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The Biological Weapons Threat Posed by Violent Non-State Actors
The United States must recognize the credible and viable threat of biological weapon employment by a Violent Non-State Actor(VNSA). Compared to its traditional Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) counterparts, the biological weapon is more financially affordable than the nuclear or radiological weapon and is more lethal than the chemical weapon when compared by mass. The documented history of biological weapon procurement or employment by non-state actors is robust and supports the credibility of the threat. Modern advances in the field of biology have resulted in a greater availability of biological agents than at any previous point in history and have increased the viability of the VNSA threat. The biological weapon offers significant incentives and disincentives for use, however despite its legal classification as a WMD the use of a biological weapon will not necessarily result in a mass casualty event. This potential to scale the size and impact of the weapon results inflexibility for the user and the broadly expanded potential to obtain a weapon.
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