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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Nuclear Weapons and Warfare

Stefan Kadelbach

Subject(s):
Arms control — Armed conflict — Weapons, nuclear — Weapons, biological — Conduct of hostilities

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 Nuclear weapons, along with biological ( Biological Weapons and Warfare ) and chemical weapons ( Chemical Weapons and Warfare ), are one of the three categories of weapons of mass destruction , as opposed to conventional weapons. Due to their devastating effects on the one hand and their strategic importance on the other (see paras 2 – 13 below ), treaties with a view to their reduction are both desirable and difficult to achieve (see paras 14 – 28 below ). Given that specific rules as to their actual use do not exist, the application of the law on the use of...
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