The conflicting nature of the outlined international norms raises questions on the capability of international law in regulating the development, and use of WMD and its efficacy in responding to the growing threat of WMD. As a result, the process of arms control and activities carried out has created divisions among nations, and this division has led to the birth of new challenges in international security and foreign policy. Significant security concerns regarding WMD have also ballooned and become alarming; especially with cantering on North Korea’s nuclear weapons ability and Iran’s possible nuclear weapons program. The recorded developments detailing the threat presented by WMD mirror a trend within the security arena stretching back to the last two decades. The end of the Cold War sparked a series of concerns centering on WMD within the hands of rogue states and terrorists making scholars, policymakers, and pundits to assess the severity of the WMD threat and assemble responses designed to address it (Joyner, 2009).Evidently, international law has a lasting association with the endeavors to manage weapons of mass destruction, which followed the development of prohibitions (treaty) on the employment of poisonous gases in war (Busch & Joyner, 2009). Three bodies of international law can be delineated as regulating WMD, namely: arms control treaties, international law guiding the use of force, and international humanitarian law. Historically, the most outstanding and direct utilization of international law in relation to WMD was via arms control treaties. This denotes international agreements fashioned to ban or limit the development, ownership, and employment of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons by states.The international law on the use of force addresses the threat or the application of force rather than the development of weapons. On the use of WMD, international law on the use of force establishes legal justifications for the alternative to force, rather than rules detailing the weapons states may utilize.
Busch, E. B & Joyner, D. H. (2009). Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Future of International Nonproliferation Policy. Georgia: University of Georgia Press.
Joyner, D. H. (2009). International Law and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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