Accession Number:

ADA443515

Title:

Infectious Disease in the Twenty-First Century: The Need for a Comprehensive Strategy

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1999-04-26

Pagination or Media Count:

44.0

Abstract:

As national leaders formulate strategies for the twenty-first century, they are confronted by the re-emergence of infectious disease as a threat to national security. Despite the dramatic advances in genetics and biotechnology that occurred over the course of this decade, humanity has seen the nature and scope of the infectious disease threat evolve in ways that were previously unimaginable. The Gulf War nearly brought the use of infectious disease as a weapon of war into the modern age. Inspection activities by the United Nations Special Commission UNSCOM and the defection of a key Iraqi government official revealed that Iraq had developed and produced large quantities of biological agents, had filled bombs and missile warheads with anthrax, botulinum, and aflatoxin, and had forward weapons for possible use against coalition forces and Israeli cities. These revelations were subsequently overshadowed by allegations made by Dr. Ken Alibek, a former First Deputy Director of Biopreparat in the Soviet Union. Dr. Alibek has stated in a variety of forums that during his tenure at Biopreparat, he oversaw a secret Soviet biological weapons program that sought to develop antibiotic-resistant strains of anthrax and other bacteria, and to genetically alter smallpox and other viruses to enhance their virulence and pathogenicity.

Subject Categories:

  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE