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Intelligence and Weapons Proliferation

Advanced weapons have called for advanced requirements for governmental intelligence, both as a matter of defense and as a matter of political necessity, as elected officials seek to reassure the voters that all is well within the nation. The proliferation of weapons has led to intelligence concerns from several different viewpoints; first, there is mounting concern that nations that possess advanced weapons could use those weapons in a strike against another, leading to global chaos.

Also, there is the very real possibility that if weapons are possessed by a given nation that they could be accidentally deployed, which would not be an intentional act of aggression, but threatens life and domestic security nonetheless (Simpson). Therefore, it is vital that information about a given country’s weapon stockpiles be learned by other nations both from a military and a safety standpoint. As an example of poor intelligence leading to a global disaster quite by accident has to do with the late 1980s nuclear plant disaster at Chernobyl in northern Russia, then part of the USSR.

When the disaster occurred, other European nations, not having intelligence information to inform them of the types of materials that could be involved in the accident, were unable to take the proper protective measures once the incidents took place; therefore, and in fact even to this day, millions of people became ill or died from nuclear exposure who did not have to if the proper measures were taken to protect them (Pierre).

In recent years, one nation that is reported to have massive nuclear capabilities is China; as one of the few communist strongholds still existing in the modern world, the Chinese have pursued nuclear capabilities, which have sent the intelligence community into an intense effort to gather information to either confirm or deny this information (Malik). Either way the intelligence leans, the implications are intense.

For example, if it is found that China does not have nuclear capabilities, constant intelligence will have to be relied upon to make sure that China will not engage in a nuclear free-for-all; conversely, if there is evidence of nuclear weapons and technology in China, intelligence will have to constantly track the activity of these weapons. Therefore, the reliance on intelligence by governments, whether a threat actually exists or is merely a potential threat is clear.

Intelligence is useful for governments both in the case of a need for defense, or in the case of reassurance that a large-scale defense is not needed. Reliance on intelligence seems to exist regardless of the circumstances, given the possibility of aggression in the world today. It is also a safe assumption that most, if not all of the nations of the world in the present day have a chronic need for intelligence regarding activity in the Middle East.

Given the fact that war is common in that part of the world today, most of the world’s terrorism stems from the Middle East, and that the region has a control over most of the oil that the rest of the world needs for business, industry, and defense, there is a vested interest for virtually all of the world to have access to comprehensive intelligence that will allow for the proper strategic planning to take place, as well as trade policies, defensive practices, and more (Snider, et al). Without this type of intelligence, there is no telling what could happen to the futures of so many nations worldwide.

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