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Army War College: Assessing the Biological Weapons and Bioterrorism Threat

Author: Milton Leitenberg
December 2005


The events of September 11, 2001, although not in any way related to biological warfare, combined with the distribution of professionally prepared anthrax spores through the U.S. postal system in the weeks afterwards, magnified previous concerns by orders of magnitude. It was also discovered that tal-Qaeda had spent several years trying to obtain the knowledge and means to produce biological agents.

These new factors shifted the context in which biological warfare was considered almost entirely to "bioterrorism." Within 4 years, almost $30 billion in federal expenditure was appropriated to counter the anticipated threat. This response took place in the absence of virtually any threat analysis. The purpose of this monograph is to begin to fill that gap.

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