New forces yet undetermined : the challenge of biodefense
Author(s)Kuntz, Carol R
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Kenneth A. Oye.
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This dissertation finds that the full implementation of the traditional security approaches of prevention, deterrence and defense would not be effective at protecting the United States from a catastrophic biological attack. The traditional approaches would not merely fail but would be counterproductive. Most of the relevant literature - in both the policy and academic worlds - urges the application of traditional strategies to combat the risk of catastrophic biological attack. The traditional strategies are undercut by two broad changes in the strategic environment: 2 1 st century biotechnologies and the emergence of serious non-state adversaries. This dissertation proposes refinements to the traditional strategies of prevention, deterrence, and defense. Prevention seeks to stop an adversary or a potential adversary from acquiring a capability that could be used to decisive effect in an attack. Deterrence seeks to dissuade an adversary from launching an attack by making it plain in advance that the costs would significantly outweigh the benefits. Defense is protecting against an adversary's attack so as to minimize its effects. Traditional prevention strategy should shift from emphasizing export controls and inspections to norm-building. It should use international technical elites to build and enforce norms. These strengthened norms would, in turn, strengthen existing prohibitions. Traditional deterrence strategies should shift from post-attack retaliation to a declaratory strategy more tailored to the biological threat, underscoring the risk of failure for a terrorist group and the resulting exposure and destruction of their key operational assets.Defense must strengthen both traditional defense and medical response. Traditional defense of the homeland would be overwhelmed by the greater scale, speed and technical complexity of a catastrophic biological attack. There would be a new requirement for strategic decisions, as well as a need for federal supplements to state and local tactical and logistical capabilities. The medical countermeasure strategy needs both substantive and structural improvements. Substantively, it needs a continuum of activities seeking to exploit the defensive potential of new technologies, even as adversaries may exploit their offensive potential. The structure that would be most useful would be an international scientific exchange, where the additional technical and fiscal contributions would likely speed needed progress.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2009."September 2009." Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (v. 2, p. 356-377).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology