The Use Of Chemical Weapons On The International Community Essay

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Though the use of chemical weapons was ostensibly banned in the international community by the Geneva Protocol in 1925, the research and development of biological and chemical weapons was permissible until the Protocols were amended in 1975. However, a lack of enforceability by any international governing body allowed a nation like South Africa to secretly create its own such program, one that operated unchecked and actively employed its toxins and agents throughout the 1980s. With apartheid as the nation’s backdrop, the ruling power of South Africa faced foes both abroad in neighboring nations in the form of leftist and communist groups in Angola, Namibia, and Rhodesia, and at home in the oppressed black population it struggled to keep relegated as second-class citizens. While South Africa’s chemical and biological weapons program—later to be known as Project Coast--may have begun honestly enough, its goals soon turned nefarious, and under its director, Dr. Wouter Basson, many atrocities and misuses of the technology it developed would occur over the life of the program.
In the latter half of the 1970’s, South Africa found itself increasingly involved in political, economic, and military counteractions against Soviet-backed groups in Angola, following the end of that nation’s war for independence in November of 1975. Supported by Cuba and the Soviet Union, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) had risen to power. Seeking to enable neighboring leftist…

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