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Access to all available CNS-related nonproliferation material online and in print.
Updated: Apr 17, 2013

Chemical & Biological Weapons (CBW)

All CNS nonproliferation content on chemical & biological weapons.

Year: Present-2006 | 2005-2003 | 2002-


    Cover image

    The Soviet Biological Weapons Program: A History
    A chronicle of the efforts of the USSR to acquire bioweapons in the second half of the twentieth century, is the product of years of study and scholarly research.
    By Milton Leitenberg and Raymond A. Zilinskas, contributing author Jens H. Kuhn
    Created: July 2012

    Cover image

    War of Nerves
    A detailed history for the general reader of the discovery, development, proliferation, and control of nerve agents such as Tabun, Sarin, Soman, and VX, the most lethal class of chemical weapons.
    By Jonathan B. Tucker.
    Created: February 6, 2006


Outside Publications
CTBT Or Bust: Living Up To The Prague Agenda In Obama's Second Term — Analysis
Outside Publications
Thinking beyond chemicals in Syria
Outside Publications
The Soviet Biological Weapons Program—a History
Outside Publications
Preventing the Use of Syrian Chemical Weapons
Outside Publications
Take Russia to 'task' on bioweapons transparency
View article [ Image: BWC Review Conference ]
WMD Junction
Is Biosecurity the Low-Hanging Fruit?
Eliminating biological weapons could be the first step toward the successful creation of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East.
View article [Image: Paul van den IJssel and Hillary Rodham Clinton]
Feature Story
Lucky Number Seven? The 2011 Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference
The BWC Review Conference adopted a forward-looking document containing a number of proposals to strengthen and improve the Convention.
View article [ Image: Contagion movie poster ]
Feature Story
Contagion: A Movie Pandemic Versus the Reality of Public Health
A professional in the real-life fight against emerging infectious diseases evaluates Contagion's dramatic, but not exactly accurate, portrayal of a rapidly unfolding global pandemic.
View article [ Image: Former Libyan CW production facility at Rabta (Src: GeoEye) ]
Feature Story
Can Libya be Locked Down?
In a post-Qaddafi era, who will secure Libya's chemical and biological weapons materials?
Outside Publications
Assad's Chemical Romance
As Syria descends into chaos, its stockpiles of chemical weaponry could turn into a proliferation nightmare.
View article [ Image: Anthrax Letters ]
WMD Junction
New Questions About the FBI's Anthrax Case: Valid Concerns or Red Herring?
Jonathan B. Tucker, for WMD Junction.
View story [ Image: Dr. Seth Carus ]
Biological Warfare in the American Civil War
Dr. Seth Carus, Director, Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.
Outside Publication
Enhancing Compliance With an Evolving Treaty: A Task for an Improved BWC Intersessional Process
Kirk C. Bansak, for Arms Control Today.
View article [ Image: WMD Junction home page ]
New Publication
CNS Launches WMD Junction
WMD Junction aims to provide a respected outlet for a wide range of timely and thoughtful commentary that cannot await the publication cycles of peer-reviewed journals.
Outside Publication
FY-2010 Process Monitoring Technology Final Report
Dawn Verdugo co-authored this report on radiochemical research on safeguards for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Outside Publication
Parts of the Sum: Unpacking the Dynamics of Biological Weapons Proliferation
Kirk Bansak, for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Outside Publication
Medical Isotope Production: The US Must Follow South Africa's Lead
Miles Pomper and William C. Potter for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Pathogens and Arms Control: Can Bioscience Police Itself? [Excerpt]
Amy Smithson, for Survival.
View article [Image: Jonathan B. Tucker] Double-Edged DNA: Preventing the Misuse of Gene Synthesis
Dr. Jonathan B. Tucker, for the Spring 2010 issue of Issues in Science and Technology.
View article [Image: Jonathan B. Tucker] Future of Chemical Weapons
A confluence of military, economic, and technological trends could result in the emergence of new chemical threats from state and sub-state actors.
View article [Image: Jonathan B. Tucker] Addressing the Spectrum of Biological Risks: A Policy Agenda for the United States [PDF]
Jonathan B. Tucker testified on U.S. international biosecurity policies before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, on March 18, 2010.
Feature Story
View story [Image: OPCW inspectors at work. [Src:]] Iraq Faces Major Challenges in Destroying Its Legacy Chemical Weapons
Iraq joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in February 2009 and now faces major challenges destroying the chemical munitions it inherited from the Saddam Hussein regime.
Tracing an Attack: The Problems and Pitfalls of Microbial Forensics [PDF]
Gregory D. Koblentz and Jonathan B. Tucker, an article for Survival: Global Politics and Strategy.
The Rollback of Libya's Chemical Weapons Program
Interactive Map
Explore map and view article Chemical Weapon Munitions Dumped at Sea: An Interactive Map
CNS has created a 3d interactive map using Google Earth locating 127 chemical weapon disposal and human exposure sites. CNS presents this material in hopes of garnering further interest.
Video | Presentation
Watch video of Chemical Weapon Munitions Dumped at Sea Chemical Weapon Munitions Dumped at Sea
CNS has located 127 chemical weapon disposal and human exposure sites. CNS presents this material in hopes of garnering further interest.
Trafficking Networks for Chemical Weapons Precursors: Lessons from the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s [PDF]
New information on the illicit sale of chemical-weapons materials to Iran and Iraq during the 1980s sheds light on how international trafficking networks operate and suggests some practical steps for countering them.
The Body's Own Bioweapons
An article by Jonathan B. Tucker for The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Special Report on Ricin [PDF]
In light of the discovery today (February 29, 2008) of vials of ricin in Las Vegas, Nevada, CNS has compiled a special information page with details about ricin and previous incidents involving the toxin.
The Next Generation of Sensor Technology for the BioWatch Program
An issue brief by Benjamin H. Brodsky for the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
Beijing on Biohazards: Chinese Experts on Bioweapons Nonproliferation Issues
These essays are seeds for a dialogue between Chinese and Western policymakers about the nature of the biological weapons threat and the tools to reduce the threat of proliferation.
Industrial Chemicals as Weapons: Chlorine
An issue brief by Benjamin H. Brodsky for the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
North Korea Special Collection
North Korea Special Collection contains a new section on the nuclear crisis, material on the DPRK's nuclear and missile programs, a chronology of DPRK nuclear developments (1947-1999), articles on the Agreed Framework, and a list of CNS experts on these issues.
Special Report: Manual for Producing Chemical Weapon to Be Used in New York Subway Plot Available on Al-Qaeda Websites Since Late 2005
An article by Sammy Salama for WMD Insights.
Special Report: Manual for Producing Chemical Weapon to Be Used in New York Subway Plot Available on Al-Qaeda Websites Since Late 2005
An article by Sammy Salama for WMD Insights.
The Promise and Perils of Synthetic Biology
An article by Jonathan B. Tucker and Raymond A. Zilinskas for The New Atlantis.
The real chemical threat
An op-ed by Paul F. Walker and Jonathan B. Tucker for the Los Angeles Times.
CBW Breakfast Seminar Series
In December 2005, the CNS launched a new series of seminars devoted to chemical and biological weapons (CBW) issues. The seminars, co-chaired by Michael Moodie and CNS Senior Fellow Jonathan Tucker, are designed for the Washington policy community, including U.S. government officials, congressional staffers, non-governmental analysts, and foreign diplomats.


Year: Present-2006 | 2005-2003 | 2002-

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