Good Bugs, Bad Bugs: A Modern Approach for Detecting Offensive Biological Weapons Research   [open pdf - 271KB]

"This report outlines a new framework to monitor countries in terms of their potential to engage in covert biological weapons research. This is an effort to develop an indirect approach to measuring a nation's capability to conduct offensive weapons research in both civilian and government or military settings. This report discusses eight possible indicators of illicit biological weapons activities. Through analyzing these indicators, one can indirectly identify areas of possible illicit BW activity. These indicators include: 1. Known chemical or nuclear programs, 2. Number and level of BSL 3-4 facilities in a country, 3. Sophistication of civilian domestic biotechnology capabilities, 4. Known manufacture of rare or unusual biological compounds, 5. Mismatch between number of trained scientists and positions available, 6. Level of business transparency, 7. Number of publications compared to number of scientists, and 8. Complexity of social networking among scientists (both domestically and with scientists from other countries). While not a panacea for monitoring all types of biological proliferation threats, the framework may serve as a guide for government and industry analysts for the type of information that needs to be collected and assessed to make more informed judgments about the likelihood that a particular state is engaging in illicit biological weapons research."

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