American biological warfare program is not new one, the world is under another threat of Covid-19 –part 2, as the United States biological weapons program officially started in spring 1943 on orders from U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. The research continued following World War II as the U.S. built up a large stockpile of biological agents and weapons.
Most recently, the US military-biological activity poses ‘security threat to many states of the world,’ says head of radiation, chemical, biological protection troops.
On Wednesday, Russia claimed the United States has started preparations for a “new pandemic” by searching for virus mutations via newly-established Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy (OPPR).
“Despite the fact that the stated goals of US programs are to monitor disease incidence and provide assistance to developing countries … we see the Pentagon conducting uncontrolled dual-use research in circumvention of international obligations,” Igor Kirillov, the head of Russia’s radiation, chemical, biological protection troops, told a briefing in Moscow.
Arguing that US military projects are primarily aimed at studying “potential agents of biological weapons,” Kirillov claimed US military-biological activity poses “a security threat to many nations around the world.”
“There is a clear trend: pathogens that fall within the Pentagon’s area of interest, such as COVID-19, avian influenza, African swine fever, subsequently become pandemic, and American pharmaceutical companies become the beneficiaries,” Kirillov said.
He added: “As in 2019, the US has begun preparing for a new pandemic by searching for virus mutations. We do not rule out that the US will use of so-called defensive technologies for offensive purposes, as well as for global governance by creating crisis situations of a biological nature.”
Does the US have biological warfare?
Yes, the United States has conducted research and development related to biological warfare in the past, which entered into force in 1975, but it’s important to note that the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), prohibits the development, production, and acquisition of biological weapons. The United States is a signatory to the BWC and has declared that it renounces the use of biological weapons and will not engage in offensive biological warfare.
But United States has maintained research programs related to defensive measures against biological threats and biodefense including the research into infectious diseases, vaccine development, and strategies to respond to biological emergencies, both naturally occurring and potentially deliberate ones.
In second World War, Imperial Japanese Army’s Unit 731 conducted biological warfare experiments on Chinese civilians and prisoners of war during World War II. In these experiments included the spread of diseases like cholera, bubonic plague and anthrax. Their goal was to develop biological weapons for military use.
In Russia, 1979 Sverdlovsk Anthrax Outbreak in which the former Soviet Union, an accidental release of anthrax spores from a biological weapons facility in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) led to an outbreak of anthrax, that resulted in multiple deaths but that incident was initially covered up by Russian government at that time.
During the Rhodesian Bush War (1964-1979), the Rhodesian government allegedly attempted to use biological weapons by contaminating water supplies with cholera. Actually these attempts were intended to target the guerrilla fighters but also affected civilian populations.
In the Syrian Civil War, the use of chemical and biological weapons had been claimed which includes the use of chlorine gas and sarin, have been deployed in the ongoing Syrian Civil War. But, these allegations have sparked international condemnation and investigations.
United States biological weapons program
It is not a hidden truth that the Biodefense Commission that Kadlec set up in 2014, funded by the Hudson Institute, which was co-founded by Herman Kahn, the Rand Corporation war gamer. Kahn’s theory that nuclear war could be deterred if Russia believed the US had second strike capability was the inspiration for Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove character and the film.
It’s significant here to mention that using biological weapons is widely considered a violation of international law and norms, and there is a need to put some serious efforts to prevent their use remain a priority in global security.