WHITEPAPERS: Army War College , ASM (American Society for Microbiology), CATO Institute, Center for a New American Security, Center for Biosecurity of UPMC, Center for Counterproliferation Research, Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute, CRS (Report for Congress), GAO (General Accounting Office), Institute for National Strategic Studies, Institute for Science and Public Policy, Johns Hopkins University, National Academy Of Engineering, National Defence University, PERI (Public Entity Risk Institute), RIS (Research & Information System), Terrorism Intelligence Centre, The Federalist Society, UNESCO (United Nations), University of Laussane, and the WMD Center.
Date: December 15, 1999
Source: UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (PDF Below)
Abstract: Biological warfare is the intentional use of micro-organisms, and toxins, generally, of microbial, plant or animal origin to produce disease and/or death in humans, livestock and crops. The attraction for bioweapons in war, and for use in terroristic attacks is attributed to their low production costs, The easy access to a wide range of disease-producing biological agents, their non-detection by routine security systems, and their easy transportation from one location to another are other attractive features. Their properties of invisibility and virtual weightlessness render detection and verification procedures ineffectual and make non-proliferation of such weapons impossibility. Consequently, national security decision-makers defence professionals, and security personnel will increasingly be confronted by biological warfare as it unfolds in the battlefields of the future.
Current concerns regarding the use of bioweapons result
from their production for use in the 1991 Gulf War; and from the increasing
number of countries that are engaged in the proliferation of such weapons
i.e. from about four in the mid-1970s to about 17 today. A similar development has been observed
with the proliferation of chemical weapons i.e. from about 4 countries
in the recent past to some 20 countries in the mid-1990s.
Other alarming issues are the contamination of the environment
resulting from dump burial the use
of disease-producing micro-organisms in terroristic attacks on civilian
populations; and non-compliance with the 1972 Biological and Toxins
Weapons Convention. The diverse
roles of micro-organisms interacting with humans as "pathogens and pals"
has been described with Leishmania infections, and with the presence
of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron in the intestines of humans and
mice. Also the development of "battle
strains" of anthrax, bubonic plague, smallpox, Ebola virus, and
of a microbe-based "double agent" has been reported (UNESCO, 1999).