A new threat is stalking nations, as terrorist organizations and rogue states alike appear intent on acquiring and using the poor man's nuclear weapon: biological agents such as anthrax, smallpox, and plague. Attacks against Americans during the past dozen years may be an indication of more worrisome events to come. U.S. military forces in Japan were attacked in April of 1990 with botulinum toxin by the Aum Shinrikyo cult. Hundreds in Oregon were sickened with Salmonella after an attack in 1984. And small amounts of anthrax resulted in widespread panic and frequent evacuations across the United States in the fall of 2001. Ten experts discuss in detail the threats posed by bio-weapons and assess the current state of U.S. biological defenses.
Chapters highlight the future prospects for biological warfare, bio-weapons in the Middle East, potential agroterrorism, the emerging bio-cruise missile threat, prevalent myths and likely scenarios, as well as the public health response. The promise of future world peace after World War II was quickly shattered by the Cold War. Indeed, the nuclear age was born at a time when the world seemed to be emerging from a dark past into a hopeful future. Are we to repeat history? With the end of the Cold War, does the future hold even greater threats? Or is an old threat merely resurfacing with a new level of lethality? This book should be required reading for anyone interested in national security, as well as concerned citizens who wish to know what form this new enemy may take and what can be done to stop it.
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About the Author
JIM A. DAVIS, who holds a doctorate in Public Health and a degree in veterinary medicine, is Deputy Director at the USAF Counterproliferation Center.
BARRY R. SCHNEIDER is Director of the USAF Counterproliferation Center at Maxwell Air Force Base and a Professor of International Relations at the Air War College.