Biological Weapon: A Poor Nation's Weapon of Mass Destruction   [open pdf - 52KB]

The purpose of this article is to raise the awareness level about a very real and probable threat that has not been dealt with effectively. The author hopes to bring the issue to the front burner for study and to apply resources to resolving the tough problems. While the paper identifies where precious resources should be focused, it does not profess to have all the answers to the very difficult biological warfare dilemma. First, what is biological warfare in layman's terms? From a military perspective, it is the intentional use of diseases to affect an adversary's military force, population, crops, or livestock. Certainly, a terrorist biological campaign could target those same kinds of objectives, depending on the perceived purpose of the terrorist. There are two basic categories of biological warfare agents. Microorganisms are living organic germs, such as anthrax (bacillus anthrax). Second, toxins are the byproducts of living organisms, or effectively natural poisons, such as botulism (botulinum toxin) which is a byproduct of growing the microorganism clostridium botulinum. These are only two examples of biological warfare agents, although these are especially prevalent and virulent examples. There are many other natural and manmade agents that have been used throughout history.

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Battlefield of the Future: 21st Century Warfare Issues, ch. 8
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