Bioweapons. Political Dimensions. I. Supplements to Guillemin’s History: World War II. The case of Stalingrad… Suspicious outbreak of tularemia at Stalingrad Kenneth Alibek (Soviet weapons scientist) alleges USSR used bioweapons Other scientists believe outbreak was natural.
1. Guillemin lowballs the figures for Chinese deaths. But Langford (Introduction to Weapons of Mass Destruction, 2004, p.142) says 250,000 Chinese killed by Japanese BW, mainly plague.
2. A few thousand – 250,000 is a big range. Can we narrow down the effectiveness of the Japanese program?
a. Initial Symptoms too vague to know attack has occurred
a. Required capabilities
Universities: Essentially no safety regulations (voluntary only, apply to NIH grants for recombinant-DNA research only)
A. What are the incentives to build BW?
i. Realism: States use BW to alter the balance of power with rivals. Implies BW good for the weak side in asymmetric dyads, bad for the strong side in asymmetric dyads, and good for balanced dyads. Problem = balance of capabilities appears to increase war risk!
(See Assignment 1 and in-class exercises for details on the BWC and its effect on proliferation)
a. Counterproliferation can undermine nonproliferation – Threat of pre-emptive war may encourage WMD development. New counterproliferation strategies threaten first use of nuclear weapons (new bunker busters). See the Sagan article for why this might be a bad idea.