WMD Proliferation - Sample Essay

Today world security and peace is inherently threatened by expanding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) network. International terrorist organizations, with help of non-stable state are in cahoots to acquire these weapons to unleash death, suffering and terror on widest possible scale. As already clear by events of World Trade Center attack, Madrid attack, and London attack, terrorist networks are committed on increasing the scope and severity of their attacks, and to this end they are making every effort to acquire WMD (Russel, 2006).

It is certain that in event of their acquiring WMD, world would see terrorist attacks of unprecedented magnitude and damage. With breakup of Soviet Union and resulting dissemination of nuclear technology in unstable and politically radical nation-states with their covert alliance with terrorist organizations like Al Queda, there are chances that nuclear weapons can become easily accessible to terror groups (Caves, 2006)).

Although all the nuclear powered countries have ensured non-transference nuclear technology, material or equipment to other countries, the WMD proliferation network works through underworld and middlemen, easily bypassing state-to-state check placed on transfer of technology or large scale collaboration (Clary, 2005). It is through such proliferation networks that Pakistan was able to build its nuclear weapons on a piecemeal pattern and later offer the technology to radical states like North Korea, Libya, and Iran (Clary, 2005).

The dangers of such proliferation network are apparent. As they function through corrupt companies, officials and scientists, they are greatly vulnerable to be exploited by terrorist organization. Moreover, these networks are active only in countries that are interested in illegal possession of nuclear weapons and with history of aiding terror networks and fuelling radical thought. Their possession of nuclear weapons can jeopardize global stability and peace (Russel, 2006). ). Hurdles to international collaboration on WMD proliferation networks

Recognizing the threat perceptions existing due to WMD proliferation networks, world community has initiated serious efforts in containing and combating spread of such networks and deny them access to any agent or equipment that can pose danger of mass destruction. However, in an increasingly globalized and politicized world, it would be a very difficult act to achieve this aim (Russel and Clary, 2006). The first hurdle is the identification and containment of proliferation network.

Governments cannot impose sweeping bans on scientists and intellectuals from communicating or sharing ideas. Many researchers from radical countries work in western nuclear research lab and it would be impossible to ostracize all of them (Russel and Clary, 2006). Secondly, people engaged in proliferation, in transfer of technology and equipments, are usually very influential businessmen or highly corrupt government officials who stand to loose personally if WMD proliferation is completely checked and therefore they ensure failure of any proliferation check (Caves, 2006).

It is also noted that proliferation network is very complicated and vast and proposed efforts by individual governments to raise custom barriers are neither feasible nor tenable. The final and the most difficult hurdle is issue of technology diffusion and breaking technical or financial monopoly of western countries in arena of equipment designing and manufacturing. Although elite western powers can prevent countries from officially launching a nuclear program, it is impossible for them to check development of indigenous nuclear technology, manufacturing of nuclear plants and at certain stage, development of nuclear weapons.


Clary, C. 2005. A. Q. Khan and the limits of non-proliferation regime. Disarmament Forum. Russel, J. A. and Clary. C. 2005. Globalization and WMD Proliferation Networks: Challenge to US Security. National Post Graduate School, California. Russel, J. A. 2006. WMD Proliferation, Globalization, and International Security: Whither the Nexus and National Security? Strategic Insights. Volume 6. Caves, Jr. J. P. 2006. Globalization and WMD Proliferation Networks: The Policy Landscape Strategic Insights, Volume V, Issue 6