The COVID-19 pandemic has rightfully caused reflection worldwide. Gaps in preventative measures to stop the spread were revealed very early on, and the need for better preparedness was quickly apparent. In 2022, while still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden-Harris administration steered focus toward better preparedness and prevention of future biological threats with the release of the National Biodefense Strategy and Implementation Plan and the National Security Strategy.
In turn, the Department of Defense (DOD) has recently released their 2023 Biodefense Posture Review (BPR). Deputy Secretary of Defense, Kathleen H. Hicks, notes that the review was conducted to “establish our approach to advance this biodefense vision and incorporate lessons learned from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The top priorities of the BPR are noted as follows:
► Fully assess the biothreat landscape through 2035.
► Clarify biodefense missions, priorities, roles, responsibilities, authorities, and the capabilities needed to enable biodefense.
► Position DoD to address future biothreats in alignment with the NDS [National Defense Strategy].
► Examine DoD’s role in the NBS [National Biodefense Strategy] and provide appropriate support to other departments and agencies.
► Align policies; authorities; research, development, and acquisition (RDA) responsibilities; investments; and force structure to meet DoD’s biodefense requirements.
► Ensure biodefense is routinely included in DoD training, exercises, and doctrine.
Read the full report to learn more.