The Global Threat of New and Reemerging Infectious Diseases: Reconciling U.S. National Security and Public Health Policy

The Global Threat of New and Reemerging Infectious Diseases: Reconciling U.S. National Security and Public Health Policy

The Global Threat of New and Reemerging Infectious Diseases: Reconciling U.S. National Security and Public Health Policy

The Global Threat of New and Reemerging Infectious Diseases: Reconciling U.S. National Security and Public Health Policy

Synopsis

This study offers a comprehensive analysis of the security implications of the spread of infectious diseases, including case studies of HIV/AIDS in South Africa and major public health challenges currently confronting the United States.

Excerpt

With the end of the Cold War, there has been a growing realization that the United States and the international community face a number of transnational challenges that do not emanate directly from the policies of individual states. In turn, these challenges cannot be countered solely by the actions of a state, yet they threaten the most basic element of state security, the individual. One important emerging transnational threat in this regard is the spread of infectious disease. This menace has garnered growing attention and resources from the U.S. government since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent anthrax attacks.

This report undertakes to examine the changing nature of security and focuses on the threat of infectious disease. It examines two case studies: HIV/AIDS in South Africa as an example of the pervasive and insidious threat disease can pose to a state's stability and security and the threat of infectious disease in the United States to examine the factors in the increasing threat, America's capacity to respond, and policies, institutions, and procedures that can be developed to mitigate the threat.

This report will be of interest to U.S. and international policymakers inside and outside government and at all levels who are developing strategies to cope with the increasing threat posed by pathogens. It should also be of interest to those individuals developing strategies to cope with the emerging security environment.

This study was conducted by RAND Science and Technology as part of RAND's continuing program of self-sponsored research. We acknowledge the support for such research provided by the inde-

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