Factors and Motivations That Influence Biological Warfare

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 58
  • Published : February 14, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
Factors and Motivations That Influence Biological Warfare

Maham Ahmed
November 11th, 2010
Modern World History
Katie Ehrlich

Many troops during the years of World War I met their demise in what is arguable the most terrifying and inhumane of all military tactics - biological warfare. Soldiers inhaled a deadly acidic gas that burned them from the inside out, suffocating them in an excruciating and unimaginable pain. Kurth Audrey, a professor of strategy at the U.S. National War College in Washington, stated: “Science is as neutral as a knife; it may maybe a blessing or a curse depending on the heart and the mind of the man who holds it.”[1] Terrorists organizations are motivated by many factors to use biological warfare. If a terrorist organization has the concepts of science down, as a neutral knife, then they can produce weapons that can fulfill their agenda, whether it is something that has to do with reputation, politics, or religion. Many factors contribute to terrorists using this type of warfare, which stimulates the motivations of terrorist organizations. These factors range from; access to information, cost, ease of dissemination, availability, access to technology, and difficulty of detection. Biological warfare is a dangerous type of warfare, than can cause severe damage to a population of people, crops, or animals. It can also cause harm to the one that is dispersing the biological agent, which causes one to think, why would someone use this type of warfare? Biological agents are often simpler to attain and produce than chemical weapons that can cause mass destruction in a population. The material for biological agents can easily be grown or purchased. There are some agents, such as Anthrax or Brucellosis, which occur naturally in animals in certain parts of the world , and individuals can acquire these agents just by traveling the globe to where these agents grow. For an example, the Aum Shinrikyo cult was reported to have gone to Zaire, a place in Africa, to seek the strains of Ebola for its use in its bio-weapons program.[2] Until recently, anyone could order agents from supple houses around the world. In 1995, American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), a mail order company that provides biological products, shipped the bacteria, Anthrax, to Saddam Hussein's biological warfare program in Iraq.[3] Just like the increase of technology throughout the decades, there is also an increase of availability of information related to chemical and biological weapons. Information on how to create biological weapons can be taken from articles within scientific literature on a variety of topics, which only requires a trained scientist to understand. The Internet has created forums on which terrorists groups can reach out, recruit members, and spread messages. It also makes a large library of information available to just about anyone who is interested on the production of biological agents. One resource that is found online is, Bacteriological Warfare: A Major Threat to North America, which is written by Larry Wayne Harris of the Aryan Nation.[4] This manual describes the reproduction and growth of biological agents, and can be purchased for only $30.[5] Another resource available is called, Silent Death, which instructs the reader in ways to kill using chemical and biological poisons. According to the publisher of this book, it sells thousands of copies each year.[6] Bio-engineers are now armed with knowledge on how to cease biological agents, as well as the effects of the agents upon a population. According to Ken Alibek, who supervised the Soviet bio warfare program, “Although the mos-sophisticated and effected versions [of biological weapons]require considerable equipments and scientific expertise, primitive versions can be produced in a small area with minimal equipment by someone with limited training...They would be relativity inexpensive and easy to produce.”[7] To produce bio-weapons, a terrorist...
tracking img