Eleventh Plague: The Politics of Biological and Chemical Warfare

9780756765330: Eleventh Plague: The Politics of Biological and Chemical Warfare
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This book is a scientific and political primer on a grim subject: biological and chemical warfare. The Eleventh Plague describes what biological and chemical weapons are, and what their effects can be; how they have been developed and tested; and what treaties and political strategies, if any, can lessen the danger from rogue nations and terrorists. The emergence in recent years of so-called 'outlaw nations' like Iraq, Libya and North Korea, not to mention the brutal fanaticism behind terrorist attacks in Israel, Paris, London and Tokyo make this a very timely book.

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From Publishers Weekly:

At a time when the reach of terrorism threatens more countries than ever, this provocative analysis of the debate on the future of chemical and biological weapons delivers a strong wake-up call. Cole (Elements of Risk, etc.), an adjunct professor of political science at Rutgers University, begins by surveying the U.S. Army's testing of these weapons in the 1950s and '60s on unsuspecting civilian populations, including aerial spraying over cities such as Minneapolis and St. Louis. He then covers issues relating to the Middle East, especially the worldwide failure to condemn Iraq's use of chemical weapons during its long war with Iran?a failure, Cole avers, that encouraged Saddam Hussein to continue his aggressive moves. Finally, Cole looks at what he calls "new challenges," such as the 1995 sarin gas attack in Tokyo, the problems inherent in verifying compliance with various treaties and the erosion of moral outrage over continued development of these weapons. He also examines the problem of how to defend against chemical and biological weapons, citing Israel's fears during the Iraqi attacks in 1991 and exploring what he sees as America's unpreparedness for attacks by these weapons. Cole ultimately finds that "the compromise of moral principles has led to a greater insecurity"?a message that may be painful to hear, but that, thanks to his closely reasoned and ethically astute work, has now been stated loud and clear. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Chemical and biological warfare (CBW) is not new, nor is Cole's basic story line: all weapons cause a "conflict between moral behavior and national security." Cole (political science, Rutgers Univ.) argues his view in three parts. First, by examining through official U.S. Army files the history of CBW testing, he highlights the extent of U.S. efforts. Next he claims that the world allowed Iraq to develop a CBW capability that almost led to a catastrophe. Finally, he raises the specter of CBW terrrorism and the urgent need for a counterproliferation treaty. Cole jumps back and forth almost randomly; is this a book about chemicals or biological agents? Like the biblical plagues alluded to in the title, Cole believes that CBW is an ominous punishment brought on humankind by its own moral shortcomings. So what's new? For academic and larger public collections.?John J. Yurechko, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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