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Strategic Weapons Bring the Next War to Your Front Door: Abstract
Strategic weapons are those instruments of war which are applied to transportation, sources of industrial strength, communications, or centers of government, to affect indirectly the outcome of a conflict. As such they are distinguished from weapons which are intended for use on the fighting armies directly.
Of all strategic targets, the industrial cities of the homeland of a combatant country are among the most conspicuous. These can expect attack, deadly, certain, and effective, with modern strategic weapons.
Very great "improvements" in weapons have occurred and more are in progress. The effectiveness of killing by atomic bombs is reasonably well known. The sinister nature of chemical developments is much less realized. Some nerve gases, such as the nitrogen mustards, and others disable the human body in a very ingenious way, and over longer intervals than other poisons, and need much less material to do so. They truly fall in the class of long range strategic weapons.
Bacterial toxins are another facet of the chemical warfare scheme. Such poisons are in some cases about as efficiently toxic on a weight basis, as is radium, a substance too precious to use. Also, some bacterial toxins have the qualification of a delayed action of five or more hours.
Enzymes and hormones may be used, and probably will be, in the next war. Chemical modifications of these can be employed to produce abnormal effects, possibly disturbing mental functions, and affecting the judgement of persons in authority. This would be a very subtle but quite effective form of war. In this way it is possible that there could be a serious form of war going on without the nation which is the subject of the aggression even knowing it.
Perhaps the ultimate refinement in ingenious military inventions is the combining of radioactivity in hormone, enzyme, or toxin materials, thus using atomic energy in the manner of efficient and selective destruction of vital parts of target organisms.
If the picture thus presented is rather gloomy, it highlights the need for better political achievements toward peace. An important compensating factor to be remembered is that, as weapons of offense become more deadly, so do weapons of defense become more effective. One may, perhaps, entertain the hope that by laboring for peace and working diligently on our defenses, we can still maintain a measure of safety from the terrible weapons of the next war. But don't forget where the frontier really is. Right here, at Fourth and Main, in Tulsa.
Acknowledgments and Associated Footnotes
1 Consultant, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Copyright © 2006 by the Tulsa Geological Society