The problem of biological warfare and biological weapons disarmament is complex. It involves considering military history, international arms control and disarmament negotiations, and difficult scientific issues. Therefore, it’s helpful to divide them into four aspects--the threat, the web of prevention, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), and the dual-use dilemma. The following texts provide an introduction to these issues.
A study of the key elements of the web of prevention needed to prevent the proliferation of biological weapons. The idea here is that the threat is multifaceted, meaning any international agreements must be supplemented by an integrated range of other policies such as export controls and sensible biodefense to persuade potential proliferators that the costs of noncompliance would far outweigh the benefits.
An extensive review of the problem of the potential misuse of the modern life sciences and what might be the best available policy options, and an effort to give a comprehensive overview of the dual-use issue from a variety of viewpoints with the aim of clarifying potential misunderstandings.
A detailed analysis of the state of the BTWC prior to the Sixth Review Conference. Suggestions as to what might best be done to strengthen the convention are also included. It's the third in a series of such studies presented to delegations at successive review conferences and proves a good standard against which to judge ongoing progress in strengthening the convention.
One of two influential reports the National Research Council has released ("Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism" is the other) on the ongoing advances in the life sciences and the implications these advances have for international security. "Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of the Life Sciences" concludes that there are some experiments that could be of sufficient concern to warrant a pre-project review and gives examples of such classes of experiments. "Biotechnology in an Age of Terrorism" emphasizes the international dimensions of the dual-use dilemma and greatly expands upon the areas of life sciences that are of potential concern.
An overview of the known state offensive biological weapons programs in the second half of the twentieth century based on official documentation. Deadly Cultures also includes chapters on allegations of use and the political and legal aspects of disarmament. An essential basis for considering what could happen this century.