A panel of life science experts convened for the Strategic Assessments Group by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that advances in biotechnology, coupled with the difficulty in detecting nefarious biological activity, have the potential to create a much more dangerous biological warfare (BW) threat. The panel noted:
- The effects of some of these engineered biological agents could be worse than any disease known to man.
- The genomic revolution is pushing biotechnology into an explosive growth phase. Panelists asserted that the resulting wave front of knowledge will evolve rapidly and be so broad, complex, and widely available to the public that traditional intelligence means for monitoring WMD development could prove inadequate to deal with the threat from these advanced biological weapons.
Growing understanding of the complex biochemical pathways that underlie life processes has the potential to enable a class of new, more virulent biological agents engineered to attack distinct biochemical pathways and elicit specific effects, claimed panel members.
According to the scientists convened, other classes of unconventional pathogens that may arise over the next decade and beyond include binary BW agents that only become effective when two components are combined (a particularly insidious example would be a mild pathogen that when combined with its antidote becomes virulent); “designer” BW agents created to be antibiotic resistant or to evade an immune response; weaponized gene therapy vectors that effect permanent change in the victim’s genetic makeup; or a “stealth” virus, which could lie dormant inside the victim for an extended period before being triggered. For example, one panelist cited the possibility of a stealth virus attack that could cripple a large portion of people in their forties with severe arthritis, concealing its hostile origin and leaving a country with massive health and economic problems.
The experts emphasized that, because the processes, techniques, equipment and know-how needed for advanced bio agent development are dual use, it will be extremely difficult to distinguish between legitimate biological research activities and production of advanced BW agents.
The panel contrasted the difficulty of detecting advanced bioweapons with that of detecting nuclear weapons, which has always had clear surveillance and detection “observables,” such as highly enriched uranium or telltale production equipment.
I’ve quoted extensively from this report, but recommend reading the whole thing.
Perhaps one of the most noteworthy features of the report is its date of publication:
November 3, 2003.
What has happened since then?
November 25, 2003 – A PLA soldier by the name of Shi died of H5N1. His death was covered up by the Chinese government until June 22, 2006 (blog).
August 8, 2005 – Chi Haotian, Minister of Defense and vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission describes the PLA’s plan to use biological weapons against the US (blog).
November 9, 2006 – Margaret Chan becomes Director-General of the World Health Agency, a position which gives her unilateral control of pandemic declarations. She attained this position with assistance of the Chinese government which is alleged to have used bribery to secure her election (blog).
April 2009 – The swine flu virus initiates a pandemic. According to top flu expert Robert Webster: “Where the hell it got all these genes from we don’t know. But this is a real super-mixed up virus.”
March 10, 2011 – China denoted the biggest threat to the United States by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (The Washington Times).
June 2011 – Riots in China due to inflation have begun (Business Spectator).
July 15, 2011 – China plans huge investment in biotechnology (Industry News).
I have argued many times in many blogs that China has the Means, Motive and Opportunity to launch a stealth bioweapon’s attack on the US. The Means is a weaponised flu virus the source of which could be undectable. The Motive is the end of Globalisation which will destroy China’s export economy. The PLA has given multiple signals that is planning to switch to an Imperial strategy which will first require the removal of the US military. The Opportunity lies in the control of the World Health Organisation (WHO) by Margaret Chan, a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party and the failure of the US Department of Defense to take Biological Warfare by Nation-States, especially China, seriously.
The only variable we can change is the last one. The next window of opportunity for a biological attack using influenza will open in November 2011 – 4 months from now. That may be how long we have to convince the US government to prepare for a threat to the continued existence of the US.