Ungoverned Spaces and Weapons of Mass Destruction in Africa: Exploring the Potential for Terrorist Exploitation
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This paper assesses the potential for Africa’s ungoverned spaces to facilitate the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) within Africa and beyond the continent. To those based outside Africa, the large areas of the region that lie outside the control of formal state institutions provide opportunities for the production of WMD precursors and the storage and transport of WMD-related materials (from precursors to weapons). To those based on the continent, however, the threat of WMD seems negligible. No countries currently pursue weapons programs of a biological, chemical, nuclear or radiological nature, and those that in the past have had state-sponsored WMD programs, South Africa and Libya, have either dismantled or are in the process of dismantling these programs. No states have indicated interested in pursuing WMD programs; few countries have the industrial bases necessary to produce large quantities of chemical or biological weapons (as opposed to precursors); and only one currently has nuclear capabilities (South Africa).
The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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