as BW. Biological warfare is used to harm, injure or kill the intended target which can be a person or a group.

Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) which was signed by more than hundred countries prohibits the creation, storage or usage of biological weapons. Biological warfare is used in cases of bio-terrorism as well.

Nuclear Warfare:-

Nuclear warfare is the usage of nuclear weapons and is far more destructive that other forms of warfare. As it involves radiation, nuclear warfare has long-term effects. The only time when nuclear warfare was used was during the Second World War (United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan) and its effects are still seen.

The danger of non-conventional warfare can be gauged by the fact that it severely injures or even kills people during training, storage and usage. All the three types of warfare are different from each other but are methods of non-conventional warfare. Many government bodies and institutions around the world are trying to prohibit or limit the usage of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons for the risks it portrays to mankind.