The incapacitating chemical agents loophole

Twelve years ago, Russian security forces employed a secret incapacitating chemical agent (ICA) weapon believed to affect the central nervous system in their attempt to save 900 hostages held in a Moscow theater by armed Chechen fighters. Although the bulk of the hostages were freed, more than 120 of them were killed by the chemical agent and many more continue to suffer long-term health problems.

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Don’t fear Ebola, fear fear itself

Public health officials in America are trying to manage two serious threats right now. One is Ebola, the virus that causes horrible deaths from vomiting, diarrhea, and hemorrhagic bleeding in more than half the people it infects, and against which there is no protective vaccine. The other is fear. In the United States, between the two, fear is the far greater threat.

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The Lesson of Lake Toba

On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, there is a large lake that used to be a mountain. How is it that a mountain becomes a lake? Simple: It erupts. This mountain on Sumatra unleashed an utterly massive volcano eruption 75,000 years ago. For perspective, it was the largest eruption in the last 25 million years. And so today, Sumatra has the beautiful Lake Toba instead of a Mount Toba.

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The very small Islamic State WMD threat

Late last month British Home Secretary Theresa May, who is responsible for immigration and policing under Prime Minister David Cameron, alarmed many citizens when she warned that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could “acquire chemical, biological, or even nuclear weapons to attack us.” Joseph Cirincione, president of the global-security-focused Ploughshares Fund

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Does it matter if Iran developed nuclear weapons at Parchin?

Last week, an explosion at the Iranian military complex known as Parchin drew even more attention to the site, already one of the most contentious in the country’s nuclear dossier. Since satellite imagery of the October 5 blast surfaced on the Internet, it has been pored over by non-proliferation experts and provoked ill-informed analysis by Iran hawks.

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