The likelihood of a WMD attack on America increases every single day. The decision to keep troops in terrorist hotspots like Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as making threatening noises to countries like Iran and North Korea means that plenty of people are looking to cause our country harm.
With a growing terrorist network, it becomes easier for them to get hold of the materials to make weapons of mass destruction and transport it to America for detonation.
Types of WMD
When people talk about attacks by weapons of mass destruction, they typically think about a nuclear strike similar to the ones that happened over Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II. However, an attack of WMD refers to anything that causes a massive number of fatalities and injuries, such as the planes used in 9/11, and the resulting destruction. Other weapons that are considered WMD include:
- Chemical – Chemical weapons are some of the most horrible that mankind has designed. The idea is not new as both sides were dropping mustard gas on enemy lines in World War I but the technology has since improved. The basic idea is that you load up some poisonous chemicals into a bomb and explode it where you want to attack. The chemicals then enter the air and water supplies and poison people. The thought of this is so horrendous that the Chemical Weapons Treaty has been signed by over 200 countries, which means that any research, development or stockpiling of chemical weapons must cease by the end of 2012.
- Biological – A biological attack would look completely different to a chemical attack. For a start, using an explosion would kill off most diseases through the extreme temperatures and secondly many bacteria will die quickly without water or nutrients. The typical scenario for this type of assault is mail drops, such as the anthrax mailings after 9/11, or dispersing harmful diseases into the water supply. Again, international treaties ban this kind of attack, but countries are allowed to maintain carefully monitored research stations to help them develop vaccines in a hurry.
- Electro magnetic – A nuclear strike directly into a city would cause untold thousands of deaths and destruction of wide swathes of the city. The nuclear fall out could carry for miles outside of the city and it would take years to clear up the mess. However, detonating a nuclear missile two miles above America is far more deadly. While the radioactive particles would have lost a lot of energy on their descent, the amount of energy released would trigger a huge electromagnetic pulse, which would knock all electrical equipment out across the country. The long-term damage to the country would be immense.
The United States government has examined and updated a lot of the legislature surrounding the aftermath of an attack of WMD since the Cold War. The policy of Proportional Response means that while the country may not be able to retaliate with like for like weapons, each of the above attacks would be considered a nuclear strike on America and the country of origin would be subject to a swift retaliatory bombardment.
The government also has numerous different apocalypse response scenarios mapped to get vaccines, medical help and crowd control into the big cities within an hour of the initial strike.
Realistically, it may take the government a while to become organized, and if you are near ground zero during the WMD attack, you will need to start thinking about your own survival. You’ll need to find out where your nearest nuclear shelter is, or think about installing one in your basement or yard. You will also need to think about stockpiling LTS food (long-term storage) and water in case it is a while before help comes to your neighborhood.
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