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Barriers To Bioweapons

Author: Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801471923
Size: 48.53 MB
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In both the popular imagination and among lawmakers and national security experts, there exists the belief that with sufficient motivation and material resources, states or terrorist groups can produce bioweapons easily, cheaply, and successfully. In Barriers to Bioweapons, Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley challenges this perception by showing that bioweapons development is a difficult, protracted, and expensive endeavor, rarely achieving the expected results whatever the magnitude of investment. Her findings are based on extensive interviews she conducted with former U.S. and Soviet-era bioweapons scientists and on careful analysis of archival data and other historical documents related to various state and terrorist bioweapons programs. Bioweapons development relies on living organisms that are sensitive to their environment and handling conditions, and therefore behave unpredictably. These features place a greater premium on specialized knowledge. Ben Ouagrham-Gormley posits that lack of access to such intellectual capital constitutes the greatest barrier to the making of bioweapons. She integrates theories drawn from economics, the sociology of science, organization, and management with her empirical research. The resulting theoretical framework rests on the idea that the pace and success of a bioweapons development program can be measured by its ability to ensure the creation and transfer of scientific and technical knowledge. The specific organizational, managerial, social, political, and economic conditions necessary for success are difficult to achieve, particularly in covert programs where the need to prevent detection imposes managerial and organizational conditions that conflict with knowledge production.

Living Weapons

Author: Gregory D. Koblentz
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801457661
Size: 50.76 MB
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"Biological weapons are widely feared, yet rarely used. Biological weapons were the first weapon prohibited by an international treaty, yet the proliferation of these weapons increased after they were banned in 1972. Biological weapons are frequently called ‛the poor man’s atomic bomb,’ yet they cannot provide the same deterrent capability as nuclear weapons. One of my goals in this book is to explain the underlying principles of these apparent paradoxes."-from Living Weapons Biological weapons are the least well understood of the so-called weapons of mass destruction. Unlike nuclear and chemical weapons, biological weapons are composed of, or derived from, living organisms. In Living Weapons, Gregory D. Koblentz provides a comprehensive analysis of the unique challenges that biological weapons pose for international security. At a time when the United States enjoys overwhelming conventional military superiority, biological weapons have emerged as an attractive means for less powerful states and terrorist groups to wage asymmetric warfare. Koblentz also warns that advances in the life sciences have the potential to heighten the lethality and variety of biological weapons. The considerable overlap between the equipment, materials and knowledge required to develop biological weapons, conduct civilian biomedical research, and develop biological defenses creates a multiuse dilemma that limits the effectiveness of verification, hinders civilian oversight, and complicates threat assessments. Living Weapons draws on the American, Soviet, Russian, South African, and Iraqi biological weapons programs to enhance our understanding of the special challenges posed by these weapons for arms control, deterrence, civilian-military relations, and intelligence. Koblentz also examines the aspirations of terrorist groups to develop these weapons and the obstacles they have faced. Biological weapons, Koblentz argues, will continue to threaten international security until defenses against such weapons are improved, governments can reliably detect biological weapon activities, the proliferation of materials and expertise is limited, and international norms against the possession and use of biological weapons are strengthened.

Phantom Menace Or Looming Danger

Author: Kathleen M. Vogel
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421407892
Size: 79.96 MB
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The horrifying terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the anthrax strikes that soon followed gave the United States new reason to fear unconventional enemies and atypical weapons. These fears have prompted extensive research, study, and planning within the U.S. military, intelligence, and policy communities regarding potential attacks involving biological weapons. In Phantom Menace or Looming Danger?, Kathleen M. Vogel argues for a major shift in how analysts assess bioweapons threats. She calls for an increased focus on the social and political context in which technological threats are developed. Vogel uses case studies to illustrate her theory: Soviet anthrax weapons development, the Iraqi mobile bioweapons labs, and two synthetic genomic experiments. She concludes with recommendations for analysts and policymakers to integrate sociopolitical analysis with data analysis, thereby making U.S. bioweapon assessments more accurate. Students of security policy will find her innovative framework appealing, her writing style accessible, and the many illustrations helpful. These features also make Phantom Menace or Looming Danger? a must-read for government policymakers and intelligence experts. -- Lynn Eden, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

Unclear Physics

Author: Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501705903
Size: 52.20 MB
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Many authoritarian leaders want nuclear weapons, but few manage to acquire them. Autocrats seeking nuclear weapons fail in different ways and to varying degrees—Iraq almost managed it; Libya did not come close. In Unclear Physics, Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer compares the two failed nuclear weapons programs, showing that state capacity played a crucial role in the trajectory and outcomes of both projects. Braut-Hegghammer draws on a rich set of new primary sources, collected during years of research in archives, fieldwork across the Middle East, and interviews with scientists and decision makers from both states. She gained access to documents and individuals that no other researcher has been able to consult. Her book tells the story of the Iraqi and Libyan programs from their origins in the late 1950s and 1960s until their dismantling. This book reveals contemporary perspectives from scientists and regime officials on the opportunities and challenges facing each project. Many of the findings challenge the conventional wisdom about clandestine weapons programs in closed authoritarian states and their prospects of success or failure. Braut-Hegghammer suggests that scholars and analysts ought to pay closer attention to how state capacity affects nuclear weapons programs in other authoritarian regimes, both in terms of questioning the actual control these leaders have over their nuclear weapons programs and the capability of their scientists to solve complex technical challenges.

Countering Weapons Of Mass Destruction

Author: Albert J. Mauroni
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1442273313
Size: 17.71 MB
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The Cold War phrase “weapons of mass destruction” continues to be used despite significant changes in international political cultures, military concepts of operation, and technology advances. Today, the term “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) is used to address many things, from grams of ricin and barrels of industrial chemicals to megaton nuclear weapons. As a direct result of the decision to refer to all nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons as well as biological, chemical and radiological (CBR) hazards as “WMD,” we have lost the ability to accurately develop, assess, and discuss policy concerns relating to the contemporary use of unconventional weapons on the battlefield and within the homeland. This book uses a public policy framework to examine how the U.S. government, and in particular the U.S. military, should address the potential use of unconventional weapons in the 21st century. It defines the problem, identifies the policy actors and reviews policy options. It discusses past policy efforts before offering a critical review of current strategies and how WMD issues are integrated into the current military Joint Operating Concepts (deterrence, cooperative security, major combat operations, irregular warfare, stability, and homeland security), and proposes new national framework for countering WMD. The aim is to answer such questions as what does counterproliferation mean and whether the U.S. government is adequately prepared to protect U.S. citizens and its armed forces from adversaries developing unconventional weapons.

Innovation Dual Use And Security

Author: Jonathan B. Tucker
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262300893
Size: 34.67 MB
Format: PDF
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Recent advances in disciplines such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, and neuropharmacology entail a "dual-use dilemma" because they promise benefits for human health and welfare yet pose the risk of misuse for hostile purposes. The emerging field of synthetic genomics, for example, can produce custom DNA molecules for life-saving drugs but also makes possible the creation of deadly viral agents for biological warfare or terrorism. The challenge for policymakers is to prevent the misuse of these new technologies without forgoing their benefits. Innovation, Dual Use, and Security offers a systematic approach for managing the dual-use dilemma. The book presents a "decision framework" for assessing the security risks of emerging technologies and fashioning governance strategies to manage those risks. This framework is applied to fourteen contemporary case studies, including synthetic genomics, DNA shuffling and directed evolution, combinatorial chemistry, protein engineering, immunological modulation, and aerosol vaccines. The book also draws useful lessons from two historical cases: the development of the V-series nerve agents in Britain and the use and misuse of LSD by the U.S. Army and the CIA. Innovation, Dual Use, and Security offers a comprehensive, multifaceted introduction to the challenges of governing dual-use technologies in an era of rapid innovation. The book will be of interest to government officials and other practitioners as well as to students and scholars in security studies, science and technology studies, biology, and chemistry.

Achieving Nuclear Ambitions

Author: Jacques E. C. Hymans
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521767008
Size: 51.30 MB
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From Iraq to Iran and from Libya to North Korea, recent attempts to join the club of nuclear powers have tended to lose their momentum or even to fail outright. This book shows how developing country rulers unintentionally thwart their own nuclear ambitions by undermining their scientific and technical workers.

Long Shot

Author: Kendall Hoyt
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674063155
Size: 63.65 MB
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Despite large-scale government demand for new vaccines in the past decade, few have materialized. Vaccine innovation has been falling since World War II. Hoyt’s timely investigation asks why, and teaches lessons for our efforts to rebuild biodefense capabilities when the financial payback for a vaccine is low but the social returns are high.

Disease Diplomacy

Author: Sara E. Davies
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421416484
Size: 60.73 MB
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In the age of air travel and globalized trade, pathogens that once took months or even years to spread beyond their regions of origin can now circumnavigate the globe in a matter of hours. Amid growing concerns about such epidemics as Ebola, SARS, MERS, and H1N1, disease diplomacy has emerged as a key foreign and security policy concern as countries work to collectively strengthen the global systems of disease surveillance and control. The revision of the International Health Regulations (IHR), eventually adopted by the World Health Organization’s member states in 2005, was the foremost manifestation of this novel diplomacy. The new regulations heralded a profound shift in international norms surrounding global health security, significantly expanding what is expected of states in the face of public health emergencies and requiring them to improve their capacity to detect and contain outbreaks. Drawing on Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink’s "norm life cycle" framework and based on extensive documentary analysis and key informant interviews, Disease Diplomacy traces the emergence of these new norms of global health security, the extent to which they have been internalized by states, and the political and technical constraints governments confront in attempting to comply with their new international obligations. The authors also examine in detail the background, drafting, adoption, and implementation of the IHR while arguing that the very existence of these regulations reveals an important new understanding: that infectious disease outbreaks and their management are critical to national and international security. The book will be of great interest to academic researchers, postgraduate students, and advanced undergraduates in the fields of global public health, international relations, and public policy, as well as health professionals, diplomats, and practitioners with a professional interest in global health security.

Biotechnology Research In An Age Of Terrorism

Author: Committee on Research Standards and Practices to Prevent the Destructive Application of Biotechnology
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309089778
Size: 32.99 MB
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In recent years much has happened to justify an examination of biological research in light of national security concerns. The destructive application of biotechnology research includes activities such as spreading common pathogens or transforming them into even more lethal forms. Policymakers and the scientific community at large must put forth a vigorous and immediate response to this challenge. This new book by the National Research Council recommends that the government expand existing regulations and rely on self-governance by scientists rather than adopt intrusive new policies. One key recommendation of the report is that the government should not attempt to regulate scientific publishing but should trust scientists and journals to screen their papers for security risks, a task some journals have already taken up. With biological information and tools widely distributed, regulating only U.S. researchers would have little effect. A new International Forum on Biosecurity should encourage the adoption of similar measures around the world. Seven types of risky studies would require approval by the Institutional Biosafety Committees that already oversee recombinant DNA research at some 400 U.S. institutions. These "experiments of concern" include making an infectious agent more lethal and rendering vaccines powerless.