Bioweapons

Modern technology and intelligence have been advancing faster than the human race can keep up with. This has been making the world both an incredible and a dangerous place to live. Upon this advancement, the emergence and use of biological weapons has been increasing. Biological weapons are living creatures that contain diseases which can be spread in various ways. While bioweapons may seem like a positive advancement, there are many negative aspects that could pose as a great threat to people. Although bioweapons may seem like a simple way to deal with a large problem or possible threats to our nation, these weapons can easily get out of hand and cause even larger problems. Because of the possible errors that may come with them, the use and creation of bioweapons should be prohibited in every nation, including the United States.

Biological weapons can be easily obtained and created by any person with enough knowledge of them. Additionally, these weapons can spread disease throughout a large population quickly and without immediate detection. Some people may find that to be good news, but if the attack is from terrorist groups on the United States this would cause great fear among the people. “Bioweapons can be classified…by the type of organism used, by their effect, and by their method of delivery” (Gale opposing view points). There are various means of delivering these weapons, some may be sprayed into the air and spread by people inhaling the contents. Others can be developed into a bomb; there are also ways to infest crops that people will eat as well as animals that people come into contact with. Those ways of spreading disease are simple and won’t always be easy to detect. If the resources to make a biological weapon get into the wrong hands of someone in the United States, they could easily disperse viruses into a food supply. By infecting a food supply, hundreds or thousands of people could be harmed before anybody might realize what is happening. Therefore, the knowledge and possession of any form of a bioweapon is a danger to every nation and every human being.

Another threat that these weapons bring, is the prospect of bioterrorism. Not only does the United States have access to these mass-destructive weapons, but terrorist groups have also proved to have connections to bioweapons. “I know many here today recall the anthrax attacks of 2001…the magnitude of that terrorist attack is miniscule compared to the larger anthrax release envisioned by our enemies” (Runge). Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, letters with powdered anthrax (a type of biological weapon) were mailed to people in the US who are involved in politics and the media. Since that occurrence was only a month after the attacks, it is safe to say that the letters containing anthrax were no coincidence. This incident shows that terrorists do have the knowledge of bioweapons and that they will use them against the United States if they have a reason. These threats are real, and the government needs to stop terrorist groups from creating bioweapons. Aside from the technology being available to terrorist organizations, there are many scientists who have the capability of creating strains of new viruses as well as bringing back old ones. “Modern technology has enabled scientists to recreate old viruses and develop new ones from scratch. And while the trade of DNA and genes is flourishing, security and regulations hardly exist” (Kiesbye). As shown, the knowledge of dangerous viruses is available. When knowledge about virus strands increases, precautions from the government must develop in order to prevent dangerous advancements. “The technology needed to create biological weapons are freely available at academic laboratories…Trying to identify, much less monitor or control these activities, seems hopeless” (Kiesbye). It is not hard for people to obtain the information and materials necessary for the production of bioweapons. And in addition to that, the security observing any suspicious actions is not as alert as it should be. This poses as a great danger, because almost anybody could be gaining access to this information. Without the surveillance of the government tracking who can develop what kinds of weapons, the US and other nations are in danger.

Some people may argue and say that bioweapons are far too difficult to create and that terrorist groups would not have enough information to create them. This may be true, but who is to say that these weapons won’t end up in the wrong hands? As stated earlier, after the September 11th attacks, attempts were made to send anthrax powder to certain figures in the US. Is that not enough proof that terrorists have had the required technology for these weapons, and that they will use it against the US? It was also stated that, “While anthrax does form hard spores that can remain inert for a period of time, the disease is not easily transmitted from person to person, and therefore is unlikely to create an epidemic outside of the area targeted by the attack” (Burton and Stewart). Even if a biological weapon may not be easily spread, it will still affect some people. And in the eyes of a terrorist that is probably more than enough. While these weapons may not kill on a large scale, they will definitely cause a commotion, “…such an attack can be quite disruptive. Cleaning up after such an attack is expensive and takes considerable time and effort” (Burton and Stewart). If terrorist organizations are not successful in killing large amounts of Americans, it may be sufficient enough for them to create chaos and “mass-disruption.”

While the debate about biological weapons may be a controversial one, the bottom line is that the production and research of them should be stopped. And if not stopped, they should be limited and greatly supervised. Although some say these weapons won’t cause anything more than a stir, there is always the possibility of an outbreak in a deadly disease. And since these agents are living, they can easily become out of control. Much of the information to create bioweapons is readily available which means that almost anybody can get their hands on it. An issue like this has no easy answer especially because violence and crime can be unpredictable. The only way of preventing any dangerous assaults would be for government organizations to carefully watch any groups that may be accessing information to biological weapons, and to monitor their actions. This can prevent the possible terror that may be deployed on a nation, and the fear that may be instilled on citizens.





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