This essay is about the threat from weapons of mass destruction to the United States.

Essay by psykotik2k3High School, 11th gradeC+, January 2003

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The most significant threat facing America today is the risk of being attacked with Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Although the Soviet Union has fallen and the threat of large-scale nuclear and chemical attacks have been diminished another threat has arisen. This threat is an attack from smaller nations that are angry with and/or have a "score to settle" with the United States. These countries are now capable of buying and/or researching nuclear weapons. Currently North Korea, Iraq, China, and numerous terrorist groups have, or are attempting to create, or buy Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Atomic or nuclear weapons have only been used twice to attack another nation. The first attack came on August 6, 1945. On this date the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Then, a few days later on August 9, the U.S. dropped another atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki.

(Encarta "Hiroshima") Since World War 2 nuclear weapons have not been used to attack another nation. The atomic bomb used on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would only equal one ten-thousandths of America's smallest nuclear missile today.

The closest any nation has come to launching a nuclear attack on another country was during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In October of 1962 U.S. spy planes took pictures of land-based nuclear missile launch sites in Cuba. These sites were being installed, run, and defended by Soviet troops. After only two weeks the missiles were removed and America became calm once again. The Soviets' reason for installing that site in Cuba was to create what is called a "first strike capability." First strike capability would allow the Soviets to destroy America's second strike capability. Second strike capability is when one nation is able to absorb another nation's attack and be...