LIVING WEAPONS: Biological Warfare and International Security

Article excerpt

LIVING WEAPONS: Biological Warfare and International Security, Gregory D. Koblentz, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 2009, 272 pages, $35.00.

Gregory D. Koblentz, as deputy director of the Biodefense Graduate Program and assistant professor of government and politics in the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University, has the background and insight to provide a comprehensive analysis of biological warfare and its complex role in international security. Koblentz's book is well organized, well researched, and written in a way that allows readers to follow his analysis with little or no background in the biological sciences or international security. The book includes a list of acronyms and scientific terms to facilitate understanding of the writing for those who are unfamiliar with the terminology.

Koblentz used UN reports, articles published in scientific journals, and intelligence agency reports to support his analysis. He provides a brief background of biological weapons and their relationship to international security and presents events that led to the argument for Iraq's possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction program. Koblentz reminds the reader of the importance of biological warfare as it pertains to international security.

Through discussions of the international verification process and limited civilian oversight, Koblentz makes an argument for the complex nature of biological warfare. …