Essay on The Threats of Biological Warfare

Essay on The Threats of Biological Warfare

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The term “biological warfare” has been used quite frequently lately. We see it on the news, read it in magazines and newspapers, and hear about it in the political rhetoric of the day. However, the sad reality is that most Americans are not well informed about how dangerous the threat of biological warfare really is. Not only that, but our own government is not even prepared to deal with a biological attack, something that is more probable than most of us would like to believe.

Biological warfare is not all that complicated. Put simply, it is essentially using diseases against your enemies in order to cripple them. The concept is not all that new, either. Americans used it against the Native American population during the settlement of this country. By giving the Native Americans contaminated blankets taken from the beds of people with small pox, we were able to kill many of them and easily take away their land (see www.usamriid.army.mil). This example shows several things. First, we were not above using biological warfare, so do not be fooled into thinking anyone else is. Also, it is easy to use and difficult for the enemy to see coming. That makes it a tempting weapon for anyone willing to use it.

The idea of biological warfare may be a simple one, but do not make the mistake of oversimplifying it. One might say that coughing on someone you don’t like in order to give them your cold could be considered biological warfare, but it is nothing like the threat we are facing. Technology has moved far beyond the days of infecting Native Americans with small pox. Today, people are capable of making disease-resistant strains of virus and bacteria, manufacturing them in mass quantities, and storing them for long per...


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... Scientists are also looking for ways to create vaccines more quickly so that once a germ is detected, the vaccine can be made and distributed in a short amount of time. To protect the citizen, a company called Molecular Geodesics is looking into a suit in which the bacteria and virus particles are caught in the fabric and killed by a disinfectant. All of these new ideas could potentially be used in the case of an attack, though there is still a lot more work to be done to effectively protect people.

Biological warfare is not something to be taken lightly. It is a real threat and goes far beyond just making a few people sick. People need to realize this threat and accept the fact that the U.S. is in no way ready to deal with such an attack. Luckily, the people who do understand this threat are beginning to make advances in order to protect those who don’t.

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