Contagion and Conflict: Health as a Global Security Challenge: A Report of the Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute and the CSIS International Security Program   [open pdf - 358KB]

Historically, the concept of national security has focused on the use of military power to protect national borders and interests abroad. Over time, however, the concept of national security evolved to encompass a broader spectrum of concerns that included not only military power and protected borders, but also economic prosperity, access to natural resources and markets, and internal stability. Today, the international community, finding itself faced with challenges not readily amenable to military solutions, is beginning to embrace concepts of security that expand the notion of national security still further. Although some people argue that "security" in the post-Cold War era should continue to focus on challenges involving the use of military force, others contend that post-Cold War security also encompasses new challenges. Indeed, a look at a range of global developments since the end of the Cold War suggests that the intersections between health and security issues are worth examining. That was the purpose of the CBACI/CSIS project whose work is reflected in this report. The goals of the project were to: elucidate critical trends in the global health arena and determine the ways in which they pose major security challenges in the post-Cold War environment; highlight the tough policy choices created by the interaction of health and security issues; sensitize policymakers to the challenges inherent in this under-examined relationship; and consider policy recommendations that could provide the basis for practical steps by each of the critical constituencies. An underlying question in the project was whether a conceptual framework could be developed for tackling health and security issues that have come together in the post- Cold War environment in unique and challenging ways.

© 2000 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
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