Why The Ban On Chemical Weapons?

Discussion in 'Warfare / Military' started by MVictorP, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. MVictorP

    MVictorP Well-Known Member

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    There is a great noise right now about that chemical attack in Syria, which prompt me to post this debate I had with some people:

    Why the ban on chemical weapons?

    I'll immediately situate myself: I think that any attacks on civilians are wrong, and that any attack on the military are, in fact, permitted, since war are in fact regimes fighting other regimes - not populations fighting other populations. I don't see the virtue of a bombing by "conventional" bombs when compared to a chemical one, in either case.

    In fact, the chemical ones may be a lot less harmful: it's easier to protect from a chem attack than a conventional one.

    The more I think about it, the more I believe chems are banned is because the major ammo sellers don't build them. Tell me what you think.
     
  2. ArmySoldier

    ArmySoldier Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Chems can have long term effects on civilians. Chems, depending on the weather, can really do some damage.
     
  3. MVictorP

    MVictorP Well-Known Member

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    I would call having a severed leg a "long term effect" too.
     
  4. ArmySoldier

    ArmySoldier Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Yes, but you can contain the blast. If you release chems, the wind can carry it for miles...
     
  5. MVictorP

    MVictorP Well-Known Member

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    You can contain a conventional blast with feet upon feet of concrete, metal or kevlar. Costly.

    You can contain a chem attack with gas masks and orange suits. Cheap.
     
  6. ArmySoldier

    ArmySoldier Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Wrong. Chem attacks are very hard to contain because the weather can carry it so far, before anyone knows to put anything on. There's a reason experts banned these....
     
  7. MVictorP

    MVictorP Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but conventional bombings not only kill and maim people: the flatten buildings, damage infrastuctures and cost a whole bunch of monies. Maybe the cham attack will bypass your containment gear but the conventional one surely will.

    I am not saying any of these are any good - they're both only "good" for destruction. But in that domain, conventionals are undoubtely even "better".

    IMO, land mines causes a greater threat than chem attacks.
     
  8. ArmySoldier

    ArmySoldier Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Chem attacks can have long lasting affects that not only kill, tear the flesh off your body, leave you with a terminal illness, make you suffer for years, but they can also linger unlike a conventional bomb that's explodes, kills or injures WITHIN the blast radius, and then people can rebuild without the fear of lingering poison
     
  9. MVictorP

    MVictorP Well-Known Member

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    That would be a nuke. Chem attack agents are notoriously short-lived. Look at those used during the latest incident in Syria - sarin and chlorine. Heavier than air. Everything was safe within hours.

    Conventional bombing have side effects too: Crumbling structures, gas line explosions, water line explosions - not great when fighting its after-effects.

    The one thing I've got to give you about Chems; they're insidious. An area can be hit and take a while before noticing it.
     
  10. ArmySoldier

    ArmySoldier Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Say a chem is dropped on X city. Y city, nearby, doesn't even hear the explosion or release. Y city now has thousands of sick and poisoned people.
     
  11. Otern

    Otern Active Member

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    It all stems from WW1, and the lessons learned there.

    Chemical weapons were extremely brutal on humans, but also extremely inefficient as a military weapon. While artillery, while also extremely brutal, were also extremely efficient.

    So, any army can easily adapt to the chemical battlefield, and do so pretty quickly. But to get civilians up to the same level of preparedness for chemical attacks, is impossible. Getting a the number of soldiers necessary to hold a city geared up for chemical warfare is pretty simple. They already have the organization, the logistical network in place, and the ability to train all those soldiers in putting on gas masks and so on. Doing the same thing with the population of the city these soldiers hold, is impossible, especially in a warfare situation.

    Of course, we're not living in WW1 times anymore. By the end of WW2, some really nasty chemical weapons were developed. Then later, some even more effective weapons were developed. And they are vastly more effective than the kind of stuff you can make in your own kitchen they were using in WW1. But the same problem is still there. When the chemical weapons are first used, you'll have very little time, until the other side adapts, and meanwhile, they can also retaliate with chemical weapons. So, after a while, you end up using these weapons against a prepared enemy, so the effect lessens. But since the chemical weapon boundary has been crossed, both sides are now inclined to use them where effective, which is against the civilian population.

    It's actually kind of similar to how strategic bombing were used in WW2. Effective at first against military targets, but the military can adapt quickly to combat its effectiveness. Then the only viable option is to directly target civilians, to indirectly harm the armed forces.
     
    MVictorP and The Mandela Effect like this.
  12. tkolter

    tkolter Well-Known Member

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    Because human civilization openly bans the use of certain weapons biological weapons, chemical weapons and nuclear weapons and largely land mines are being considered as are some other munitions napalm and cluster bombs. Frankly under common international treaty these are good bans normal bombs and firearms are bad enough IMHO why go to these horror weapons which tend to be targeted on civilian populations.
     
  13. Ricky

    Ricky Active Member

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    Chemical weapons are more dangerous to civilians for the same reason exterminators use gas instead of firecrackers. It seeps into buildings and shelters, it has a area of affect that cannot be controlled nearly as well as an explosion, and it's a lot cheaper in quantity. All of this enables strategies of mass depopulation.
     
  14. yiostheoy

    yiostheoy Well-Known Member

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    Well your civilian rump pole has apparently never been in a gas training chamber.

    So you have no idea how miserable gas is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  15. MVictorP

    MVictorP Well-Known Member

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    What, you think you will fare better in a chem attack because you have passed through the gas training chamber at boot camp?

    :applause:
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  16. MVictorP

    MVictorP Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I missed this excellent post:

    And yet in war pictures you often see civilians being equipped with gas masks. They are relatively cheap, don't they? Of course now with the skin-type agents one would also need a chemsuit.

    I think the reasons they're used, is that they're cheap, rather than efficient. They are a poor man's weapon.

    Makes a lot of sense.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  17. MVictorP

    MVictorP Well-Known Member

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    I think the conventional stuff is way more efficient at "depopulation", especially since it is relatively cheap and easy to prepare against chems.

    You've got a point about its hazardous area of effect, but remember that if your own ammo is relatively precise, the risk of a conventional bomb/missile that isn't so surgical are still quite high too.
     
  18. yiostheoy

    yiostheoy Well-Known Member

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    Bio and chem weapons lead to painful protracted deaths and are immoral.

    If you have to die you might as well die fast.

    High explosive does that just fine.

    Nukes do that just fine too but there is a fringe of the blast zone where people will die painfully and slow too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  19. Ricky

    Ricky Active Member

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    Not really, modern chemical weapons go through skin. It's somewhat easy for soldiers to defend against, but not civilians.
    It's hard to miss if you're initiating the conflict since most people don't walk around carrying gas masks.

    Sure, but it's not at the same level, and producing a bunch of chlorine gas is cheaper than making missiles.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  20. MVictorP

    MVictorP Well-Known Member

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    I thought the refugees in WWII's 1940 German west offensive were carrying them in France.

    But anyway, an attack on civilians, be it conventional or chemicals, is pretty sure to do a lot of damage. Civilians are soft targets. You tell me you'd rather have a hundred glass shards in your body or a severed arm than, say, a respiratory disease or chem burns? I guess it is a matter of personal view - I see little difference myself.

    I do agree. There was a time when chems were a novelty weapon manufactured and used by the great powers, but when they realized its ineffectiveness, it became a weapon of the poor.

    So we banned it. =)
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  21. Ricky

    Ricky Active Member

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    Choking or being burned by gas is more likely than getting hit with shrapnel in an attack using the same sized artillery shells housing different payloads.

    We also have more expensive modern chemical weapons that are vastly more effective and dangerous.
    It wasn't ineffective, hence why Britain still used it until the Geneva convention.
    Is there some reason you're resistant to the idea that the international chemical weapons ban is in place for the publicly stated reasons?
     
  22. MVictorP

    MVictorP Well-Known Member

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    There's a lot more than a direct hit: Crumbling structures, ruptured pipes, damaged infrastructures also bring in their own casualties.

    Because they were cheap. Britain was a declining power since the interwar.

    Genuine wonder. I think there's a lot of hypocrisy involved.

    We ban chem attacks - we should ban attacks on civilians instead.
     
  23. Ricky

    Ricky Active Member

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    All of which is still less effective than gas seeping through a ventilation system, or into a crumbled building being simultaneously hit with regular artillery shells.

    ...and because they were effective.
    Being affordable and being strategically goes hand in hand.

    We've effectively stopped carpet bombing because of this.
    Good luck enforcing such a rule on other countries.
     
  24. MVictorP

    MVictorP Well-Known Member

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    Not convinced.

    Surely, you have exemples of deliberate chem attacks being more successful/deadly than conventional ones...

    Now that was improductive. Bombing a civilian population without any kind of strategic objective other than random killings and affecting morale rarely got anyone any fruit.

    Well, I don't expect to be the world's CEO before 2022... So there's still time huh?
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  25. Ricky

    Ricky Active Member

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    The attack in Ghouta, Syria left five observable impact sites from rocket propelled artillery carrying Sarin gas and killed over 281 people.

    Less people means less workers, less soldiers, it makes more wounded to care for, more homeless to shelter, etc
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017

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