Chemical weapons are weapons using the toxic properties of chemical substances other than their explosive properties resulting in a physical effect on the targeted enemy, while biological weapons circulate microorganism or organism to bring about diseases mostly on animals, plants, and humans (Harris & Paxman, 2002). This paper explores deeper into historical occurrences that took place years ago when the chemical weapons technology was developing.. Chemical or biological attacks by terror groups or mercenaries cause immeasurable damage owing to their quick spreads. Most of these attacks are aimed at public utilities with the malicious purpose of meeting the highest casualties (Dana, 2011). Control measures should be put in place to evade quick spread. The Black Death of Europe is a good example that occurred in the 14th century.
In general, chemical weapons existed over years and are relatively cheaper to produce (Levine, 2000). Their hostile forces are psychologically devastating but do not damage the infrastructures in many occurrences. Environmental, as well as defense measures, can be taken to safeguard and neutralize the effect of chemical weapons. The use of protective gears in battle fields are said to reduce greatly their effect while disseminating and dispersing the agent being the safest way to reduce the effect of chemical weapons (Harris & Paxman, 2002).
Environmental effects, such as winds and temperatures, are found to highly responsive, while chemical weapons are conserved. Biological weapons, however, are said to be relatively new development as their weapon-ionization, as well as their production of biological, is quite complicated and sophisticated (Harris & Paxman, 2002). It is through the technological advances in late 20th century that have made it possible to develop them.
Therefore, biological weapons are likely to have the least feasible approach on massive terrorist attacks, given their complexities in making, managing, and dispersing their biological agents effectively. However, on small-scale terrorist attacks, biological weapons turn to a more attractive option though considerable technical prowess entails that not normally needed for conventional explosives.
Historical Use of Biological Weapons, the Black Death
The Black Death is a catastrophe that happened in Europe and spread to the Near East, as well as parts of North Africa in the mid-14th century (Levine, 2000). The Black Death was presumed to the greatest public health calamity recorded in history and the highest dramatic instances of to be seen reemerging or emerging disease (Levine, 2000). It is through this catastrophe that the Europe lost massive population and the highest motility rate reported in Near East and North Africa (Harris & Paxman, 2002).
The principal origin of the Black Death was a memoir by the Italian Gabriele de' Mussi (Tucker, 2006). The memoir entails that the Mongol army hurled plague-infected corpses into the besieged Crimean city of Caffa resulting in transmission of diseases to the inhabitants. This led to spreading plague to Mediterranean Basin from Caffa by the fleeing survivors (Tucker, 2006). It is, therefore, assumed that Caffa should be recognized as the location, which has experienced the most spectacular instances of biological warfare ever for its disastrous outcomes.
In conclusion, the claim shows that the biological attacks were witnessed, and, as a result, many inhabitants were infected although the event was not important in the plague pandemic spreading in Caffa (Tucker, 2006). To reduce the level of infection, quarantines would work best where movement is controlled. Apart from the causing factors or the initial infection sources, the infection dispersal factors should have been weighed to ensure minimal or no infection spread. Biological and chemical attacks stand to be the most dangerous forms of terrorism today (Tucker, 2006).