Bio-Inspired Innovation and National Security by Robert Armstrong, Mark Drapeau, Cheryl Loeb, James Valdes

By Robert Armstrong, Mark Drapeau, Cheryl Loeb, James Valdes

Ever due to the fact that guy took to the battlefield, biology has performed an important role—both accidentally and intentionally—in clash. ahead of the invention of the germ idea of sickness, such a lot strive against deaths have been the results of infections. or even prior to that figuring out, biology used to be utilized in an offensive position. An early instance used to be the Tatars’ hurling of plague sufferers’ our bodies over the wall of the Crimean urban of Kaffa in 1346, which most likely helped unfold the Black dying. regardless of numerous treaties and protocols, offensive organic guns use has persisted to today, with the anthrax assaults of 2001 being the latest incident. Such job has resulted in a robust shielding application, with scientific technological know-how constructing a number of countermeasures that experience benefited either civilian and army populations. yet that's the “old” organic conflict. Covert courses for the improvement of novel guns will enhance; likewise, the improvement of countermeasures also will proceed. the current quantity, even though, doesn't tackle those matters. really, it studies and analyzes present examine and certain destiny advancements within the existence sciences and the way they'll considerably impact the organic fabric to be had to warfighters—not as guns structures, yet as augmentation to presently on hand gear. this can be the “new” face of organic war. The editors of this quantity have assembled specialists in examine, warfighting, and safeguard coverage to explain organic functions from the smallest to the biggest scale. moreover, they convey how pondering in organic phrases can enhance our procurement cycle and improve our improvement time and prices. ultimately, no description of biotechnology will be whole and not using a attention of moral and criminal concerns on the topic of such examine and improvement. This edited e-book is a vital contribution to the literature and well captures a couple of ongoing army uncomplicated technology examine initiatives with long term implications for the dept of safety. It doesn't purport to be an exhaustive accounting, however it is a superb creation for policymakers to garner an knowing of the place biology goes to slot into 21st-century readiness and preparedness for our scuffling with strength.

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Our current commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan provide us with a unique opportunity to do so. Reset for What? The extensive wear and tear on our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan has altered the debate about the future military force. Many have come to the conclusion we will have to focus our efforts on resetting rather than transforming the force. ” Do we rebuild our forces to fight a near-peer competitor? Or to fight a smaller state? Or to fight a prolonged insurgency? Whatever scenarios we prepare for, there is a high probability they will include some form of biological weapons.

The expansion of knowledge in the life sciences, however, is not only rapid, but it is also deep, broad in that it encompasses a wide range of disciplines, and widely available. Moreover, the knowledge that is being gained is being put to use; that is, it is not just remaining in the realm of basic science. More and more of that knowledge is applied in forms that are increasingly making it a commodity. This “commoditization” has several significant implications. Most importantly, it demonstrates that the civilian sector—both science and business—is the key driver in pushing this scientific and technological advance.

A further reason that states might be interested in biological weapons is that, used in the right conditions, they could be strategic in their impact. 14 Some of these attractions are also of concern to those who argue that the more severe risks related to BW stem from their potential use by terrorists rather than states. As noted, the autumn 2001 “Amerithrax” letters represent the latest in a series of events in which nonstate actors have sought to exploit biological weapons. Moreover, they highlighted a few important points that perhaps had not been well understood until those attacks.

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