What make something count as a weapon of mass destruction and what are some examples of WMDs?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A weapon of mass destruction or WMD is a weapon capable of destruction of an extremely  large number of people or significant amount of property in a single attack. Thus a nuclear bomb and certain types of chemical and biological weapons count as WMDs, but a rifle, sword, or even...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

A weapon of mass destruction or WMD is a weapon capable of destruction of an extremely  large number of people or significant amount of property in a single attack. Thus a nuclear bomb and certain types of chemical and biological weapons count as WMDs, but a rifle, sword, or even a machine gun would not be a WMD.  Only two nuclear bombs have actually been used in the history of the world, those that the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The phrase WMD came into popular parlance when the then United States President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair justified attacking Iraq on the base of the false claim that Sadam Hussein possessed WMDs.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team