Vozrozhdeniye Island, Soviet and Russian Biochemical Facility

Vozrozhdeniye Island is a Russian island located in the Aral Sea approximately 1,300 miles to the east of Moscow that was used as a bioweapons test facility for the former Soviet Union. Since being decommissioned in the early 1990s the island has been left virtually unpatrolled.

Vulnerability Assessments

As its name suggests, a vulnerability assessment is a test of a system to locate, diagnose, and correct areas of weakness that might make it susceptible in times of crisis, attack, or destabilization. Any system that is created, operated, and shaped by humans may qualify for, and may in fact require, a vulnerability assessment.

VX Agent

VX nerve agent (O-ethyl S-[2-diisoproylaminoethyl] methylphsophonothioate) is one of the most toxic substances ever developed. Like other nerve agents, it is an organophosphate.

Walker Family Spy Ring

John Anthony Walker, a United States citizen, successfully spied on behalf of the Soviet KGB from 1967 to 1985. Walker employed friends and members of his family in the business of espionage, stealing secrets from U.S.

War of 1812

The War of 1812, spawned by the European Napoleonic Wars, was the last war in which the fledgling United States fought its former colonial power, Great Britain. After three years of fighting on land and at sea, the United States military successfully drove the British forces from United States soil, but not before British troops burned Washington, D.C.

Water Supply: Counter-Terrorism

The water supply in many communities in the developed world comes from a surface water source such as a lake. Water can also be pumped from aquifer located underground.


Five men, known as the "White House plumbers," broke into the Watergate apartment and office complex on June 17, 1972. The well-trained burglars' mission was to raid Democratic Party offices in the complex and obtain secret documents pertaining to the presidential election.

Weapon-Grade Plutonium and Uranium, Tracking

Weapon-grade (or "bomb-grade") uranium or plutonium is any alloy or oxide compound that contains enough of certain isotopes of these elements to serve as the active ingredient in a nuclear weapon. Some civilian weapon-grade materials are tracked by international organizations, especially the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM), to prevent their diversion to bombs.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

The concept of Weapons of Mass Destruction appeared during War World II after the use of atomic bombs. In the mass consciousness, weapons of mass destruction are usually associated first with atomic weapons, although the concept includes certain chemical and biological weapons.

Weapons of Mass Destruction, Detection

Weapons of mass destruction are weapons that cause a high loss of life within a short time span. Nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons fit this definition.


Windtalkers was the code name given to the Navajo Indian code talkers employed by United States military intelligence during World War II.

World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the principal international organization managing public health-related issues on a global scale. Headquartered in Geneva, the WHO is comprised of 191 member states (e.g., countries) from around the globe.

World Trade Center, 1993 Terrorist Attack

The World Trade Center (WTC) bombing of 1993 has long since been overshadowed by the attack that brought the twin towers down on September 11, 2001. Yet, at the time it occurred, the attack loomed as large on the American landscape as the towers themselves once did on the Manhattan skyline.

World Trade Center, 2001 Terrorist Attack

At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11, hijacked from Boston's Logan Airport with 92 people on board, crashed into the upper floors of the World Trade Center north tower in lower Manhattan, New York.

World War I

World War I, which spanned a four-year period between 1914 and 1918, erupted as a result of the complicated European alliance system. The assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophie, by Serbian nationalists sparked pan-European conflict when Russia, backed by France, declared their intent to defend Serbia, should Austria declare war.

World War I: Loss of the German Codebook

At the outset of World War I, the science of cryptography assumed a distinctly modern character. New developments, such as the international telegraph system and the telephone left cryptologists grappling with new ways to adapt encryption methods to the new technology.

World War II

The Second World War was history's largest and most significant armed conflict. It served as the breeding ground for the modern structure of security and intelligence, and for the postwar balance of power that formed the framework for the Cold War.

World War II: Allied Invasion of Sicily and "The Man Who Never Was"

As the World War II Allied campaign in North Africa drew to a close, Allied command turned its attention to its next major objective, an invasion of Europe. From their position in North Africa, with the aid of their fleet in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, the next logical targets for the Allies were German defenses on the Italian island of Sicily.

World War II, The Surrender of the Italian Army

The Allied victory in Italy, beginning with the surrender of the Italian government in 1943 and continuing through the conclusion of the war in Europe two years later, was as much a triumph of intelligence, psychological warfare, and special operations as it was a victory of military might. Among the players in this undertaking were the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS), various units engaged in psychological warfare, and the Italian partisans who fought to regain control of their country.

World War II, United States Breaking of Japanese Naval Codes

On December 7, 1941, Japanese military forces attacked the United States naval fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The surprise attack was devastating to the U.S.


Zoonoses are diseases of microbiological origin that can be transmitted from animals to people. The causes of the diseases can be bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi.

Espionage - Chronology