Managing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: An information management perspective

Kevin C. Desouza, Kristen A. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The threat towards international security that terrorists, failed or failing states, and rogue regimes pose when in possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is a very significant one. Having accurate and timely intelligence is a must in today's security environment, especially when estimating WMD capabilities. Breakdowns in information management relating to WMD intelligence can be responsible for failures in deterring a WMD attack or may create a false alarm regarding a nation's capabilities, with equally serious consequences. This paper seeks to propose a framework for understanding the informational failures associated with estimating a state's WMD capabilities using an information management model. Estimating a state's nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons capabilities is complicated due to several factors. At every point of the intelligence process that will later transcend to policy and action, there are challenges that affect how information is managed. This article will cover these different challenges by organizing them into four information management categories: Sources Management, Analytics Management, Interpretation Management, and Actions Management. An appreciation of the informational challenges associated with WMD detection may lead to improved practices of information management thereby resulting in accurate assessments regarding WMD capabilities and policy agendas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1457-1512
Number of pages56
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2008


  • Biological weapons
  • Chemical weapons
  • Information management
  • Information policy
  • Information systems
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Terrorism
  • Weapons of mass destruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Public Administration


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