CRITIQUE/WMD MASS TERM
IMPACT: WMD AS A MASS TERM MAKES IT FAR MORE DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH THE THREAT OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS
IF LAWS AND POLICIES USE GENERIC WMD CONCEPTS DEALING WITH A BIOLOGICAL THREAT WILL BE MORE DIFFICULT
MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, School of Public Health, Univ. of Minnesota, 2000; LIVING TERRORS: What America needs to know to survive the coming bioterrorist catastrophe //VT2002acs p. 190
Our laws should be rewritten to recognize the distinction between responding to most weapons of mass destruction and responding to a bioterrorism attack. Terry O'Brien's analysis of the gaping holes in our legal system shows issues that must be addressed before a crisis, not during one. Otherwise, when we finally do have to authorize and carry out a quarantine, valuable time will be lost figuring out who is in charge and sorting out issues of legal authority. In a bioterrorist event, loss of such time will translate directly to loss of human lives; to prevent this, I believe that the administration and Congress should appoint a bipartisan national legal panel to draw up model legislation and enact it as quickly as possible.
FOR POLICY PURPOSES WE MUST NOT INCLUDE BIOWEAPONS IN GENERAL WMD DISCUSSIONS
MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, School of Public Health, Univ. of Minnesota, 2000; LIVING TERRORS: What America needs to know to survive the coming bioterrorist catastrophe //VT2002acs p. 189-90
I don't actually expect the phrase to go away, any more than I expect the weapons to. Buzzwords are like viruses, neither alive nor dead but moving from host to host, seemingly forever. But we should all insist that policy makers acknowledge that biological terrorism is different from terrorism that relies on chemical weapons or explosives, and deserves separate consideration. That means our budgets at the federal, state, and local levels have to show proper funding for bioterrorism planning, training, monitoring, and stockpiling. In 1999, the CDC supported funding of $41 million for all fifty states and three large metropolitan areas-a minuscule amount in light of the $10 billion spent on terrorism. Yet those public health and medical programs are our first, second, and third lines of defense against and in response to a biological weapons attack. To put it bluntly, our priorities are really screwed up.
WE NEED TO REMOVE THE WMD-BIAS SO THAT WE CAN MANAGE THE CONSEQUENCES OF A BIOLOGICAL ATTACK
MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, School of Public Health, Univ. of Minnesota, 2000; LIVING TERRORS: What America needs to know to survive the coming bioterrorist catastrophe //VT2002acs p. 190-1
Removing the WMD bias is most important in the area that policy makers call consequence management -running the show in the aftermath of an attack. I hope I have made the point that responding to a biological attack requires an entirely different structure and management system than responding to a chemical or bomb attack. At the moment, coordination of response to WMD attacks falls to the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense. To be sure, that is the right management team for a blast or chemical release: the cops and soldiers should remain the go-to guys In that kind of crisis. But you don't want them running the show during a biological attack, any more than you would expect them to coordinate the response to an outbreak of listeriosis at a hot dog plant, Legionnaires' disease from a cooling tower, or even West Nile virus in New York City. Those crises require special skills, special knowledge, and special people-all already present within the public health system, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been late to recognize its potential role in biological terrorism response, and its leadership may have room for improvement, but since 1999 it has become a more active participant in the process and should be placed in charge of civilian biodefense.
WE MUST NOT MAKE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS MEASURES AN AFTERTHOUGHT TO NUCLEAR ACTIONS
BRAD ROBERTS, Institute for Defense Analyses, 2000; REPAIRING THE REGIME, "The prospects for biological warfare" // VT2002 acs p. 227
The first implication is that the control of biological weapons should not be merely an afterthought for those interested in arms control. To take BW arms control seriously is to move beyond the platitudes that are normally offered up on this subject. Reports like that from the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons do little service to the cause of BW arms control by adding a sentence calling for implementation of an effective regime. The problems of building an effective regime of BW control differ fundamentally from those in the nuclear domain. Arms control is no panacea for the BW problem, but It is also indispensable to reinforcing the anti-BW norm and to limiting the number and sophistication of BW proliferator programs. A viable regime requires conclusion and implementation of the compliance protocol for the Biological Weapons Convention now under negotiation. It also requires dealing with extant problems of noncompliance as well as a viable export restraint system.
WMD MASS TERM HAS LED TO NEGLECT OF MEASURES AGAINST ACTUAL ACQUISITION OF CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS
Dr. Jean Pascal Zanders, Chemical and Biological Warfare Project at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Fall 1999 The Nonproliferation Review/ ASSESSING THE RISK OF CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS PROLIFERATION TO TERRORISTShttp://www.cns.miis.edu/pubs/npr/vol06/64/zander64.pdf //VT2002acsln
However, once it has been determined that a particular group has developed an interest in chemi-cal or biological weapons, its even-tual acquisition and release of these weapons is virtually taken for granted. Using nuclear weapons as a yardstick, CB weapons are seen as easy and cheap to obtain. This black box approach has diverted attention away from what is actually involved in the acquisition of chemical or bio-logical weapons by a terrorist group.