If the global focus of the new millennium could be characterized by four words, those words would be “weapons of mass destruction.” The millennium was barely a few months old when a cruelly innovative deployment of weapons of mass destruction forever altered our course. Four jet fuel-laden hijacked passenger airliners became bombs that resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001. Within a period of minutes, the U.S. government shifted priorities and made the elimination of the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) its primary focus. From a war that has cost hundreds of billions of dollars and likely claimed thousands of lives in the Middle East to the revamping of seemingly all domestic activities to make them less vulnerable to terrorist attacks, large and small, the U.S. economy is being dramatically impacted by the need to prevent the development and deployment of WMDs.
Weapons of Mass Destruction, a new volume in the Library in a Book series, provides readers with an ideal starting point for understanding and researching this topic. It is essential that people understand as much as possible about WMDs, including what they are, what they can do, how and why they have evolved, and what kinds of efforts have been formulated to halt their proliferation. Aimed at students and general readers alike, this new volume outlines basic information on WMDs and provides additional in-depth references for further research.