The war in Vietnam was, and continues to be, one of the most controversial hot button topics in American history. The military’s use of dangerous pesticides, like Agent Orange, is a major part of this controversy. Agent Orange is a defoliant that was widely used to deforest dense jungle areas to reduce both hiding places and food sources for the Vietnamese. During the war, American B-52 bombers released over nineteen million gallons of Agent Orange over the Vietnamese countryside. After ten years of continuous dumping, 1971 finally marked the end of America’s use of Agent Orange and other herbicides. In 1974, the United States government, headed by Richard Nixon, swore the country would never again use chemical weapons in a first strike. (Levy and Scott-Clark)
Is the use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in war ethical? Is there an appropriate time to use them? A dilemma will later be presented for consideration. Different ethical theories can either support or oppose the use of CBW depending on the circumstances. However, chemical, biological and nuclear agents are dangerous, uncontrollable and undifferentiating weapons of mass destructions. Actions must be taken to see that there are no future instances of use during war. However, before one discusses the legal and ethical issues involved with CBW, one must understand what chemical, biological and nuclear weapons are and how they function.
Since The First world War up to now, toxic gases died thousands of people. How many people have been suffering from toxic gases? How many people have permanent diseases because of toxic gases? Toxic gases have been using as chemical weapons to attack people. Chemical weapons had been using in The First World War and they had been using in Iraq against Iran and Kurdistan. Also, chemical weapons have been using in Syria. Chemical weapons killed and injured thousands of people. Therefore, chemical weapons can destroy our life, cause many permanent diseases and attack our world.
Poison Gas/Chemical Warfare usage, while not harming physical structures preventing the collateral damage of homes and buildings, causes a high casualty rate in all living things. It is indescriminate and robs life equally be they related or not to a target of military or strategic importance. Gas usage has been widely considered uncivilized, but the French resorted to its usage in August, 1914 during the first World War in an attempt to rout the Germans. Unfortunately, the Germans were the first to give gas warfare serious development and it became used extensively before the war was over. On the battlefield it prooved effective in eliminating hostile threats in an inhumane way, but this does not make it morally acceptable. In more recent times ISIS has been reported to using Poison Gas in Syria against both military and civilians in an indescriminate manner. This sort of attack ignores international laws as well as inhumanely cause widespread harm. In this day and age, this sort of attack is unnecessary and is why it was outlawed in the first place even back during the first World War.
On April 22, in the Second Battle of Ypres, in World War 1 (WWI), the first chemical weapon was used. After over 101 years of this dilemma, the world has yet to find a solution for the pressing issue of chemical weapons as a threat to international security. Chemical weapons are highly toxic and are made to expose radiation and consequently kill living organisms. There are many types of these deadly gases, hence many different effects on people. These include brain damage, skin rashes/damage, and asphyxiation. After WWI, the Geneva Protocol was created in 1925; this banned the use of chemical weapons in any conflict. It was signed by most of the countries with the resources to create such weapons, but not all countries signed it. Later, in 1993, the Chemical Weapon Convention (CWC), also called the Convention on the
The fact that we cannot use chemical weapons is a very bad thing. We could have used these weapons in the Vietnam War. With all the tall grass and dense forests, our soldiers were not prepared for the close up combat. If we had used the chemical agents in that forest, we could have eliminated hidden enemy forces and we would have saved many American soldiers’ lives.
Agent Orange may not have been the first herbicide, however, one could argue that it is the deadliest. Dao Chemical made agent orange in 1943. Taking 2 commonly used herbicides and mixing them together created Agent Orange. They mixed, “2,4-D and 2,4,5-T.” (Agent Orange.” UXL Encyclopedia of Science). Dao Chemical knew how dangerous the chemicals that they were mixing together. There was previous knowledge that2,4,5-T can cause problems in humans, and they only mixed it with something more dangerous: “One chemical used to make Agent Orange was contaminates with a dioxin, TCDD” (Agent Orange.” UXL Encyclopedia of Science). Dioxins are very toxic to humans, animal, and the environment. Once a dioxin is released, the dioxin will remain present in the soil. During the Vietnam War the United Sates army covered over 4 million acres with Agent Orange. During the years, “1962 and 1971, over 10.5 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed on Vietnam.” (Agent Orange).
In recent history, there has been an abundance of chemical warfare that caused harm to society, nature, and immeasurable damage post war. To be more specific, the Vietnam war was one of the most noticeable conflicts that was destructive to both parties involved through chemical warfare, not only to the soldiers but also the environment. During the 1960s through to current day, the chemical pollution of the many mangrove forests near local villages led to health problems for the local Vietnamese people and the American soldiers. Located in Vietnam, mangrove forest was one of the main sources of vegetation for enemy soldiers during the war. To decrease enemy morale, the chemical herbicide, known as Agent Orange, was made by the U.S. to poison their crops and starve the enemy troops. The highly potent Agent Orange created many unintended problems for the locals as well as the troops because of the catastrophic damages to the landscape and continues to affect the locals to this day. For example, polluted crops and farm lands, Bio-accumulation of Agent orange, and chronic medical problems.
Chemical weapons are highly volatile form of killing human beings that has been used by the Syrian government. Many are asking the US government to intervene and stop them from using this outrageous form of destruction. Recently the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its civilian population to try and combat rebels fighting against the Assad regime (Chemical weapons). Chemical weapons are weapons of mass destruction that are considered a crime against humanity and war crimes as the use of them has been banned throughout the world (Chemical weapons). The use of chemical weapons warrants intervention because without the US or other countries stopping rogue nations who will prevent them from using chemical weapons as means to dominate
Over the next few decades following the end of World War I, governments around the world created laws, rules, and regulations outlawing the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance. The Geneva Protocol and the Chemical Weapons Protocol were created to protect people against the horror of chemical weapons. These outlawed the use of chemical weapons
As of recent, there is an ongoing debate over the response of the Obama administration related to the events occurring in Syria and the potential violation by the Syrian government of customary international law and relevant treaties and conventions in the use of chemical weapons against its own people. The conflict itself has history which is required to be thoroughly examined before conclusions can be placed and actions are to be carried out. The Syrian Civil War has not only affected the lives of Syria’s citizens but has becoming a pressing issue in direct international relations between countries like Russia and the United States. Obama’s administration has their own response to the crisis at hand and believes that a military strike is a fully legal move to make given the situation present at hand. According to the evidence, it would seem possible that a violation has not occurred and that the threat by Obama’s administration to use force in the Syrian crisis stands on illegitimate grounds because the proceedings are done by Syrian government on their own grounds. However the atrocious actions committed by the Assad regime could in fact provide legality to military intervention by the United States. Finally, the focus will be to determine whether chemical weapons are in fact the sole factor for international intervention.
Just prior to the1980’s Saddam became president of Iraq and shortly after he began utilizing chemical weapons like mustard gas against Iranian forces and at the end of the 1980’s even used them against his own population. In the 1990’s Saddam utilized his forces to invade Kuwait and was subsequently ejected by the international military coalition who came to their rescue. It was not until after the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 687, Iraq had to dismantle its stockpile of WMD and any means to produce them. In the end there was some question to the entire stockpile having been destroyed due to Saddam not wanting to comply with the inspections.
One of the ways that this has made the world worse off is that countries ended up using chemical weapons anyways. For example the United states said that we would bomb anyone who used chemical weapons. Syria decided to test what the U.S. claimed they would do and decided to use a small amount of chemical weapons on their own people so they could deny doing it. “He started with a small deniable use of chemical weapons”. Bashar al Assad didn’t want to be caught.
While nuclear weapons are universally known as a weapon of mass destruction, they are not the only type. Other types of weapons of mass destruction include, radiological, chemical, and biological. While nuclear weapons may be the most known, biological and chemical weapons are more commonly used. To this day, chemical and biological weapons continue to be used in the Syrian Civil War. Specifically, Chlorine and mustard gas have been used on all sides of the civil war, and in most cases, despite the possible harm to civilians. The official website of the Federal Bureau of Investigation defines WMDs as any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas weapon that is designed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury. While some may claim that weapons of mass destruction do not pose as much of a threat today as they did in the early 2000s, I disagree. While it may be true that weapons of mass destruction do not receive the amount of media coverage they used to, that does not decrease the threat they pose at all. The threat of nuclear and chemical and biological and radiothermal warfare is still alive and
When this article was published, the horrific (and very publicized) Syrian chemical attack of August 2013 against the city of Ghouta, Syria had not yet occurred. However, even preceding this attack, Bill Keller argued that the situation in Syria is fundamentally different from the circumstances surrounding the US instigation of the war in Iraq. He claimed that unlike in Iraq, Syria already had a full fledged conflict that had erupted, and that to preserve US interests, it was necessary to for the United States to intervene militarily.