Rads, Bugs, and Gas: the Threat of NBC Terrorism

Date of Graduation

Spring 1999


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


The phenomenon of international terrorism is evolving. Terrorism is by no means a form of warfare unique to the present era. However, contemporary terrorism has become a global concern of expanding proportions. The emergence of transnational state-sponsored terrorist organizations whose members may be supplied with nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare capabilities (NBC) adds a new dimension to terrorism. Proliferant states are the largest providers of military technologies, weapons, and instruction to terrorists. As a result, terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction may pose a significant threat to U.S. security interests in the near future. International law and American policy are inadequately organized to deal with the threat of NBC terrorism. U.S. policymakers should discard inadequate treaties and initiate policy that is better equipped to deter, detect, and deny the threat of NBC terrorism against U.S. security interests. NBC terrorism is capable of mass destruction and disruption, which the United States cannot and should not tolerate. This thesis examines the threat of NBC terrorism and offers recommendations for dealing with it.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Rodney L. Stark