Episode 51: Biological and Chemical Warfare

Closeup of old dirty gas masks

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Ghengis Khan had some pretty brutal war tactics, but did he once use biology as a weapon? How is Ted Kaczyinski tied to chemical warfare experimentation? Has a biological weapon ever been used intentionally? Are either of these even scientifically practical? When was the last time chemical weapons were employed? Is the fear of biological and chemical weapons just a great premise for video games and TV or are these as terrifying as they seem? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss the legitimacy of biological and chemical warfare and why the practice is virtually teeming with conspiracy theories and rumors.


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IHL. Rule 74. The Use of Chemical Weapons is Prohibited. IHL Database. 2: 24 (Section A) Doi: https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule74

IHL. Rule 73. The Use of Biological Weapons is Prohibited. IHL Database. 2: 23 Doi: https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule73

Wheelies, M. Biological Warfare at the 1346 Siege of Caffa. Emerging Infectious Diseases. Sep-2002 8:9 (971-975) Doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.3201%2Feid0809.010536

Kiger, P.; Did Colonists Give Infected Blankets to Native Americans as Biological Warfare?. History.com. 25-Nov-2019. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.history.com/.amp/news/colonists-native-americans-smallpox-blankets

Carlton, J.; Of Microbes and Mock Attacks: Years Ago, the Military Sprayed Germs on US Cities. Wall Street Journal. 22-Oct-2001. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB1003703226697496080

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Technical Secretariat; Report of the Fact-Finding Mission Regarding the Incident of Alleged Use of Toxic Chemicals as a Weapon in Duoma, Syrian Arab Republic on 7 April 2018. 01-Mar-2019. Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. https://www.opcw.org/sites/default/files/documents/2019/03/s-1731-2019%28e%29.pdf

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