Emerging Technologies and High-End Threats (ET/HT) Project 

_In the aftermath of the Second World War, it was apparent that a small set of high-end capabilities posed such a grave threat to humanity that they had to be treated separate from all other capabilities. After careful deliberation, the United Nations identified nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological weapons as Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and called for their disarmament.

As we approach the 65th anniversary of the UN’s definition of Weapons of Mass Destruction, many questions must be asked as to why the world has been unable to achieve general and complete disarmament across these four weapons' classes. However, it is equally important to ask whether any new classes of weapons have emerged that push the boundaries of conventional weaponry into the unconventional sphere and pose an equivalent threat to humanity.

The purpose of the Emerging Technologies and High-End Threats (ET/HT) Project is therefore to explore whether advancements in science and technology have produced new weapon and weapon delivery classes that should be treated as Weapons of Mass Destruction. The project also seeks to identify the means to strengthen existing disarmament and counter-proliferation mechanisms to address emerging high-end threats without diluting the effectiveness of current regimes. Finally, the project aims to increase civil society's awareness of the serious threat posed by specific high-end threats.

The ET/HT Project considers a wide range of emerging high-end capabilities, including those in nanotechnology, robotics, electromagnetic radiation, lasers, genetics, meteorology, and cyber. The project is directed by Eddie Walsh.

Click here to make a contribution to the project's research and analysis on new threats emerging on the frontier of scientific and technological innovation.

Nanotube image credit ogwen