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A potential bio-offender has to think about the costs and bene¬ts of var-
ious schemes; uniquely dif¬cult and risky schemes will, in that equation,
appear unattractive. By implementing effective denial and interdiction
measures worldwide, we would go a long way to preventing bioviolence.
But we must not stop there.

Perhaps more than any other threat facing humanity, bioviolence is inher-
ently linked to explosively changing science that perpetually transforms
the types of threats as well as our capacity to withstand attacks. Advancing

bioscience can discover vaccines and medications that deprive some dis-
eases of their horrifying impact and thereby reduce options for bioviolence.
Bioscience can also create novel pathogens that are unaffected by those
vaccines. Thus, bioscience is simultaneously a critical component of the
solution and an impetus for the problem.
The concept of resistance, therefore, is double-edged. First, there are
policies that can encourage creation of drugs that will enable us to resist
pathogens more effectively, but there is no cure-all that will immunize us
from harm. Second, there are policies that can resist bioscience™s potential
for developing dangerous capabilities whether inadvertently or malevo-
lently, but these policies must not constrict the fundamental pursuit of
scienti¬c knowledge. Resistance measures can contribute to complica-
tion. By denying potential offenders various easy-to-accomplish methods
of bioviolence through widespread immunization of target populations,
complication measures can focus on more challenging attack methods.
Yet, resistance policies carry costs both overt and hidden that must not
be ignored. Moreover, there are remarkable challenges in extending these
policies worldwide.

As repeatedly explained in previous chapters, it is getting easier to com-
mit ever more horrible bioviolence. Even if complication and resistance
measures are implemented, risks remain that someone will successfully
commit a bioviolence attack despite our best efforts. We must be ready to
mitigate the damage. Worldwide, we need to enable early detection and
response to an attack once it has happened. If all else fails, it is socially
responsible to ensure that an attack™s consequences will be containable.
Preparedness measures are closely linked to resistance measures. The
vaccines and medicines that scientists discover have to be produced in
suf¬cient quantities, distributed globally, and allocated with respect for
adverse side effects. Other preparedness measures such as hardening
buildings against pathogen dissemination can also heighten our resistance
to attack.
Preparedness measures can also contribute to complication measures.
By establishing lines of communication between public health authorities
and law enforcers, we can more quickly identify a bioattack and respond
more effectively. After an attack, preparedness measures will be critical for
treating victims. Especially for attacks involving contagious pathogens,
preparedness measures can limit an attack™s spread and encourage public

health“law enforcement cooperation to contain the consequences and
maintain order. The challenge is how to advance systems where more
secure bioscience and better law enforcement capabilities are integrated
with and complementary to promoting global public health prepared-

The three sets of measures just mentioned (complication, resistance, and
preparedness) are together the most effective way to address threats of
terrorists, criminals, and lunatics. There remains, however, the rarer but
very serious threat of State military programs. Because States have unique
capabilities for committing violence and making covert preparations, con-
sideration must be given to measures for preventing proliferation of mili-
tary bioviolence programs.
The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) establishes the global
norm against bioviolence, but its operational vagueness and political
rancorousness have denuded it of real power to prevent State biovio-
lence. Three controversial issues should be the centerpiece of prospective
BWC deliberations. First, what process should decide precisely what is a
bioweapon; most especially, how should so-called nonlethal bioagents be
considered? Second, how can States be con¬dent of their mutual compli-
ance and be assured that burgeoning national biodefense programs are
not covers for bio-offensive initiatives? Third, how can the BWC process
encourage and oversee the dismantlement of existing bioweapons stock-
piles particularly in the former Soviet Union. Notably, two other issues that
exceed the BWC™s scope have received substantial yet unproductive atten-
tion; they should be removed from its ambit: what should be the trade and
economic incentives for developing States in the treaty regime; and should
a governance authority be associated with the BWC. The importance of
these issues has weighed down BWC progress and should, therefore, be
considered elsewhere more productively.
The ¬nal chapter of this book considers perhaps the most important
challenge facing anyone concerned with bioviolence. Few aspects of this
strategy can emerge and be sustainable if pursued without any type of
international governance, yet no modicum of governance currently exists.
The global strategy for bioviolence prevention comprising complication,
resistance, preparedness, and nonproliferation must proceed, therefore,
by establishing specialized oversight bodies within the United Nations.

Guiding Principles
As the remaining chapters explore the bioviolence prevention strategy,
three core principles deserve paramount attention:

r Comprehensive security “ Decisions and activities should re¬‚ect
global rather than national interests and should consider the future
linkages among scienti¬c, developmental, and security issues. As
the 1995 Commission on Global Governance stated, “Global secu-
rity must be broadened from its traditional focus on the security
of states to include the security of peoples and the planet.” Secu-
rity from bioviolence is an essential priority that intersects diverse
efforts to promote international peace.
r Distributive justice “ Decisions and activities should strive to equi-
tably distribute obligations and bene¬ts according to the princi-
ple of common but differentiated responsibilities. Comprehensive
security from bioviolence is a common “humanity” right in the
sense that it is possessed by all, for all. International policies should
re¬‚ect appreciation for the uneven distribution of opportunities
among States. More broadly, the pursuit of sustainable develop-
ment should include respect for bioviolence prevention and vice
r Fair participation in legal process “ The formation and application
of rules should propound basic principles of procedural justice “
access to information, right of interested parties to participate, and
accountability. As all humanity is directly concerned with biovio-
lence prevention, all should have a say in the policy options and
the distribution of bene¬ts and burdens. A structured governance
system will need effective collective decision-making processes as
well as mechanisms to monitor and enforce compliance with rules.
Much attention throughout this book focuses on the need for legit-
imacy “ no decision can satisfy everyone, but every decision must
manifest that it is the product of an objectively reasonable process.

Viewed even more broadly, the bioviolence prevention strategy
attempts to grapple with the potential dangers emerging from bioscience,
fully recognizing that preventing bioviolence must be a facet of a broad
international commitment to promote that science “ not just its prod-
ucts (pharmaceuticals) but the science itself “ as a global good. Yet, the
bioscience undertaking poses inherent and unavoidable dangers, and the

more that bioscience spreads the greater the need for global controls to
prevent a humanity-wide catastrophe. Therefore, access to and partici-
pation in modern bioscience should be conditional on performance of
that bioscience according to international standards. With the commit-
ment to encourage the global spread of bioscience comes an obligation
to undertake scienti¬c activities according to standards that re¬‚ect an
appreciation of the unfortunate but nontrivial potential that a fraction of
those so engaged could wreak disaster out of all proportion to their num-
bers or resources.
Synthesizing a global strategy of bioviolence prevention requires,
therefore, a broad international commitment to the spread of legitimate
bioscience; recognition that countering bioviolence must be a facet of
that commitment; and an obligation to establish and implement inter-
national legal standards and measures as a prerequisite of global bio-
science guardianship. Inappropriately addressing bioviolence concerns
could undermine development of bioscience and technology with catas-
trophic effects. Developing bioscience but failing to address bioviolence
concerns could lead to disaster and undermine con¬dence in science.
Addressing all these concerns in harmony is mandatory for humanity™s
5 Complication: What Law Enforcers
Should Stop

Law enforcement™s potent crime-¬ghting capabilities should be commit-
ted worldwide to detect and interdict bioviolence preparations. In most
nations, however, police and other law enforcers are inadequately autho-
rized and woefully lack information that would enable effective action.
Recently, the United Nations Security Council and Interpol have each taken
impressive strides to improve law enforcement authority and capacity, but
the problem is far too vast for these measures to ¬ll the void. Much more
is needed.
A recent incident highlights this need. In June 2006, The Guardian
newspaper reported that it easily obtained some smallpox DNA through
the mail. It used an invented company name, a mobile phone number,
a free e-mail address, and a house in north London to receive a plastic
bag containing a small vial holding a white gel “ the DNA. The source, VH
Bio Ltd., did not know that the supplied material is part of the smallpox
genome. VH Bio™s chairman said that it is impossible to screen orders for
short genetic sequences; in any event, no laws require background checks
on potential customers. The Guardian reported that ¬ve of twelve gene
synthesis companies that it surveyed in North America and Europe always
screen their orders for suspect sequences; three said they never do.1 For-
tunately, this DNA sample was only a tiny fraction of a smallpox genome.
There is scant risk that someone could order consecutive links and patch
them together to make a whole virus. Yet, the full sequence map is freely
available on the internet as are the DNA sequences of other dangerous
pathogens that are far easier to assemble. For example, the genome of the
1918 Spanish Flu is only about 7 percent the length of the smallpox genome.
This chapter is about how law enforcement should complicate the pur-
suit of bioviolence. It should be dif¬cult for bio-offenders to gain wrongful
access to re¬ned pathogens, sophisticated bioequipment, and advanced


biolaboratories that could make it easier for them to carry out serious
bioviolence scenarios. If they get access, there should be clues that enable
law enforcers to stop them before the attack. There are many recommen-
dations here and many elaborate details need to be addressed, yet all these
recommendations can be achieved quickly and without great expense if
there is the will to do so.


There appear to be huge opportunities for bio-offenders to gain lethal
capabilities. Getting sophisticated equipment is trivial, and there are
an untold number of biolaboratories containing re¬ned pathogen seed
stocks. How readily might any of these labs deliver pathogen samples in
response to a fraudulent request? How many labs have appropriate safe-
guards for complicating diversion of pathogens or wrongful use of their
facilities? Maybe there are many “ maybe only a handful. No one knows for
sure. Yet, one thing is certain: in most places around the world, if pathogens
are diverted or if labs are malevolently used, it is extremely unlikely that law
enforcers would ¬nd out in time to stop a catastrophe! Like the rest of us, the
police will ¬nd out after the attack is carried out and the victims pile up.
It is alarming that we do not know where are all pathogens and laborato-
ries that could facilitate bioviolence. More precisely, we know an enormous
amount about some pathogens and laboratories; most worrisome is what
we do not know about. As bioscience increasingly proliferates throughout
regions near and far, the gaps of critical information expand. In truth, we
have no real idea of what we do not know.
Worse, many States have not legally restricted accumulation of agents
or critical equipment that bio-offenders might use. In many States, culti-
vation or transfer of deadly pathogens is not a criminal act. It is perfectly
legal to obtain the most lethal agents and the equipment with which mod-
estly trained scientists could assemble a functional bioweapon. In many
nations, even if police learn that someone has an amateur laboratory, that
laboratory violates no law. Police lack authority to inspect legal behavior
and therefore lack authority to investigate amateur bioscience activities.
A bio-offender can prepare, transport, and even export agents that could
be lethally misused without running afoul of any legal constraint. Re¬n-
ing pathogens for easy dissemination is also not prohibited. Only the ¬nal
act “ the actual commission of an attack “ is a crime.
This is irresponsible. We would not accept a system where anyone
could ¬‚y a commercial airplane virtually anywhere without informing

authorities or in violation of safety standards. We would not accept a sys-
tem where nuclear laboratories have open doors that might allow anyone
to carry materials or equipment in and out. We most certainly would not
accept a system where, despite knowing that there is potential for criminal-
ity, law enforcers are incapable of doing much to prevent a most horrible
crime. Most of us respect the need for scienti¬c freedom, but there has to
be a difference between freedom and anarchy especially when the conse-
quences of misuse could be cataclysmic.
Bioscientists are not to blame for this condition, although some sci-
entists are perhaps too complacent about the potential for bioviolence.
Most scientists are engaged in a headlong competition to make a new
discovery and publish the next paper. It is a competition where ethical
precepts hold powerful sway but where compulsory standards are de¬-
cient. At root here are legal gaps throughout major regions of the world
and ignorance about what is going through those gaps. Some States enforce
relevant standards; most do not. Cavernous holes in national legisla-
tion undermine any authority to enforce basic security standards. These
holes in nations™ laws are magni¬ed by the legal void at the international
level. There is no authoritative system for keeping records and no way
to know about compliance with even properly enacted laws. There is no
coherent international oversight structure that can make ¬ne, nuanced
decisions much less determine whether everyone is obeying those
Most importantly, there is essentially no mechanism whatsoever for
detecting bioscience activity that is intentionally evasive of standards, that
is, criminal bioscience. While bio-offenders are becoming more focused
and organized, policies to deny them the capabilities for bioviolence are
vague, gap-ridden, backward-looking, unsupervised, and largely inatten-
tive to the threat posed by intentional malefactors. More dismayingly, there


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