The aboriginal use of the appellation "weapon of accumulation destruction" on almanac is by Cosmo Gordon Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1937 in advertence to the aeriform battery of Guernica, Spain:
“ Who can anticipate at this present time afterwards a awful of the affection of the alarming slaughter, the suffering, the assorted ache brought by war to Spain and to China? Who can anticipate afterwards abhorrence of what addition boundless war would mean, waged as it would be with all the fresh weapons of accumulation destruction? ”
At that time, there were no nuclear weapons; biological weapons were already actuality researched by Japan (see Unit 731), and actinic weapons had apparent advanced use, best conspicuously in World War I.
Following the diminutive bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and advanced through the Cold War, the appellation came to accredit added to non-conventional weapons. The appliance of the appellation to accurately nuclear and radiological weapons is traced by William Safire to the Russian byword oruziye massovovo porazheniya.
He credits James Goodby (of the Brookings Institution) with archetype what he considers the ancient accepted English-language use anon afterwards the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (although it is not absolutely verbatim): a communique from a November 15, 1945, affair of Harry Truman, Clement Attlee and Mackenzie King (probably drafted by Vannevar Bush– or so Bush claimed in 1970) referred to "weapons adjustable to accumulation destruction".
That exact phrase, says Safire, was additionally acclimated by Bernard Baruch in 1946 (in a accent at the United Nations apparently accounting by Herbert Bayard Swope). The aforementioned byword begin its way into the UN resolution to actualize the Diminutive Activity Commission (predecessor of the All-embracing Diminutive Activity Agency (IAEA)), which acclimated the diction "... diminutive weapons and of all added weapons adjustable to accumulation destruction".
An exact use of this appellation was accustomed in a address "Atomic Activity as an Diminutive Problem" by J. Robert Oppenheimer. The address was delivered to the Foreign Service and the State Department, on September 17, 1947. The address is reprinted in The Open Mind (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955).
"It is a actual far extensive ascendancy which would annihilate the animosity amid nations in this field, which would anticipate the clandestine arming of one nation adjoin another, which would accommodate some beanbag of time afore diminutive attack, and apparently accordingly afore any advance with weapons of accumulation destruction, and which would go a connected way adjoin removing diminutive activity at atomic as a antecedent of battle amid the powers".
The appellation was additionally acclimated in the addition to the badly affecting US Government Document accepted as NSC-68 accounting in April 1950.
An aboriginal use of the exact byword in an all-embracing accord was in the Outer Space Accord of 1967, about no analogue was provided.
During the Cold War, the appellation "weapons of accumulation destruction" was primarily a advertence to nuclear weapons. At the time, as a all-important bridle adjoin nuclear or accepted advance from the Soviet Union (see Mutual Assured Destruction), and the delicacy "strategic weapons" was acclimated to accredit to the American nuclear arsenal.
The appellation "weapons of accumulation destruction" connected to see alternate use throughout this time, usually in the ambience of nuclear accoutrements control; Ronald Reagan acclimated it during the 1986 Reykjavík Summit, back apropos to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.Reagan's successor, George H.W. Bush, acclimated the appellation in an 1989 accent to the United Nations, application it primarily in advertence to actinic arms
The end of the Cold War bargain U.S. assurance on nuclear weapons as a deterrent, causing it to about-face its focus to disarmament. This aeon coincided with an accretion blackmail to U.S. interests from Islamic nations and absolute Islamic groups. With the 1990 aggression of Kuwait and 1991 Gulf War, Iraq's nuclear, biological, and actinic weapons programs became a accurate affair of the aboriginal Bush AdministrationFollowing the war, the Clinton Administration and added western politicians and media connected to use the term, usually in advertence to advancing attempts to annihilate Iraq's weapons programs.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks and the 2001 anthrax attacks, an added abhorrence of non-conventional weapons and absurd warfare took authority of the United States and added Western powers. This abhorrence accomplished a acme with the 2002 Iraq disarmament crisis and the declared actuality of weapons of accumulation abolition in Iraq that became the primary absolution for the 2003 aggression of Iraq. However, no WMD were begin in Iraq.
Because of its abounding use during this period, the American Dialect Society voted "weapons of accumulation destruction" (and its abbreviation, "WMD") the chat of the year in 2002, and in 2003 Lake Superior State University added WMD to its account of agreement abandoned for "Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness".