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standards do not force anyone to do anything, a nation that cares about
the competitiveness of its export sectors and of its shipping companies
will pay a steep price for its refusal if its exports and its ships cannot eas-
ily enter foreign ports. Delays in cross-through customs checkpoints can
impose enormous ¬nancial costs, but these costs decline appreciably for
shippers that can move goods through the “express lane.” Companies will,
therefore, be eager to take steps to reduce smuggling opportunities if doing
so entitles their goods to proceed through customs unimpeded.
Notably, the United States leverages access to its markets to compel
compliance. Under the Maritime Transportation Security Act,30 vessels
and cargo from high-risk ports or nations can be denied entry to U.S. ports.
Foreign vessels of concern must provide advance notice of their arrival so

that the Coast Guard can assess security risks that guide port authori-
ties to ef¬ciently select targets for investigation. Instead of mere random
inspection, of¬cials can concentrate attention on high-risk vessels, board-
ing them more frequently to ensure compliance with security and safety
standards. A recently implemented program, the Customs-Trade Partner-
ship Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), encourages companies to provide infor-
mation and to engage in risk assessment jointly with the government. Over
nine thousand companies are currently involved in the program.31
The United States has promoted comparable measures internationally.
The Container Security Initiative (CSI)32 “ a series of bilateral and multi-
lateral agreements “ allows U.S. Customs of¬cials to have access to foreign
ports to prescreen high-risk containers bound for the United States. Ports
must transmit cargo manifests twenty-four hours before cargo is loaded.
This information is checked against other intelligence data through the
National Targeting Center in order to assess the security risk. In order to
track shipments as they move around the world, the U.S. Automated Com-
mercial Environment (ACE) uses mass data storage and analysis in order to
provide expansive information sharing and intelligence in real time.33 By
collecting data from customs trade systems, inspectors determine which
shipments and containers are low risk that need not be investigated; atten-
tion can be focused on fewer high-risk shipments. Similar initiatives are
being undertaken by the European Union and the Asia Paci¬c Economic
Cooperation (APEC), yet ACE is perhaps the most ambitious data mining
system to track global trade, costing about $3 billion.

Intrusive Counter-Smuggling
The most aggressive part of transport security and counter-smuggling is
interdiction. Defensive security measures are crucial, but there are occa-
sions when law enforcement must go on the offense. Who should under-
take intrusive measures? In the United States and various other nations,
domestic authorities carry out those responsibilities, but who may inter-
dict smuggling either in common areas (e.g., the high seas) or in nations
that are unable to take necessary action on their own?
In the post 9/11 environment, one of the most controversial steps
to prevent terrorism (and, by implication, bioviolence) is the Prolifera-
tion Security Initiative (PSI). The PSI is a series of bilateral arrangements
between the United States and other governments to prevent WMD smugg-
ling.34 As such, it signi¬es perhaps the best and worst of current counter-
smuggling efforts. The PSI fosters international cooperation. States agree
to exchange information concerning suspected proliferation efforts and


In September 2003, PSI States met in Paris and agreed to commit themselves to the
following interdiction principles:

1. Undertake measures to interdict the transfer or transport of WMD;
2. Adopt streamlined procedures for rapid exchange of relevant information con-
cerning suspected proliferation activity and dedicate appropriate resources and
efforts to interdiction operations and capabilities, and maximize coordination
among participants in interdiction efforts.;
3. Review and strengthen their relevant national legal authorities where necessary
to accomplish these objectives, and work to strengthen when necessary rele-
vant international laws and frameworks in appropriate ways to support these
4. Take speci¬c actions to interdict cargoes of WMD to the extent consistent with
their obligations under international law and frameworks, to include:
a. Not to transport or assist in the transport of any such cargoes to or from States
or non-State actors of proliferation concern, and not to allow any persons
subject to their jurisdiction to do so.
b. To take action to board and search any vessel ¬‚ying their ¬‚ag in their internal
waters or territorial seas, or areas beyond the territorial seas of any other State,
that is reasonably suspected of transporting such cargoes to or from States
or non-State actors of proliferation concerns, and to seize such cargoes that
are identi¬ed.
c. To consider providing consent to the boarding and searching of its own ¬‚ag
vessels by other States, and to the seizure of WMD-related cargoes in such
d. To take appropriate actions to 1) stop and/or search in their internal waters,
territorial seas, or contiguous zones (when declared) vessels that are rea-
sonably suspected of carrying such cargoes to or from States or non-State
actors of proliferation concern and to seize such cargoes that are identi¬ed;
and 2) enforce conditions on vessels entering or leaving their ports, internal
waters, or territorial seas that are reasonably suspected of carrying such car-
goes, such as requiring that such vessels be subject to boarding, search, and
seizure of such cargoes prior to entry.
e. At their own initiative or upon the request and good cause shown by another
state, to 1) require aircraft that are reasonably suspected of carrying such
cargoes to or from States or non-State actors of proliferation concern and
that are transiting their airspace to land for inspection and seize any such
cargoes that are identi¬ed; and/or 2) deny aircraft reasonably suspected of
carrying such cargoes transit rights through their airspace in advance of such

SOURCE: Statement of Interdiction Principles, Paris (September 2“3, 2003).

f. If their ports, air¬elds, or other facilities are used as transshipment points for
such cargoes to or from States or non-State actors of proliferation concern,
to inspect vessels, aircraft, or other transport modes reasonably suspected of
carrying such cargoes, and to seize such cargoes that are identi¬ed.

to reform their domestic laws in order to crack down on proliferation. A
primary virtue is that the PSI is not a treaty “ it does not impose a speci¬ed
set of criteria on participating States. It is impossible to imagine that the
arrangements contemplated by PSI would have come into effect if it had
to await diplomatic consensus. Its second virtue is that, in the face of mod-
ern terror and criminal threats, it inverts whatever priority had been given
to freedom of shipment over prevention of WMD proliferation. Indeed,
it stipulates common action in the face of global threats and provides
guidelines as to how that action should be undertaken so as to limit poten-
tial abuse.35 PSI™s objectives are promoted through multinational training
exercises that enable PSI States to put their capacities to work with one
another and to develop measures to intercept ships and planes.

The [PSI] re¬‚ects the need for a more dynamic, proactive approach to the
global proliferation problem. It envisions partnerships of states working in
concert, employing their national capabilities to develop a broad range of
legal, diplomatic, economic, military, and other tools to interdict threat-
ening shipments of [WMDs].36

Yet the PSI operates without force of law. Its foundation inheres in the
diplomatic power of the United States but is unconnected to the man-
dates of international organizations. Moreover, discovery of evidence of
wrongful conduct would not necessarily lead to prosecution. Linking the
operation of the PSI to the police and other law enforcers worldwide is,
therefore, ad hoc, but systematic cooperation is limited. In this regard, the
PSI exempli¬es what is increasingly true of global complication policies
generally: many good ideas with the best of intentions but insuf¬ciently
integrated within an effective strategy. See Box 5“4 for more information
about the speci¬c principles outlined for the PSI States.
6 Improving Resistance through Science

Bioscience is not just an activity or set of knowledge. It is a uniquely accel-
erating phenomenon that evokes inquiries about humanity™s most exis-
tential search “ what is the architecture of life? Our era is witnessing an
unprecedented revolution in human comprehension of the physics of life.
Yesterday™s ¬‚ights of imagination are today™s reality. Only the best scien-
ti¬c minds can predict where the rush of scienti¬c advance will take us
tomorrow, and even they can only guess at what might be conventional
wisdom in a few brief decades.

Knowledge of fundamental life processes has progressed to the point that
extensive human intervention in the course of natural evolution has appar-
ently become feasible, not only to determine particular outcomes but to
redirect the process itself. . . . As a result, the human species is relentlessly
acquiring power far in excess of its vision and this is thereby posing mon-
umental problems of prudential judgment “ problems that society is not
yet conceptually or institutionally equipped to handle.1

This bioscience revolution offers enormously bene¬cial prospects for
curing disease that necessarily expose how pathogens exploit human vul-
nerabilities. Unfortunately, these scienti¬c advances could supply knowl-
edge for the commission of heinous violence. Thus, at the core of research
to protect against bioviolence is a paradox: To learn how to defeat dis-
ease is to learn how it works. As the 21st Century opens, bioscience™s pre-
cious potential is intertwined with cascades of new threats. Techniques
that generate life-saving progress are the same techniques that could
generate catastrophic bioviolence. The essence of discovering protective
medicines opens ever more fascinating windows into the structure of life
itself that necessarily makes bioviolence easier, more lethal, more untreat-
able, or more contagious. This intertwining of promise and threat cannot


be disentangled at the level of fundamental science. To try to separate
them is to try to separate sides of a coin.
In principle all biological knowledge can be used both for civil and military
purposes. The knowledge needed to weaponise a germ is essentially the
same as is needed to understand how that germ causes disease and how
to create an effective vaccine against it.2
This chapter™s two sections explore the bioscience paradox by asking:
how should bioresearch be supervised in order to forestall pursuits with
uniquely dangerous implications; and how should bioresearch be pro-
moted to encourage global development of vaccines and medicines that
enhance resistance against bioviolence.


The discovery of knowledge or its release could enable bio-offenders to
accomplish something that otherwise might pose a real barrier. Research
to produce vaccines might enable creation of a profoundly more pow-
erful bioweapon. For example, if research could identify how to alter
anthrax™s genetic code to make it contagious, malevolent persons might
be able to profoundly escalate the bioviolence threat. This might now be
somewhat fanciful, yet the United States has genetically engineered an
immune-resistant strain of anthrax.3 Other research innocently intended
for bene¬cent purposes could be cruelly manipulated. For example,
advancing processes for assembling DNA strains into functioning viruses
might guide a bio-offender to synthesize a viral strain that is unaffected by
available vaccines.4
Should research proceed into the genetic properties of ebola, for exam-
ple, to determine what properties make it so lethal and to intermix genes
of ebola with related hemorrhagic diseases? Ebola is approximately 90 per-
cent lethal, but it has disadvantages for purposes of bioviolence (already
discussed in Chapter 2). Although it is contagious, new victims would have
to come into contact with a sufferer™s bodily ¬‚uids only once symptoms
have emerged when he would be too sick to move and the need to isolate
him would be obvious. Related hemorrhagic diseases are less lethal yet
more contagious than ebola; a victim might be less debilitated for a longer
period and spread the disease more widely. Should a scientist be allowed
to pursue research into how the ebola virus could be fused with more con-
tagious viruses that might result in a superbug with ebola™s lethality but
far more readily spread? If so, should he be allowed to publish the results
of his work?

The breakthrough need not involve pathogens. Particle physicists
cooperating with pulmonary scientists have improved the ef¬ciency of
how drugs can evade the respiratory system™s usual defenses and be inhaled
into the lung™s deep alveoli. Other advances in modeling air¬‚ow in the
human lung have transformed vaccine delivery. Newly invented organic
coatings dramatically increase the uptake of particles within the lungs
where microbes could settle and begin replication. These breakthroughs
could make it easier for an aerosolized pathogen such as anthrax to be
deposited into the lower airways. Thus, various technologies that improve
small drug aerosols and that generate specialized coatings for enhanc-
ing the body™s absorption of vaccines could also make an anthrax weapon
more effective by reducing how many anthrax spores are suf¬cient to cause
infection. These discoveries do not enhance pathogens, but they could
offer new techniques for weaponization.

The Challenge of Overseeing Bioresearch
If the same knowledge underlies great progress and horrible violence, how
might we prevent the destructive applications of bioscience while encour-
aging the conduct of legitimate research? How can policies to control the
direction and application of bioresearch be promoted without constrict-
ing progress? Should policies to regulate the content of bioresearch even
be considered? These questions are among the most controversial in the
entire policy arena of bioviolence prevention.
A facile suggestion would be to prohibit research that could open or
augment dangerous capabilities. Another suggestion would be to pro-
hibit publication of research ¬ndings because worldwide circulation could
enhance the lethal capabilities of otherwise unsophisticated offenders.
These “suggestions” are patently wrong. Distinguishing what research
should be allowed from the research that should be prohibited is exceed-
ingly dif¬cult, and that distinction would likely change in a short time.
Moreover, how would such a prohibition be enforced? Every advanced
laboratory would have to be equipped with monitoring technology, and
scientists would have to extensively report their activities. Even then, non-
compliance would be dif¬cult to detect. In short order, scientists would
likely devise ways to evade the prohibition.
The issue here is what should be done if the essence of scientists™
work “ opening ever more fascinating windows into the structure of life “
necessarily opens more dire potential for bioviolence? This concern is
different from what has been discussed in Chapter 5: how to enhance

security of pathogens, labs, and equipment. Telling bioscientists to pur-
sue science in compliance with security measures is reasonable; telling
them that their science might produce dangerous knowledge implies that
their endeavor is threatening and should be corralled.


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