Chemical and Biological Weapons: A Study of Proliferation by Edward M. Spiers (auth.)

By Edward M. Spiers (auth.)

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Dr Will Carpenter, director of the American Chemical Manufacturers Association, has explained that: The essential aspect about chemical weapons .. is that the technology is relatively unsophisticated. It is virtually impossible to identify equipment which is specifically designed or modified to be capable of chemical weapons manufacturing. P they have irritated scientists who are sceptical about the rate and extent of chemical weapons proliferation. Although Perry Robinson and Burck accept that the diffusion of technology may have facilitated the process generally , they deride suggestions that any chemical plant can produce poison gas, or that a plant can be rapidly and easily converted from producing pesticides or pharmaceuticals to the production of chemical warfare agents.

I-eontinued PROB - Probable possession by countries reported by the US government , on the record, as developing , producing or possessing chemical weapons POSS - Possible possession by countries reported by western governments, generally off the record , as seeking to acquire chemical weapons or a production capability, or as being suspected of possessing chemical weapons The panel also listed another 12 countries in a 'doubtful' category of possession, namely states reported, generally by domestic or foreign adversaries , as seeking to possess, possessing, or using chemical weapons , with no comfirmation by western government officials .

They had assisted in the construction of the production facilities, in the supply of precursor chemicals, in the provision of production equipment, in the training of personnel, and in the supply of parts for munitions. '! Underpinning such programmes were several fundamental factors. Of pivotal importance was the mere diffusion of chemical technology and knowledge about chemistry that has spread from north to south - or at least to many of the industrialising countries in the Third World . By developing their own chemical industries, developing states have gained the prerequisites for acquiring a chemical weapons capability.

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