By William R. Clark
On account that September eleventh, the specter of a bioterrorist attack--massive, deadly, and unpreventable--has hung within the air over the USA. Bracing for Armageddon? bargains a vividly written primer for the final reader, laying off gentle at the technology at the back of capability bioterrorist assaults and revealing what may possibly take place, what's prone to ensue, and what possibly won't ensue. the tale opens with a riveting account of a bioterrorism state of affairs commissioned by way of the U.S. executive. utilizing this doomsday tableau as a springboard, Clark experiences a number of bioterrorist threats (from agroterrorism to a poisoning of the water offer) and examines not just the worst-case threat of genetically engineered pathogens, but additionally the deadly brokers at the CDC's legitimate bioterrorism checklist, together with Smallpox, Anthrax, Plague, Botulism, and Ebola. His assessment of tried bioterrorist assaults to date--such because the failed Aum Shinrikyo makes an attempt in 1995 in Japan and the Anthrax assault within the US following 9/11--bolstered through interviews with quite a number experts--shows why almost all of those makes an attempt have failed. certainly, he demonstrates profitable bioterrorism assault is incredibly not likely, whereas a big flu epidemic (such because the lethal epidemic of 1918 that killed thousands around the globe) is a digital sure bet. Given the lengthy odds of a bioterrorist assault, Clark asks, has the greater than $40 billion the USA has devoted to the security opposed to bioterrorism relatively been good spent? Is it time to maneuver directly to different priorities? not like the alarmist fears stoked via the preferred media, William Clark the following offers a reassuring assessment of what we actually have to fear about--and what we do not.
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Extra info for Bracing for Armageddon?: The Science and Politics of Bioterrorism in America
And the Baader-Meinhof Gang left no doubt that the use of terror and violence against civilians to achieve political ends was real. But certainly after the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and the 1995 destruction of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, these words were used with increasing frequency in the United States. Since September 11, 2001, they have become a part of the daily American vocabulary. Attention to a cause is usually a major objective of most terrorism.
Since September 11, tens of billions of dollars have been spent upgrading almost every conceivable aspect of our ability to respond to a bioterrorism attack. The underlying programs continue to be sold to the Congress and the American public largely by playing on fears of bioterrorism. 20 • B R ACI N G F O R A R M AG E D D O N? But our resources are not infinite, and hard decisions have to be made about the relative risks posed by bioterrorism in comparison to other challenges America will face in the years ahead.
Where would the likely perpetrators of a bioterrorist attack come from? Who would they be? What can we do to protect ourselves? These are some of the questions we will address in the remainder of this book. Let’s begin by first looking not at the “perps” themselves, but at the deadly agents they would likely use to terrorize us. This page intentionally left blank chapter 3 Agents of Terror The biological weapons available to would-be bioterrorists today are by and large those developed during the middle decades of the twentieth century, when most major countries were making offensive weapons for state-sponsored biological warfare.