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Weapons of Mass Destruction

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Title: Weapons of Mass Destruction


1
WeaponsofMass Destruction
  • Martin Donohoe

2
Outline
  • The history and epidemiology of war
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Chemical weapons
  • Biological weapons

3
Outline
  • Economic and environmental consequences of
    militarism and war
  • Health consequences of militarism and war
  • Contemporary issues

4
History of war
  • 10,000 yrs ago agriculture
  • Stable populations, division of labor, warrior
    class
  • 3500 yrs ago bronze weapons and armor
  • 2200 yrs ago iron
  • 1900 yrs ago - horses

5
History of war
  • Ninth Century China - bombs developed
  • Thirteenth Century China rockets
  • Forgotten until the 19th Century
  • 1783 - Balloon
  • 1903 - Airplane
  • 20th Century - WMDs

6
History of War
  • Belief that each new invention would eliminate
    warfare
  • Instead, increased casualties, killing at a
    distance

7
Epidemiology of Warfare
  • Deaths in war
  • 17th 19th Century 11-19/million population
  • 20th Century 183/million population
  • Increasing casualties to civilians
  • 10 late 19th Century
  • 85-90 in 20th Century

8
Contemporary Wars
  • 250 wars in the 20th Century
  • Incidence of war rising since 1950
  • Most conflicts within poor states
  • 25 separate civil wars currently underway

9
Consequences of War
  • Deaths, injuries, psychological sequelae
  • Collapse of health care system affecting those
    with acute and chronic illnesses
  • Famine

10
Consequences of War
  • Refugees
  • Environmental degradation
  • Increasing poverty and debt
  • All lead to recurrent cycles of violence

11
Atomic Weapons - History
  • Hiroshima, August 6, 1945
  • The day that humanity started taking its final
    exam Buckminster Fuller
  • 15 kiloton bomb, 140,000 deaths
  • Nagasaki, August 9, 1945
  • 22 kiloton bomb, 70,000 casualties

12
Atomic Weapons Other Victims
  • Hundreds of thousands of hibakusha atomic bomb
    survivors
  • 80,000 cancers (15,000 fatal) in US citizens as a
    result of fallout from atmospheric testing
  • NCI/CDC

13
Atomic Weapons Today
  • 20,000 nuclear weapons
  • Several thousand megatons
  • US and Russia have 13,000 actively deployed
    warheads

14
Atomic Weapons Today
  • 2500 (US) and 2000 (Russia) on high alert
  • Fired within 15 minutes, reach targets in 30
    minutes
  • Vastly redundant arsenal
  • 150-200 weapons adequate to destroy all major
    urban centers in Russia

15
Atomic Weapons Today
  • Accidental intermediate-sized launch of weapons
    from a single Russian submarine would immediately
    kill 6.8 million Americans in 8 cities

16
Nuclear Weapons Oops!
  • Pentagon 32 nuclear weapons accidents since 1950
  • GAO 233
  • Since 1950, 10 nuclear weapons lost and never
    recovered
  • All laying on seabed, potentially leaking
    radioactivity

17
Effects of a Nuclear Explosion
  • Immediate
  • Vaporized by thermal radiation
  • Crushed by blast wave
  • Burned and suffocated by firestorm

18
Effects of a Nuclear Explosion
  • Intermediate
  • Suffering, painful deaths
  • Health care personnel/resources overwhelmed
  • Famine
  • Refugees
  • Devastated transportation infrastructure

19
Effects of a Nuclear Explosion
  • Late effects
  • Cancer
  • Psychological trauma
  • Nuclear winter (mass starvation due to disruption
    of agricultural, transportation, industrial and
    health care systems)

20
Effects of a 20 megaton nuclear explosion
  • Ground zero ? 2 miles
  • Fireball hotter than sun
  • everything vaporized
  • 2 - 4 miles
  • Buildings ripped apart and leveled

21
Effects of a 20 megaton nuclear explosion
  • 4 - 10 miles
  • Sheet metal melts concrete buildings heavily
    damaged (all others leveled)
  • 16 miles
  • 100 mph winds, firestorm, T 1400 C
  • 100 mortality

22
Effects of a 20 megaton nuclear explosion
  • 21 miles
  • Shattered glass, flying debri
  • 29 miles
  • 3 burns over all exposed skin
  • 40 miles
  • Retinal burns blind all who witness explosion

23
Effects of a 20 megaton nuclear explosion over
Boston
  • Death toll
  • 1,000,000 within minutes
  • 1,800,000 survivors
  • 1,100,000 fatally injured
  • 500,000 with major injuries
  • 200,000 without injuries

24
Types of Injuries
  • Burns
  • Blindings
  • Deafenings
  • Collapsed lungs
  • Fractures
  • Shrapnel wounds

25
Radiation Sickness
  • Medium to high doses death within 1-7 days
  • Low doses BM failure, infections, bleeding,
    sores, death

26
Effects on health professionals
  • 70 killed or fatally wounded
  • 15 injured
  • lt 1000 survive

27
Effects on health care system
  • Most major hospitals destroyed
  • EMS system debilitated
  • No X-ray machines, electricity, water,
    antibiotics or other meds, blood/plasma, bandages

28
Effects on health care system
  • 2000 burn unit beds in US (100 per major city)
    essentially destroyed
  • No bone marrow transplant capability

29
Effects on Health Care System
  • 1500 patients/doctor
  • 10 min/pt
  • 4 hours sleep/noc
  • 2 weeks to see all injured

30
Nuclear Terrorism
  • Attack on nuclear power plant or other nuclear
    installation
  • Dirty bomb
  • Potential tens to hundreds of thousands of
    deaths, billions of dollars of damage, chaos
  • Numerous radiation sources left over from Cold
    War in post-Soviet countries

31
Nuclear Terrorism
  • Reports of weapons/numerous radiation sources
    missing from Soviet arsenal
  • The Nth Country experiment (1964) 3 science
    post-docs with no nuclear know-how designed a
    working atom bomb

32
Chemical Weapons
  • 428 BC Athenians and Spartans burned wax, pitch
    and sulfur
  • Davinci arsenic and sulfur shells
  • WW I
  • Italians vs. Ethiopians
  • Japanese vs. Chinese
  • Germans vs. Allies
  • chlorine gas
  • 91,000 deaths and 1.3 million injuries

33
Chemical Weapons
  • Egypt vs. South Yemen (1963-7)
  • Iran/Iraq War (1980s)
  • Gulf War (versus Kurds, ? Others)
  • 1995 Tokyo subway attack by Aum Shrinko cult
    using sarin
  • 12 dead, 5000 injured or incapacitated

34
Types of Chemical Weapons
  • Nerve gasses / paralytics
  • E.g., sarin, VX
  • S/S paralysis (incl. resp. muscles), headache,
    dizziness, N/V
  • Rx gas masks, pretreatment with
    pyridostigmine, decontamination, antidotes
    (atropine, pralidoxime, diazepam, tropicamide)

35
Types of Chemical Weapons
  • Blistering agents
  • E.g., sulphur mustard
  • S/S burns, blindness, pulmonary toxicity, BM
    suppression, N/V/D
  • Rx decontamination, analgesia, pulmonary and eye
    care

36
Types of Chemical Weapons
  • Pulmonary toxicants
  • E.g., chlorine, phosgene
  • S/S pneumonitis, laryngeal spasm, pulmonary
    edema, ARDS
  • Rx O2, bronchodilators, corticosteroids,
    ?ibuprofen, ?acetylcysteine

37
Chemical Weapons
  • 1972 Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention
    prohibits development, production, and
    stockpiling
  • 1989 stockpiles
  • US 36,000 tons
  • Russia 270,000 tons (1/2 nerve gas)
  • Current amounts unclear

38
Other Chemical Weapons
  • Tear gas, pepper spray
  • Calmatives mind-altering or sleep-inducing
    weapons (benzo-, SSRI-, and anesthetic
    derivatives)
  • Cramp-inducing agents

39
Other Chemical Weapons
  • Stink bombs (?Race specific?)
  • Colored smoke as an obscurant
  • Crowd control vs use in warfare
  • US pilot amphetamine use

40
Biological Weapons - History
  • Ancient Greeks, Romans and Persians
  • US Civil War (General Johnson at Vicksburg)
  • 14th Century Tatars catapulting plague-infested
    corpses

41
Biological Weapons - History
  • Sir Jeffrey Amherst (French and Indian Wars -
    smallpox) You would do well to try to inoculate
    the Indians, by means of blankets, to extirpate
    this execrable race
  • WW I Cholera, plague, glanders, anthrax

42
Biological Weapons WW II
  • Unit 731, Manchuria, Shiro Ishii
  • British Operation Vegetarian (anthrax cakes /
    Germany)
  • US military personnel received typhoid, smallpox,
    yellow fever and tetanus vaccines

43
Biological Weapons Post WWII
  • Swerdlosk - anthrax
  • Zimbabwe - anthrax

44
Biological Weapons Today
  • 17 countries possess ( Al Qaeda?)
  • US role in supplying other nations
  • e.g., 1985-1989 US companies sold to Iraq
  • Bacillus anthracis, Clostridium botulinum,
    Histoplasma capsulatum, Brucella melitensis,
    Clostsridium perfringens, Clostridium tetani, and
    E. coli
  • Despite evidence of use of chemical weapons
    against Kurds

45
Biological Weapons Today
  • 1972 Biological Weapons Protocol signed by 158
    nations
  • Lacks adequate enforcement mechanisms
  • US has rejected enforcement (wary of foreign
    inspectors discovering military secrets and/or
    trade secrets of biotechnology and pharmaceutical
    companies)

46
Biological Weapons - Agents
  • Anthrax Brucellosis Cholera
  • Glanders Pneumonic plague
  • Tularemia Q Fever Smallpox
  • Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis
  • Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (e.g., Ebola)
  • Botulism Staph enterotoxin B
  • Ricin Mycxotoxins

47
Biological Weapons of the Future
  • Genetic weapons targeted at specific ethnic
    groups

48
Smallpox
  • DNA virus decimated native American populations
    eradicated by WHO vaccination campaign in 1972
  • ?Only remaining viral stocks at CDCP and in
    Siberia?

49
Smallpox
  • Incubation period 7-17 days (avg. 12)
  • Spread by droplet infection highly contagious
  • Symptoms abrupt onset of F/HA/myalgias ? rash ?
    MSOF ? death

50
Smallpox
  • Rx isolation, post-exposure vaccination,
    supportive care, ?antivirals
  • 30 fatality rate

51
Anthrax
  • Cutaneous, GI and Pulmonary forms
  • Est. 50kg release over urban center of 5 million
    people would sicken 250K and kill 100K
  • 100 kg release would have the same of
    casualties as a hydrogen bomb explosion

52
Inhalational Anthrax
  • Case fatality rate approx. 50
  • Rx
  • Post-exposure antibiotics (doxycycline,
    ciprofloxacin, penicillin)
  • Supportive care
  • Vaccine

53
Health Care System Preparadness for Weapons of
Mass Destruction
  • ¾ of US ERs not fully prepared for treating mass
    casualties
  • Only 12 of US hospitals have bioterrorism
    response measures developed and in place

54
Health Care System Preparedness for Weapons of
Mass Destruction
  • US public health / emergency care system already
    in disarray
  • 80 of states facing budget cuts or holdbacks
  • Medicaid over budget in 23 states
  • Anti-immigrant laws dangerous

55
Priorities and Mass Destructions
  • Warning
  • Progressive Rhetoric Ahead.

56
Military Spending
  • US ½ of discretionary tax dollars spent on the
    military
  • US military budget represents 34 of total world
    military budget (1.035 trillion in 2004)
  • 400 billion defense budget for 2003 (excluding
    costs of war in Iraq)

57
Military Spending
  • 4.6 increase in spending on nuclear weapons
  • 11.5 decrease in spending to prevent the spread
    of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons
    (773 million)

58
Missile Defense ShieldThe Militarization of Space
  • Star Wars program proceeding, despite
  • Astronomical cost est. 100 billion
  • Strong opposition by scientific community
  • Spectacular failures in 2/4 tests, despite highly
    structured conditions
  • Abandonment of ABM Treaty by Bush administration

59
Missile Defense ShieldThe Militarization of Space
  • Shield or very porous umbrella
  • Easily overwhelmed and fooled by inexpensive
    decoys
  • No protection against internal accidents or
    terrorists bringing weapon onto US soil or dirty
    bomb
  • Proposed use of moon for spy observatories and
    weapons

60
Dwight Eisenhower
  • The problem in defense spending is to figure out
    how far you should go without destroying from
    within that which you are trying to protect from
    without

61
Social Injustices Abound
  • 46 million Americans lack health insurance ?
    18,000 deaths per year
  • 20-25 of US children live in poverty
  • Worsening homelessness, public educational
    system, other social indicators
  • 1.2 billion people have no access to clean
    drinking water-2 million child deaths/year

62
Social Injustices
  • Worldwide
  • poverty increasing
  • maldistribution of wealth
  • corporatization
  • global debt crisis

63
Social Injustices
  • Worldwide
  • environmental destruction and global warming
  • Air pollution kills 70,000/yr in US, gt500K/yr
    worldwide
  • AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa
  • 70,000 die of hunger every 2 days (i.e., one
    Hiroshima every 2 days)

64
Health Costs of Militarization
  • 3 hours of world arms spending annual WHO
    budget
  • ½ day of world arms spending immunization for
    all the worlds children

65
Health Costs of Militarization
  • 3 weeks of world arms spending primary health
    care for all in poor countries, including safe
    drinking water and full immunizations
  • Brain drain 1/2 of US research scientists work
    entirely on military R and D

66
Dwight Eisenhower
  • Every gun that is made, every rocket fired,
    signifies in the final sense a theft from those
    who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold
    and not clothed

67
Dwight Eisenhower
  • This world is not spending money alone. It is
    spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of
    its scientists, the hopes of its children. This
    is not a way of life at all, in any true sense.
    Under the cloud of threatening war, it is
    humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

68
Martin Luther King
  • A nation that continues year after year to
    spend more money on military defense than on
    programs of social uplift is approaching
    spiritual death.

69
US Foreign Aid
  • US ranks 21st in the world in foreign aid as a
    percentage of GDP (0.7, versus UN recommended
    0.15)
  • Foreign Aid
  • 1/3 military
  • 1/3 economic
  • 1/3 food and development
  • US worlds largest arms exporter many weapons
    later used against us

70
Current Problems
  • Budget surplus ? budget deficit
  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan
  • Others?
  • War on Terror

71
New US Nuclear Weapons PoliciesUnder GW Bush
  • Nuclear Posture Review expands scope of use of
    nuclear weapons, including first-strike against
    non-nuclear states
  • Withdrawal from ABM Treaty
  • Boycotted Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
    Conference
  • Budgeted money to resume nuclear testing and
    development

72
The US Rogue Nation
  • History Native Americans, slavery, current
    disparities and injustices
  • 5 of the worlds population responsible for 25
    of its energy consumption, 33 of its paper use,
    and 72 of its hazardous waste production
  • Co-opting Nazi and Japanese WWII scientists

73
The US Rogue Nation
  • Minimum 277 troop deployments by the US in its
    225 year history
  • Since the end of WWII, the US has bombed
  • China, Korea, Indonesia, Cuba, Guatemala, Congo,
    Peru, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nicaragua, El
    Salvador, Grenada, Libya, Panama, Afghanistan,
    Sudan, Yugoslavia, and Iraq
  • Conservative estimate 8 million killed

74
The US Rogue Nation
  • In 2002, the US spent about 1,211 per US citizen
    on defense
  • vs. 2.27 per citizen on international
    peacekeeping efforts
  • The US maintains military bases in 69 sovereign
    nations around the world

75
The US Rogue Nation
  • Continued funding of the Western Hemisphere
    Institute for Security Cooperation
  • Formerly the School of the Americas
  • Over 60,000 graduates, including many of the
    worst human rights abusers in Latin America
    (e.g., Manuel Noriega, Omar Torrijos, and the
    assassins of Archbishop Oscar Romero)

76
International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism
  • Failure to sign or approve
  • Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change
  • Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel
    Land Mines
  • Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child

77
International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism
  • Failure to sign or approve
  • Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination
    Against Women
  • Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural
    Rights
  • Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in
    Persons

78
The US Rogue Nation
  • Death Penalty
  • US executes more of its citizens than any other
    country
  • US is the only country to execute both juveniles
    and the mentally ill
  • Failure to follow World Court Decisions
  • Oppose International Criminal Court
  • Largest debtor to the UN (only 40 of dues paid)

79
The role of the doctor in society
  • World Health Organization
  • The role of the physician in the preservation
    and promotion of peace is the most significant
    factor for the attainment of health for all.
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility

80
Contact Information
  • Public Health and Social Justice Website
  • http//www.phsj.org
  • martindonohoe_at_phsj.org
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