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Weapons of Mass Destruction Article Analysis

Weapons of Mass Destruction

One of the main modern tasks of researchers and public authorities in a field of the civil defense is the protection of the population against weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and other contemporary means of an enemy attack. Fortunately, modern multipolar world does not imply open military confrontation between the two superpowers and the military-political blocs as it was in the past century. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the study of the issues connected with the WMD is unnecessary. Explosions of apartment buildings in Russia, the destruction of World Trade Center towers and other facilities in the United States, accidents in the London subway as well as other large-scale terrorist attacks in recent years suggest that due to the political feud a new danger has appeared that is the international terrorism. In addition, if they acquire weapons of mass destruction, they, without a shadow of a doubt, take advantage of them. Moreover, not all countries establish the measures for the decrease and the elimination of this type of weaponry.

On this basis, it is clear that the need for the protection of the population from the weapons of mass destruction has not lost its relevance today. Thus, the society should be fully informed about all the danger of the WMD threat, its types, effects, outcomes and protection means. Great amount of studies was conducted in order to provide this data. One of them is the research carried out by David Tin Win and Mohammed Al Masum which is described in their article “Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

The Importance of the Study

For the individuals that grew up under the threat of the nuclear war, the idea that a new generation of people is now being raised and lives in the absence of the danger of the nuclear catastrophe is quite unusual. Some may consider this a good fact. On the other hand, the distinctive feature of this is that the unawareness and the ignorance of the real present peril as well as of the possibility and the size of the catastrophe involving the weapons of mass destruction makes people vulnerable to this threat.

Thus, it is important to know about the WMD threat, be informed about their action, effectiveness, consequences they carry and the means of protection. The article by Win and Al Masum is one of the best ways to familiarize with the essence of the threat in a short space of time. In the light of the recent large terroristic attacks and the fact that not all countries have eliminated their WMD resources (in particular the nuclear ones), it is important to stay on top of the current situation concerning the WMD development and use, their types and effectiveness. Therefore, the mentioned article is an important source of information one can use to get to know the present state of affairs.

The Purpose of the Article

Win and Al Masum have conducted a study analyzing in details every type of the WMD. The article is intended both for professional and usual readers. Its main purpose is to describe weaponry in great depth since in the introduction they give classification and short overview of every WMD type[1], and, then, continue with their thorough examination in the body of the paper. This is one of the best examples of the informative papers. The authors scrutinize every type of the WMD giving its definition, purpose, material base, effect of its use and protective measures. The article combines all the relevant information on the WMD taken from different sources in one rather small work that takes up 20 pages.

As it was said earlier, the paper is intended both for researchers and common readers. On one side, the text is full of terms, statistical data, chemical formulas and scientific descriptions of particular types of the WMD. For example, in chemical weaponry section the authors give general information on every substance used as the chemical weapon. They provide its chemical name, molecular formula and melting point as well as the graphical representation of the molecule. On the other side, despite the abundant use of the scientific language, the writing style is simple and understandable for people with different educational backgrounds. For instance, researchers widely use leading questions such as “What does sulfur mustard do?”[2] or “What substances belong to the nerve agents?”[3] Moreover, they employ short sentences, which are also very convenient for understanding. What is also important, the purpose of the article, i.e. informativeness, is highlighted by the use of pictures and tables, especially in the appendices, where they illustrated the actions of some chemical weapons.[4] It is necessary to mention that the authors have presented the table pointing he countries where the WMD are still manufactured.[5]

The Structure of the Article

The peculiarity of the article is its structure. The text is well-organized, categorized and focused. The authors have divided the work into several parts in correspondence with the particular type of the weaponry (Chemical Weapons, Nuclear Weapons and Biological Weapons). Every piece of the article is, in its turn, divided into smaller ones. The authors widely use pictures, bold (when describing the most interesting notions[6] or giving the definitions[7]) and italic fonts, and tables. All these tools help the reader to define the main purpose of each paragraph and the aim of the work in general since a topic sentence of each paragraph is separated from the other. In addition, the structure of every passage is predictable, and this assists the individual who is looking for the information about only one type of the WMD in finding the appropriate part easily. For example, while analyzing the chemical weaponry, the authors use the following structure: name of the agent, table with its general characteristics, its action, symptoms of poisoning and measures for protection and decontamination. Additionally, every overview begins with the difference of the weapon from the previous one and is followed by the description of its action. For instance, the part about the biological weaponry starts with definition of the bacteria and is followed by the infection symptoms.

It is important to highlight that Win and Al Masum are consistent and sequential in their narration. The text has clear introduction presenting the purpose of the paper and its importance, developed body, and conclusion highlighting the aim and significance of the research one more time and its possible future implication together with the topic of the further study. Moreover, every passage describing separate type of the weaponry is rather small, authors use only evident and general information which is the most important to know for a reader. Thus, the structure of the paper is convenient for reading and searching the information.

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The Analysis

The peculiarities of the article highlighted above help the authors to carry out their main task – give relevant information for the reader. The publication is easy to read and understand; the complicated scientific, research and statistical information is incorporated into a rather simple text. There is nothing extra in the article, thus, it is a successful research work. Its simplicity makes it clear that the analysis itself has been conducted easily and without problems. In addition, the text serves as the evidence that authors are highly concerned with the issue of the WMD threat.

Win and Al Masum primarily use the governmental and international organizations resources for providing proof for their statements. For example, they widely use NATO handbook on defensive operations, WHO guidelines and U.S. FDA nutrition data. The employment of such authoritative sources of information makes the work clearer and, what is important, able to be checked since all the resources are available online. The authors’ comments and methods of research are appropriate and adequate for such type of work. Win and Al Masum simply shape the known information into a convenient form highlighting the main aspects.

The article is not quite a research since the authors have not had a research group, have not used the investigation techniques, and their survey has neither results nor comparative study. However, it is a valid examination since the authors process a great amount of sources in search for the most relevant and current information about the WMD. In addition, they provide a clear distinction between different types of the WMD, which is not given in the majority of other resources. It is especially true when it comes to the distinction between the chemical and biological weaponry.[8]

The obtained results of this study are not noticeable at first glance. However, after a closer look, one can say that the whole article is the research finding. As it was said earlier, the work is the collection of the relevant information about the WMD and, thus, the structured, clear and focused paper is the result of the authors’ study. They have presented all the information they have found in the convenient form. Therefore, the research can be considered successful and useful for the further investigations.


The appearance of WMD has been the cause of the arms race on an unprecedented scale, the aggravation of the international tension, and increase of the danger of war. Therefore, the prohibition of the development and production of all types of the WMD was an urgent need in the previous century. However, despite the set of actions taken towards the elimination of the WMD threat, the danger is still relevant. Thus, it is important to know as much as possible about this issue. In their article, Win and Al Masum give focused and structured information on the matter. The organization, language and graphical appearance of the work serve as the evidence for the research and make the article useful both for professional researchers and common readers. Its purpose is mainly to provide the information, and all the peculiarities mentioned above help the authors to accomplish their goal. The article is interesting, convenient for research and successful. Thus, it can become an important source for the great amount of further studies.

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Win, David Tin and Mohammed Al Masum. “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” AU Journal of Technology 6, no. 8 (2006): 199-219.

[1]. David Tin Win and Mohammed Al Masum, “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” AU Journal of Technology 6, no. 8 (2006): 199.

[2]. Ibid, 202.

[3]. Ibid, 204.

[4]. Ibid, 218.

[5]. Ibid, 213-214.

[6]. Ibid, 209.

[7]. Ibid, 211.

[7]. Ibid, 199.