170 votes
Accepted

Why are states purportedly performing assassinations with chemical and radioactive weapons?

The reasons given by @zidadawatimmy's answer aren't wrong, but the points made in the original post are also well taken. As your decision to post this question in this forum illustrates, this is also ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
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162 votes

Why raise so much fuss about the Skripal poisoning?

What's the big deal? The UK government believes that the government of Russia sent military personnel onto its territory to kill UK citizens. There's a word for one country sending its military into ...
Graham's user avatar
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101 votes
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Why raise so much fuss about the Skripal poisoning?

One of the primary functions of government is to protect its residents from capricious actions of foreign governments. In fact, one of the tests for a government to be recognized as sovereign is that ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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82 votes
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Why are chemical weapons such a big deal?

Chemical weapons, like certain other kinds of weapons are banned not because of people killed by them, but because of what they do to the survivors. A summary from NPR: http://www.npr.org/2013/05/01/...
pjc50's user avatar
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58 votes

Why are states purportedly performing assassinations with chemical and radioactive weapons?

Everyone knows what a gun looks like They are relatively easy to detect, and security personnel may be trained to better spot those carrying a gun. Acquiring a gun, especially for foreigners, can be ...
zibadawa timmy's user avatar
56 votes
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Why would Assad use chemical weapons in the civil war as of 2018?

Chemical weapons give a casus belli for the Western governments to increase their presence on the ground That's true that the use of chemical weapons galvanizes the west against Assad, but, I think ...
userLTK's user avatar
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43 votes

Why are chemical weapons such a big deal?

Two main problems with chemical (and biological) weapons is that their effects are usually considered unnecessarily cruel, and controlling their spread is not always possible. When exposed to a ...
IllusiveBrian's user avatar
38 votes

Why raise so much fuss about the Skripal poisoning?

There have been a number of similar murders linked to Russia, which raised little fuss at the time. However these (with the exception of Litvinenko) were not carried out using poison. The big fuss is ...
Paul Johnson's user avatar
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34 votes

Are there any facts according to which the Russian government is responsible for the chemical attack in Great Britain?

By fact I mean some true evidence or some proof, something that can be taken as a proof in some sort of International Court of Justice, like - people who organized this attack, their motivation to ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
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28 votes

Why are chemical weapons such a big deal?

Since no one else has mentioned it, another reason is that chemical weapons are most effective against people who are relatively weak. Civilians over soldiers. The old and the young over those in ...
Brythan's user avatar
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26 votes

Why would Assad use chemical weapons in the civil war as of 2018?

The US has recently accused the Syrian government (yet again) of using chemical weapons in the civil war. This is because Assad's government has used them in the past, as supported by overwhelming ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
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24 votes

Why are states purportedly performing assassinations with chemical and radioactive weapons?

Assassinations like this are specifically done so they stand out. Polonium and nerve agents don't grow on trees, so you immediately have to turn to state sponsorship. The problem is that perpetrators ...
Machavity's user avatar
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20 votes

Are there any facts according to which the Russian government is responsible for the chemical attack in Great Britain?

The circumstantial evidence is strong. It was probably the Russians. There is no definitive evidence in this case, but it is early days yet. We have good evidence that the old Soviet government ...
matt_black's user avatar
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20 votes
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Are thermobaric weapons considered a conventional weapon under international law?

Thermobaric weapons are conventional weapons. They range in size from grenade launchers to large bombs. All weapons except for specifically chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear are ...
Therac's user avatar
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16 votes

Why raise so much fuss about the Skripal poisoning?

Russia is the big deal. An example with little to no "big fuss": Turkey. The turkish intelligence services are regularly implicated (and sometimes convicted) in political executions in Europe (...
janh's user avatar
  • 542
12 votes

What evidence is there that the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical attack in April 2017?

Survivors of the attack claim that bombs delivered the chemicals and the Pentagon released a map tracking the flight of a plane it says dropped those bombs. The flight path shows the plane taking off ...
JonK's user avatar
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11 votes

What incentive could Assad have to use chemical weapons?

Here are four possible reasons why the Syrian government could have used chemical weapons in this scenario. Note that we will likely never know which if any of these is the real reason. In general ...
David says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
11 votes

What could the United Nations do after a chemical attack in Syria?

The general assembly of the United Nations could pass a resolution condemning the attack. In the past, it has passed for example Resolution 47/121 condemning ethnic cleansing of the Bosnian Muslims by ...
William H. Fields's user avatar
10 votes

Why are chemical weapons such a big deal?

Chemical weapons are "such a big deal" mainly for historical reasons, and partly for political reasons. Prohibition of use of poisonous substances has a long history, going back to at least 1675. ...
user13317's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes

Why is the UK against joint inquiry into the poisoning of Sergey Skripal? Is it a deadlock?

For the same reason that you don't keep criminal gangs involved in investigations into their criminal activities. It gives them opportunity to hide their involvement in future incidents more ...
Rick's user avatar
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10 votes

Why would Assad use chemical weapons in the civil war as of 2018?

In addition to other answers, an argument could be made for the Russian interest in the events. The idea that Al Assad would launch such an attack without Russian at least tacit approval seems rather ...
SJuan76's user avatar
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9 votes

Why are states purportedly performing assassinations with chemical and radioactive weapons?

This is further speculation, but history may play a part. Georgi Markov was assassinated in London using ricin in 1978 (the height of the cold war). While the assassin was Bulgarian, the KGB were ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 459
9 votes
Accepted

Has the Pentagon provided evidence for their accusations against Assad's potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack?

The Pentagon only mentioned that they have "identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack" and that the activities detected are "similar to preparations the ...
Panda's user avatar
  • 46.6k
9 votes

Why raise so much fuss about the Skripal poisoning?

Let's start with the "whataboutery" (you can't complain about this because what about something else). Britain has been very vocal about the Crimea situation but it's a foreign issue between two ...
Ric's user avatar
  • 191
8 votes
Accepted

When was the last time the United States used chemical weapons?

The answer to the question hinges on whether you consider "Agent Orange" and other defoliants used in Vietnam to be a chemical weapon. Agent Orange is toxic to humans, however its primary function is ...
James K's user avatar
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8 votes

Why didn't the UK release its results about Novichok when Russia asked for it?

Because the disclosure of intermediate results of the ongoing investigation would also disclose: the methodology of chemical analysis and the recent technology capabilities available to this ...
Be Brave Be Like Ukraine's user avatar
8 votes
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Does Russia's veto at the UN Security Council end any role for the United Nations in investigating the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria?

Does Russia's veto at the UN Security Council end any role for the United Nations in investigating the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria? Yes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar

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