"This paper explores the issue of defining weapons of mass destruction. To give historical context for the rest of the paper, the first several sections summarize how the term has been used in disarmament negotiations, U.S. national security policy, Soviet and Russian military doctrine, and American political discourse. Next, the paper identifies alternative definitions for WMD, addresses some of the key policy issues associated with different definitions, and proposes a definition appropriate for the Department of Defense. The following sections expand upon the use of the term throughout recent history, from its first appearance in 1937 through developments after World War II and subsequent international negotiations. Finally, the conclusion provides some suggestions for future use of the term within the U.S. Government."
National Defense University, Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction: http://www.ndu.edu/WMDCenter/
Occasional Papers (January 2006), no.