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Bioweapons Political Dimensions * * * * * * * * * * * * 2. Counterproliferation: Compellence as a strategy Rejects deterrence alone must have ability to coerce ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Bioweapons

  • Political Dimensions

I. Supplements to Guillemins History World War
  • The case of Stalingrad
  • Suspicious outbreak of tularemia at Stalingrad
  • Kenneth Alibek (Soviet weapons scientist) alleges
    USSR used bioweapons
  • Other scientists believe outbreak was natural

B. Japans Unit 731
  • 1. Guillemin lowballs the figures for Chinese
    deaths. But Langford (Introduction to Weapons of
    Mass Destruction, 2004, p.142) says 250,000
    Chinese killed by Japanese BW, mainly plague.
  • 2. A few thousand 250,000 is a big range. Can
    we narrow down the effectiveness of the Japanese

a. Testimony of Hayashi Shigemi (October 7, 1954)
  • "In 1943(we) spread cholera once in Shantung
    Province... The germ was first dumped into the
    Wei River, then the dike was destroyed to let the
    water flow into a larger area to rapidly spread
    the germ. I personally participated in this
    mission. I handed the germ to Kakizoe Shinobu, an
    Army medical doctor. He then in turn sent someone
    else to spread the germ. According to my
    knowledge, in our local area there were twenty
    five thousand two hundred ninety one Chinese
    people who died from this. How many died
    altogether I do not know, because it was
    top-secret information. Our mission was to murder
    Chinese people in mass, to test the effectiveness
    of the cholera germ, and to be ready to use it in
    fighting the Russians.
  • Problem Unable to locate source of testimony
    (reprinted on highly nationalist web sites but
    no trials in 1954)

b. Sources of evidence
  • Estimate of 3000 testimony of one official who
    witnessed about 600 deaths/year for 5 years at
    Ping Fan
  • Now considered gross underestimate because
    excludes other camps
  • Prisoners not issued unique IDs 101-1500 used as
    ID numbers, then recycled with next batch of
    prisoners. X-Rays destroyed by end of war.
  • NONE of these estimates include the actual plague
    outbreaks in China. But can those be blamed on
    Japanese BW, or were they natural?
  • Ishii had incentives to exaggerate effects of BW

c. Possible BW-caused epidemics, 1939-1942
  • 1939-1940 Typhoid (near Harbin) from well
  • 1940 Cholera (near Changchun)
  • 1942 Paratyphoid A and Anthrax (near Nanking)
  • 1939-1942 Plague epidemics near Ningbo (possibly
    from infected rats released in cities by Japanese

3. Bureaucratic Politics?
  • Japanese forces were decentralized (Unit 731,
    Unit 100, Eu 1644, other units)
  • Ishii-Kitano rivalry created incentives to
    overestimate BW effectiveness by both researchers
  • Hypothesis Ishii and Kitano deliberately avoided
    use of controls (i.e. comparison to plague deaths
    in non-BW areas) in order to produce results
    (think US BMD tests or manufacturers tests of
    effectiveness for parallels)
  • Hypothesis suggests deaths were gt10,000 (killed
    directly) but lt250,000 (because that ascribes
    all epidemics to BW, which is probably false)
  • Proven BW-induced epidemics killed lt1000 in each
    case, sometimes lt 100
  • Accordingly, real figures more likely to be in
    20,000-50,000 range
  • Problem No evidence with which to test
    hypothesis. Much was destroyed and most of the
    rest is STILL classified by the US

II. Biodefense Prevention
  • Preventing state use of BW
  • Mass vaccination is impractical (unless one has
    time i.e. intends to use them first)
  • Deterrence Threaten retaliation with something
    that exceeds benefits of BW use (thus increased
    BW effectiveness increases threat needed to
  • Nonproliferation Prevent the spread of
    capability (more on this later)

B. Preventing Bioterrorism
  • Access control. US data and regulations
  • gt300 registered institutions with bioweapons
  • gt16,000 registered individuals with bioweapons
  • Only security requirement is a lock on the door
  • No requirement to exclude non-screened personnel
    for labs
  • No requirement for secure transport

2. Challenges of Detection
a. Initial Symptoms too vague to know attack has
Clinical Effect
Initial Symptoms

Mediastinitis Pneumonia Pleuritis,
hepatitis Pneumonia Pustules
Anthrax Plague Q fever Tularemia Smallpox
Headache Fever Malaise Cough
b. Epidemiologic Clues
  • Tight cluster of cases
  • High infection rate
  • Unusual or localized geography (rural disease in
    urban area)
  • Unusual time of year (i.e. flu-like symptoms in
  • Dead animals (for some diseases)

3. Thinking Ahead Which groups are threats?
  • a. Required capabilities
  • Virulent strain of agent
  • Equipment and expertise to culture agent safely
  • Equipment and expertise to stockpile agent until
  • Equipment and expertise to generate right size
    aerosol OR access to processed food / water

b. Intent Which groups try?
c. Nonstate CBRN use is rare
  • Only 10 of 74 CBRN attacks involved pathogens
    (typhoid and anthrax) or biological toxins
    (botulism toxin)
  • From Whitlark and Stepak (2010)

C. Defense against accidental release
  • Encourage other countries to implement
    safeguards, esp. on government programs
  • US High security for BW research but not private
  • Universities Essentially no safety regulations
    (voluntary only, apply to NIH grants for
    recombinant-DNA research only)

III. Proliferation of BW
  • A. What are the incentives to build BW?

1. Advantages of Bioweapons
  • Small amount needed
  • Pathogens grow inside host
  • Extremely toxic
  • Botox Dot of an i kills 10
  • Easy/inexpensive to grow
  • Cheese making equipment (viruses more difficult
    than bacteria / toxins)
  • Large amount produced in short period of time
  • Days to weeks
  • Potential for panic

2. Disadvantages of Bioweapons
  • Protection of Workers and Public
  • Release into environment (Sverdlovsk was state of
    the art!)
  • Quality control
  • Particles must be aerosolized (1 micron or so)
  • Delivery problems
  • Rain, wind, UV light
  • Bombs, bomblets, and shells produce poor,
    localized aerosols
  • Heat and shock waves (explosions) kill most
  • Poor storage survival
  • Difficult to control release boomerang effects

B. Patterns of Proliferation
1. CBW Proliferation (Official)
2. Suspected BW Proliferation
3. Causes of BW Proliferation
  • Portfolio Strategy Every BW aspirant has also
    pursued Chemical and/or Nuclear Weapons. What
    does this suggest?
  • Cost-Effectiveness BW cheaper than other WMD
  • Ease of acquisition offensive BW relies on
    dual-use technology
  • Difficult to detect Weakness of BWC,
    permissibility of defensive research

4. Predicting BW Proliferation
  • Best predictors are security variables
  • Enduring Rivalry Increases Risk
  • Dispute Involvement Increases Risk
  • Defense Pact Decreases Risk
  • Large states more likely to develop BW
  • Other predictors include
  • Democracy Decreases Risk
  • IO Membership Slightly Increases Risk
  • Wealth Increases Risk

C. Proliferation The Risks
  • Risk of state use Relationship depends on
    balance between deterrence and escalation
  • Deterrence Use of threats to prevent BW
  • Escalation Use of BW to achieve dominance in
  • Little evidence to test comparisons State BW
    use has always been rare. Only examples are
    cases where no retaliation was possible.

d. BW Doctrines as Evidence (Planning the
  • i. Realism States use BW to alter the balance of
    power with rivals. Implies BW good for the weak
    side in asymmetric dyads, bad for the strong side
    in asymmetric dyads, and good for balanced dyads.
    Problem balance of capabilities appears to
    increase war risk!

ii. Organization theory
  • Military organizations pursue autonomy and
    therefore develop offensive strategies
  • Undermines ability of BW to deter (realism)
    because militaries are partially independent of
    political calculations that drive civilians to
    avoid war

iii. Strategic culture theory
  • Civilians also pursue goals other than national
    security i.e. re-election
  • Militaries differ in the degree to which they
    seek autonomy
  • No clear conclusions about whether more BW is
  • Which theory is correct? Read the case studies

2. Risk of nonstate use
  • Proliferation should increase risk of nonstate
    use, ceteris paribus. Why?
  • However, hypothesis is difficult to test because
    all is not equal Role of nonstate actors in
    politics changes over time (increase in foreign
    military intervention by nonstate actors)

3. Risk of accidental use
  • Risk is not zero remember Sverdlovsk
  • Risk increases with each new BW state
  • Safety measures can slow the increase but not
    avert it.

4. The danger of proliferation
  • The nonstate dimension We dont need to assume
    rogue states are any different in order to
    conclude that more BW is dangerous. Majority of
    BW uses have been nonstate or accidental
  • State-level deterrence fails does not deter
    nonstate actors and has only limited effect on
    accidental releases (provides incentive for
    strong safety systems)
  • Conclusion Deterrence alone is insufficient.
    Efforts to reduce proliferation or roll back BW
    programs necessary to decrease BW risk

D. Anti-Proliferation Strategies
  • Nonproliferation Arms Control
  • (See Assignment 1 and in-class exercises for
    details on the BWC and its effect on

a. The 5th Review Conference of the BWC
  • US scuttles the conference (Guillemin) BUT
  • Russia also tried to undermine BWC through
    definition of dozens of terms (would create legal
    loopholes to enable everything but BW programs)
  • NAM (led by China and including Pakistan and
    India) sought to strengthen Article X (sharing
    technical expertise) at the expense of Article
    III (export controls) and even inspections

b. The 6th Review Conference
  • Ended December 8, 2006
  • Only significant accomplishment was agreement on
    annual meetings before the next Review Conference
    in 2011
  • (The 2011 meeting is our simulation)

2. Counterproliferation Compellence as a strategy
  • Rejects deterrence alone must have ability to
    coerce states or groups with BW into renouncing
    it, not just to refrain from using it
  • Distinct from arms control includes use of
    force associated with reluctance to make
    concessions (bargain)

3. Paradoxes of Anti-Proliferation
  • a. Counterproliferation can undermine
    nonproliferation Threat of pre-emptive war may
    encourage WMD development. New
    counterproliferation strategies threaten first
    use of nuclear weapons (new bunker busters). See
    the Sagan article for why this might be a bad

b. The deterrence dilemma
  • Deterrence cannot roll back BW, because BW
    programs built in full knowledge of the deterrent
    threat (i.e. already taken into consideration)
  • Increased ability to deter increases threat
    (primary driver of proliferation)

c. The nonproliferation paradoxes
  • Rewarding bad behavior Incentives to renounce
    BW may encourage others to build BW as bargaining
  • Substitution effect Verification on one
    dimension of WMD may increase appeal of other