Biological weapons attribution a primer
Stone Bahr, Elizabeth L.
Lavoy, Peter R.
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The possibility of an enemy attack using biological weapons (BW) remains one of the biggest threats to U.S. and global security. U.S. defense and deterrence policies are based on the assumption that the perpetrator can be quickly and reliably identified. If perpetrators can conduct attacks without the fear of attribution or punishment, they can act with impunity. The ability to punish, therefore, rests on the ability to identify the perpetrator. Thus, the goal of attribution is at the root of all national security strategies. Unfortunately, there are three reasons why the attribution of BW attacks are very difficult: (1) the nature of biological weapons, (2) the unique restrictions the international environment places on BW attribution, and (3) the bureaucratic constraints and organizational overlap that domestic political environments can impose if a BW attack occurs. This thesis thus provides a basic epistemological framework for analysis
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