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international peace and security “ weakens us substantially. For exam-
ple, U.S. of¬cials have asserted that over a dozen nations have active
bioweapons capabilities that could readily be converted to a weapons pro-
gram, and this number will likely increase. Moreover, these of¬cials have
asserted that terrorist networks and perhaps even criminal syndicates have
the capacity or intention to pursue bioviolence. Yet, proof of these asser-
tions is neither forthcoming nor expected. Although the United States can
try to shame these nations in the diplomatic community and loudly con-
demn terrorism, the accusations get thrown in the stew of “problems in
international affairs” with nary any progress from year to year.
There needs to be an investigative capability at the highest level “ a
capability that should be exercised judiciously (as should all law enforce-
ment) but is not a paper tiger. Criteria of threats should be developed, and
there needs to be a process by which responsible persons can get facts and
decide whether laws have been violated. This is not about establishing a
bioviolence prevention bureaucracy or about moving toward a global gov-
ernment. What is needed is a scalpel, not a ballistic missile. Today, however,
hopes for making that scalpel effective are mired in the unwillingness to

infuse international security issues with the rule of law. Unfortunately, that
applies to many issues besides bioviolence.

Count 4. Global distribution of capacities to prevent bioviolence are woe-
fully unjust “ a product of the much larger phenomenon of economic
disparity that af¬‚icts humanity. Not enough is being done to consider
how making people safer from biothreats can be accomplished with ben-
e¬ts to professional communities and national economies throughout the
developing world. Indeed, at this time there is insuf¬cient (essentially nil)
serious discussion about how to best enable developing countries to pre-
vent bioviolence. There has been no systematic effort whatsoever to link
compliance with bioviolence prevention policies to measures for stimu-
lating indigenous bioscience. It is unconscionable that major policy dis-
cussions about bioscience development are wholly and entirely separate
from major policy discussions about biothreats to international peace and
security. The result is that the entire world is more dangerous.
It is dif¬cult to assign guilt for this global failure other than to the
shameful lack of vision on the part of many world leaders. A notable excep-
tion has been former Secretary General Ko¬ Annan who has repeatedly
called for more attention to be given to these issues, even calling for a
global forum that would start the process of improving policy.1 Yet, Sec-
retary General Annan™s call has roused little enthusiasm. So long as the
developmental aspects of bioviolence prevention continue to be ignored,
policy progress will be hobbled.
There is another, no less important side to this assertion. Any policy
to improve bioviolence prevention, even a policy that contributes materi-
ally to development, will survive only amid a legal structure where rights
and obligations are meaningfully applicable. Right now, the allure of bio-
science and technology is, among too many governments, greater than the
respect for the rule of law. That there are inadequate efforts to engender
and deepen that respect should evoke the highest priority for legal reform.

Count 5. There™s nobody in charge. No one is responsible; no one is
accountable. With regard to bioviolence, no international authority de¬nes
relevant prohibitions and responsibilities. Over the years, many good ideas
have not been rejected but have died for lack of a responsible of¬cial who
has authority to act. There is no authorized focal point for new initiatives
and no central body with clear capacity to carry out prevention responsi-
bilities, evaluate who might be failing to meet their responsibilities, and
instigate inquiry into emerging problems. As a result, even well-regarded

ideas have nowhere to grow. There is not so much resistance to initiatives as
there is simply an absence of initiatives, and a manifest inertia has become
a signi¬cant drag on even the best public servants™ calls to action. No body
exists to promote reasonable, even widely shared initiatives to advance
progressive policies. International alarms of bioviolence ring nowhere!
The reason why the absence of authority endangers us is that, as the
following chapters make clear, bioviolence prevention requires a sizeable
orchestra, made up of various instruments, to play complicated music in
harmony. Today there is not a bad conductor “ there is no conductor at all.
Sometimes the players rise to the occasion; too often there is little more
than cacophony.
There is another factor that harkens back to the distinction between
rules and guidelines. Too often there has been a tendency to pursue poli-
cies in the well-intentioned belief that incremental progress is possible
but then not devoting the time or political will to ensure that legalities are
upheld. Policies that might be effective in addressing some small aspect of
bioviolence prevention have proceeded without attending to the question
of precisely how those policies can be legally ¬rm. The result is a mixed bag
of many good people working in murky of¬cial capacities to put out a ¬re
here or there. In nearly every other comparable dimension of human activ-
ity, there are methods for professionally and legally undertaking complex
initiatives. Policies for preventing bioviolence are noticeably different. The
failure to respect the need for a legal system with clear lines of authority
and responsibility is the worst count of this indictment.


The remaining chapters™ recommendations are not revolutionary; they do
not call for a sweeping metamorphosis in how we live or how science is con-
ducted. To implement them requires profound efforts, but it is not the dif-
¬culty of their implementation that is the primary barrier against progress.
Instead, the following obstacles should be appreciated as explaining why
so many of these recommendations are not in force and why potentially
valuable proposals are so remarkably knotted.
First is the bioscience paradox. Bioscience that is bene¬cial is identical
to bioscience that is potentially horrifying. Emerging possibilities of biovi-
olence are inherent in its progress “ it is therefore problematic to say, “this
is prohibited” or “this is not prohibited.” The science that arguably should
be prohibited is exactly the same science that should be encouraged.
Moreover, science changes rapidly. Any set of legal prohibitions or reg-
ulations are likely to require nuanced applications and constant updating.

Attention should focus, therefore, on the process by which those precepts
can perpetually emerge through evolving contexts. This is a remarkable
legal challenge.
Second is bureaucratic fragmentation. Bioviolence evokes no single
discipline or specialization. It cuts across the sciences, law, and politics;
across academia, government research, and the private sector; across
developed and developing States; and across planners who focus on mil-
itary prowess, on public health, on law enforcement, and on emergency
preparedness and management. The result is not that the issue has too
many homes; it has no home at all. Traditional bureaucracies either step
on each other™s turf or pass responsibility through a maze of departments.
In the U.S. government, there has been no authoritative of¬ce for coor-
dinating a broad array of policies to prevent bioviolence. They vanish
in the bureaucratic labyrinth. On the international level, the situation is
immensely worse.
Third is conflict over priorities. Arms controllers and military strate-
gists haggle about whether policies to reduce bioviolence threats should
be addressed before policies to reduce other strategic threats (e.g., nuclear
weapons). Developed States™ advocates urge prompt action, but devel-
oping States™ spokespersons argue that bioviolence threats should not
divert attention from threats of natural disease, famine, and poverty. Law
enforcers recognize that bioviolence is a crime but resist efforts to divert
resources and attention away from core police functions. Bioscientists
welcome resources to develop vaccines against biothreats but rebuff sug-
gestions that their work should be governmentally supervised to reduce
risks of misapplication. These and many similar con¬‚icts over priorities
serve to muddy the policy waters thereby impeding policy makers™ ability
to see where synergies can be usefully created and inappropriately engen-
dering resistance to ideas that simultaneously advance multiple agendas.
Instead, bioviolence prevention is a policy domain that is riddled with pri-
ority fortresses; entrenched defense of these fortresses impedes progress.
Fourth is the awesome rate of change in bioscience. Changes in the
underlying science are absolutely beyond the rate of progress in diplomacy.
Even if State-to-State diplomacy suddenly rang of harmony and shared
commitment about what should be done, these diplomatic interactions
are simply incapable of keeping pace with changing threat parameters.
Bioviolence is an international security threat that is too dangerous to
leave to political realists; they are simply too slow to undertake progress
or respond to evolving dangers. Needed is an international legal capacity
for rapidly making extremely sophisticated decisions at the very edge of
human intellect “ decisions that have humanity-wide implications.

Fifth is a poverty of foresight. Bioviolence prevention policy tends to
be reactive as if the next problem will mimic recent experience. The
2001 anthrax attacks prompted a colossal shift of resources toward devel-
oping anthrax vaccines; expert attention to smallpox likewise provoked
widespread concern about the paltry stockpiles of smallpox vaccine. A
plague attack would likely incite stockpiling of appropriate antibiotics; if
ebola is perilously manipulated into a terror device, an entirely different
set of initiatives will ensue. Policies are event driven, and bio-offenders can
outwit us by changing their attack mode. Nowhere is there systemic eval-
uation of today™s bioviolence threats, much less the threats that we might
face in only a few years. There is no widely accepted coherent framework
of principles or obligations to guide prevention policies.


A lot about preventing bioviolence is complicated, yet the keystone is clear.
This book opened by de¬ning bioviolence as a crime “ quite literally, trea-
son against humanity. For humans to pervert scienti¬c progress into a
catastrophic human loss is treachery most vile: members of our species
using other species to devastate our species. It is a crime regardless of who
the bio-offender is. There should be no ambiguity on this point anywhere
for any reason whatsoever.
Designating behavior as a crime against humanity “ as an act com-
mitted as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any
civilian population “ is the clearest and most forceful articulation of a pro-
hibitory norm. This term includes murder, extermination, or other inhu-
mane acts intentionally causing great suffering or when committed as part
of a widespread or systematic attack or on a large scale directed against a
civilian population.2
Criminalizing the misuse of pathogens for hostile purposes clari¬es
that such conduct is absolutely intolerable. Many scienti¬c associations
have condemned activity that contributes to commission of a bioviolence
attack; there are a long list of Codes of Ethics and Declarations attesting to
the universality and seriousness of this prohibition. It is wrong, therefore,
to refer to biological weapons as “the poor nations™ nuclear weapons”; no
one should even suggest that their use might be rationalized in the name
of self-determination. There are no legitimizing exceptions or national
security justi¬cations; no ideology or belief system can provide cause for
ignoring the prohibition.
Setting clear norms and criminal prohibitions forces nations to choose:
be a member of the global community or be a pariah. As global integration

becomes ever more economically pivotal and as membership in regional
associations increasingly depends on compliance with internationally rec-
ognized tenets of behavior, clear normative prescriptions gain weight.
Criminalization means that global opprobrium must befall a State that
adds bioweapons to its military arsenal. It means that the international
community must take necessary and proportional action to thwart any
nation from obtaining the materials and equipment and conducting the
tests required for a bioweapons program.
Criminalization offers even greater bene¬ts for confronting non-State
terrorists or outlaws. It means that law enforcers must cooperate world-
wide to be watchful of bioviolence preparations, and they must sustain
vigilance for preventing those preparations™ consequences. On this issue
at least, there is no alternative to and no dispute about the need for inter-
national law enforcement cooperation. To their everlasting credit, some
preeminent law enforcers and their institutions have forthrightly exercised
leadership in regard to bioviolence prevention. This bodes well for future
cooperation and, more generally, for the global spread of the rule of law.
Ultimately, the status of “crime against humanity” means that every
State has responsibilities. Every State must criminalize bioviolence under
its national laws, attach strict penalties, develop mechanisms to detect ille-
gal behavior, authorize law enforcers to interdict that activity, and coop-
erate to bring bio-offenders to justice. No State can legally approve such
conduct or grant impunity for any bio-offenders irrespective of where it is
committed, against what category of victims, and whether it occurs during
peace or war. A State that refuses to conduct an investigation or request
support to interdict criminal bioviolence in its jurisdiction will be signaling
through its inaction that it condones the illegal conduct. In that case, the
State should be accountable for whatever harm follows from that crime.


From the straightforward premise that bioviolence is a crime grows an
intricate strategy that can be expressed as follows:

Prevention =
Complication + Resistance + Preparation + Nonproliferation

These dimensions of the prevention strategy, discussed more fully in
the next four chapters, should be thought of as successive and mutually
reinforcing ¬lters. Each captures or erases some risks of bioviolence and
in coordination will likely deter malevolent actors from its pursuit. No one
set of measures will be altogether effective, yet the risks of bioviolence can

be substantially reduced by activating the strategy comprehensively. This
is complex and must be pursued carefully. Most importantly, all of these
dimensions must be subject to the rule of law.

First, denial measures should make it hard for a bio-offender to get what
he needs to commit bioviolence, and if he tries, interdiction measures
should make it more likely he will be discovered and stopped. The bio-
offender needs pathogens and a capability to weaponize them. It will be
harder for him to get these items if only legitimate scientists who need
to work on highly re¬ned and dangerous pathogens using sophisticated
equipment in very secure laboratories are allowed to have access to such
items. Cutting off or limiting wrongful access to sophisticated and re¬ned
agents, equipment, or laboratories would pose complicated obstacles for
bioviolence that likely will discourage potential offenders from pursuing
this catastrophic mode of attack.
Correctly structured denial measures should be linked to observable
signals so that an offender will more likely make a mistake that alerts
law enforcers. This is how interdiction measures can be bene¬cial. Law
enforcers (police, customs and border control of¬cials, regulatory inspec-
tors, etc.) should be authorized, trained, and equipped to look for such
indicative behavior so that they will stop a bio-offender before he has a
chance to carry out his plans. The key challenge facing law enforcers is
to know where and at whom to look; more precisely, it is to know how to
distinguish bio-offenders from legitimate bioscientists.
If denial measures pose obstacles to getting necessary items for biovi-
olence, and if interdiction measures raise the risks of getting caught, then
malevolent persons will likely be dissuaded from bioviolence altogether.


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