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Burma and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Three Unanswered Questions

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Since 2000, bold claims have been made about Burma's ambition to acquire weapons of mass destruction, but few observers have asked two critical questions, the answers to which would illuminate this debate and allow for more nuanced analyses. These are: Why might Burma wish to possess nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles? and, How could it use them? A third question that has escaped serious attention is: If Burma did try to acquire WMD, what would be the net security implications for the country? All three relate to the mindset of Burma's military leadership since the 1988 uprising. Examination of these matters leads to another unknown, which is whether the regime's vision is shared by the country's apparently reformist new government.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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