Erin Mahan Discusses Weapons of Mass Destruction

The next Washington History Seminar features Erin Mahan, Chief Historian of the U.S. Department of Defense, who will discuss “Weapons of Mass Destruction” on Monday, November 1st, at 4:00 pm at the Wilson Center.

After the anthrax letter attacks of 2001 and in the months leading to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the term “Weapons of Mass Destruction” became a national preoccupation. Policymakers and the public alike showed heightened awareness of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.  This talk will focus on a “lesser” WMD in the late 1960s and the largely forgotten episode of President Richard Nixon’s renouncement of the U.S. biological weapons program.

Before her recent appointment as Chief Historian of the Department of Defense, Erin Mahan was an Associate Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University.  She was also a historian at the Department of State, where she edited several Foreign Relations of the United States volumes.  Her publications include Kennedy, de Gaulle, and Western Europe (2002) and several articles on NATO, the Berlin Crisis, and U.S. and French foreign economic policies during the 1960s.  She is currently working on a case study of the origins of the Nonproliferation Treaty and is putting together a WMD reader.  She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

Reservations are requested because of limited seating.  To reserve a seat at the seminar, contact Miriam Cunningham at 202-544-2422 ext 103 or by email.  The seminar takes place at the Wilson Center, located in the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center (an initiative of the American Historical Association) and the Wilson Center. Wm. Roger Louis and Christian Ostermann are the co-directors. The seminar meets weekly during the academic year, January to May and September to December. Click here for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as videos and podcasts. The seminar is grateful for the support given by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

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