ABSTRACT

Looming Biological Warfare Storm: Misconceptions and Probable Scenarios   [open pdf - 149KB]

Many of our national leaders still do not believe that a mass-casualty BW event will happen in the next 10 years--in spite of our experience with the anthrax attacks that followed the 11 September 2001 attacks. This view is based on their belief in one of the several myths discussed in this article. Such myths continue to inhibit the adequate funding of US and allied biodefense. US national security leaders must appreciate the urgency to refocus programs and develop appropriate budgets to support a concerted biodefense effort to counter BW possibilities. The counterterrorism effort is woefully under funded. This program is of extreme importance, and it needs billions of additional dollars to upgrade the protection of our agricultural industry. The 11 September 2001 attacks. This view is based on their belief in one of the several myths discussed in this article. Such myths continue to inhibit the adequate funding of US and allied biodefense. US national security leaders must appreciate the urgency to refocus programs and develop appropriate budgets to support a concerted biodefense effort to counter BW possibilities. The counterterrorism effort is woefully under funded. This program is of extreme importance, and it needs billions of additional dollars to upgrade the protection of our agricultural industry. United States military forces in the Middle East must be well prepared for a BW attack, but all countries in the region have a long way to go before their biodefense equipment and tactics are adequate for the threat. US Central Command and the Office of the Secretary of Defense have an aggressive cooperative defense initiative (CDI) with allies and friends in the region designed to overcome the threat of WMD. Huge steps forward have already been made in preparation for a BW attack, but there is still much work ahead. While detection capabilities in the region have improved, lab results still require several hours, and these are limited to just a few of the possible BW agents. Only US installations have detection capabilities in place, and there are none in the local areas. Although there is a correct emphasis on ballistic missiles within the CDI, the biocruise missiles threat, de-scribed by Kiziah in his Assessment of the Emerging Biocruise Threat, may be an even more likely threat and should be addressed with an equal effort. One of the most horrifying possibilities would be a coordinated and simultaneous BW attack against several major cities in the United States and in allied countries. Those attacks could occur today, and we might not become aware of them for days. A series of major exercises have documented the likely and frightening results; many hundreds of thousands could die, and the US and allied societies could be thrown into chaos and panic.

Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2003
Copyright:
Public Domain
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
Source:
Air & Space Power Journal, v.17 no.1 (Spring 2003), p.57-67
URL:
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