Skip to main content
Unpublished Paper
White Phosphorus: Smokescreen or Smoke and Mirrors?
ExpressO (2010)
  • Ubaid ul-Haq, Nova Southeastern University
Chemical and biological weapons have for centuries been relegated to a widely disfavored status among most nation States. Since these early times, it has been recognized that the use of these weapons, even during the chaotic realm of warfare, is unnecessary and unnatural. As such, there have evolved in the past 150 years several conventions that have codified this increasingly apparent sentiment of non-use, eventually culminating in the ideal of non-proliferation. Today, however, the changing atmosphere of the battlefield and the foreign tactics employed therein have led to a resurgence of the utility of using such weapons, particularly since certain chemical and biological weapons have otherwise practical military applications. Ultimately though, it is clear that the national security concerns of one State pale against the vision contemplated in these weapons conventions. In our increasingly global society, regional stability has more universal implications, and this, among other reasons, is the reason that weapons like white phosphorus threaten to capsize the precarious balance achieved today as a result of these several conventions. Therefore, it is the duty of those States, such as the United States, who have been known to use white phosphorus, to monitor their compliance not only with the treaties to which they are party, but also to adhere to the tenets accepted as peremptory in the world community.
  • white phosphorus,
  • chemical,
  • biological,
  • weapons,
  • national security
Publication Date
September 8, 2010
Citation Information
Ubaid ul-Haq. "White Phosphorus: Smokescreen or Smoke and Mirrors?" ExpressO (2010)
Available at: