Easy to Build, Hard to Detect: How to Track Biological Arms?

By Elizabeth Olson, Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, February 2, 1998 | Go to article overview

Easy to Build, Hard to Detect: How to Track Biological Arms?


Elizabeth Olson, Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Iraq's prolonged cat-and-mouse game over its biological arsenal has thrown the spotlight on the difficulties the international community faces in trying to eliminate these weapons of mass destruction.

Since 1972, some 140 nations have signed a cold-war-era pact that bans the development, production, and stockpiling of biological arms.

But recognizing that the Biological Weapons Convention went into effect without any mechanism for monitoring or enforcing compliance, and amid growing fears of proliferation, countries began working several years ago to strengthen the global agreement. As the fourth year of closed-door negotiations begins, it is becoming clear that Saddam Hussein is far from alone in holding out on biological weapons. As many as 15 countries, including Iraq, Russia, Syria, Iran, Israel, China, North Korea, and Taiwan are known or suspected to be trying to develop the ability to build biological arsenals. President Richard Nixon unilaterally ended America's biological weapons program in 1969. The reality of germ warfare became apparent in 1992, when Russian President Boris Yeltsin publicly admitted Moscow had conducted an offensive biological program for 20 years, and ordered the effort terminated. While there are doubts that Russia has completely abandoned its program, the disclosure drew attention to the global dangers of biological weapons - even though germ warfare is not new. Old idea, new technology In the 14th century, the Tatars catapulted plague victims' bodies into the besieged city of Kaffa on the Crimean peninsula. In Colonial America, the English deliberately gave Indians blankets used by smallpox patients. What is new is the technological advances that allow lethal microbes to spread rapidly and widely, according to Graham Pearson, who formerly headed Britain's Porton Down chemical and biological defense operation. "Iraq has a very real capability" to produce and deliver some of these biological agents, according to what United Nations weapons inspectors have so far uncovered, says Dr. Pearson. Among other substances, Iraq has produced anthrax and botulinum toxin, Person said in a report for the Washington-based Henry L. Stimson Center, which studies such matters. Iraq had spray tanks, remotely piloted vehicles, aerial bombs, rockets and missiles, able to deliver such substances, according to Pearson's study, which was based on UN inspectors' reports. Iraq did not belong to the international agreement when it was developing its biological industry, notes Amy Smithson, an arms control verification expert from the Stimson Center. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Easy to Build, Hard to Detect: How to Track Biological Arms?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.