New NTI Tutorial Tackles Chemical Weapons

Jessica C. Varnum

Senior Research Associate, The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), in partnership with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), today released a new Chemical Weapons tutorial that provides a comprehensive overview of these now-taboo agents of mass destruction. The tutorial is a go-to resource for students, professionals and the news media seeking to understand why chemical weapons are so horrific and how global efforts are progressing to eliminate them. 

The tutorial explains what chemical weapons are–and what they are not. Infographics, interactive  maps,  and slide shows show how chemical weapons are developed and tested, what countries currently have or once had chemical weapons, and where and when chemical weapons were used by countries and by non-state actors.  The tutorial includes vivid imagery from World War I and II to help people understand the long road to a nearly universal consensus that chemical weapons should be banned from the face of the earth. 

The tutorial also tracks
destruction efforts are proceeding in the United States, Russia and other
countries that have committed to destroying their chemical weapons stockpiles.
The case of chemical weapon use in the Syrian civil war is woven throughout the
tutorial to illustrate key nonproliferation concepts. 

The chemical weapons tutorial adds to NTI’s growing library of online tutorials produced in partnership with CNS,
covering a wide range of nonproliferation topics, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation RegimeNuclear and Radiological Security, WMD Delivery SystemsNuclear 101, and more. Educators can integrate
the tutorials into lesson plans by asking students to present a certificate of
completion after testing their knowledge with the quiz included at the end of
each tutorial.

Upcoming tutorials will cover the nuclear budget, biological
weapons and nuclear testing.

About the Nuclear
Threat Initiative

The Nuclear Threat
Initiative (NTI) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization working to protect
our lives, livelihoods, environment and quality of life now and for future generations
from the growing risk of catastrophic attacks from weapons of mass destruction
and disruption (WMDD)—nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical and cyber.
Founded in 2001 by Sam Nunn and philanthropist Ted Turner, NTI is guided by a
prestigious, international board of directors. Joan Rohlfing serves as


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