National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats: Diplomacy and International Programs
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 1007 a.m. in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Brad J. Sherman chairman of the subcommittee presiding. Mr. SHERMAN. We are going to have a special treat at todays hearings. In the past, witnesses have been confined to only 5 minutes. Todays witnesses will be speaking for 7 minutes or less. That will bring a special entertainment value. We are in tough competition on C-SPAN for higher ratings. The questioning period will be 5 minutes and opening statements will be five or seven or however long we take. There has been much recent attention to the threat that bioterrorism poses to our national security. Todays hearing provides a broad overview of our diplomatic and international effort to counter that threat. Earlier this year, the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, chaired by Senators Graham and Talent, issued a report card that included an assessment of our progress in biodefense. Their initial report found biological weapons are more likely to be acquired and used by terrorist groups than nuclear weapons. Although I might add that it is my belief that bioweapons would cause a lesser number of casualties a smaller though more likely disaster. Indeed, the commission found that unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction would be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013. Since we have already seen the use of anthrax and the use of chemical and biological weapons in Japan over recent decades, this seems to be relatively safe prediction.
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare