Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are distinct methods of warfare. This distinction has led to the categorisation of these weapons under the term Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Whilst government decision makers and military experts, tend to refer to a range of terms, such as CBRN, NBC etc … to address the threat from these weapons, the term WMD is commonly referred to within the media and by the public. This term has significance and it is synonymous with the stigmatisation of these weapons. The process of stigmatisation has emerged progressively, through time, as a result of the strategic and normative quality of WMD. Even though each of these weapons differ greatly from the other, they are all perceived to cause long term, lasting destruction.
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For further discussion of this point, please see: W. Seth Carus. Occasional paper 8. Defining Weapons of Mass Destruction. Centre for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction. (Washington DC: National Defence University.) 2012