The variety of weapons of mass destruction are intended to create the maximum possible fear, death, destruction, and general terror in the target region or nation, particularly with new and creative ways of using them. An understanding of how these weapons work, the ways they may be used, and the scope of their destruction can contribute to effectively combating their effects. This article examines these weapons - Nuclear, electromagnetic pulse, radiological, chemical and biological technologies - As well as policy approaches to defending against them. The development of national programs directed toward the understanding, potential use, and response to weapons of mass destruction by the United States, Japan and the Soviet Union are reviewed and compared, as are the international agreements that have thus far addressed the possible use of such weapons.
- Chemical and biological weapons
- Electromagnetic pulse weapons
- Nuclear and chemical explosives
- Weapons of mass destruction