Often described as the misuse of science, chemical and biological weapons have incurred widespread opposition over the years.
Despite condemnation from the United Nations, governments and the disarmament lobby, they remain very real options for rogue states and terrorists.
Capable of development and production in small, covert facilities, these versatile weapons kill and injure in horrific ways, and also cause immense psychological shock and panic.
This much-needed history examines the similarities and differences between the two types of weapons, and how technological advancements have led to tactical innovations in their use.
Global efforts to restrain their use, with deterrence and disarmament being the major issues, are also discussed.
From the widespread gas warfare used in the First World War to Saddam Hussein's attacks on the Iraqi Kurds, this book gives a comprehensive chronological account of why, where and when such weapons were used or suspected to be deployed.
Edward M. Spiers breaks new ground by presenting his analysis in both historical and contemporary contexts. He includes attempts by terrorists to employ these weapons, along with the challenges posed in the preparation of proportionate defences, military responses and law-enforcement.
This book will be of interest to readers studying the proliferation and use of these weapons, and the reactions of the international community.