A Graphic History of Germ Warfare

ebola virusThe Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense is using a graphic novel to depict the history of global germ warfare, the potential for future incidents, and the need for vigilant security against this threat.

Germ Warfare: A Very Graphic Novel presents several incidents in history in which harmful microbes were used to spread disease to the enemy. Even before humans fully understood the concept of germs and bacteria, we knew they were agents of disease and could be used maliciously in warfare. Bacteria was first weaponized by the Germans during World War I. As a result, international legislation was adopted to prohibit the use of germ warfare. Still biological weapons were studied and tested, and continue to be used by extremist and terrorist organizations.

This graphic novel explains how biological warfare may possibly be a greater threat than nuclear weapons because of the availability, ease of obtainment, and transportability of microbes versus nuclear materials. The novel presents techniques for prevention that have been adopted, and should be pursued, in an effort to prevent future germ warfare.

 

More resources can be found at the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL).

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