The health of the world has expanded from a humanitarian issue to an issue of national security and economic growth. Global health not only has an impact on most of the foreign policy objectives we hope to achieve, but also a direct effect on the health of Americans, especially as globalization frays our national boundaries. A focus on health is part of a foreign policy agenda that aims at building a more secure world, draws all countries into a growing network of interdependence that sustains stability and maintains America’s central role within that network. This roundtable series brings leaders from the foreign policy and health communities together to discuss the recommendations of the CFR-Milbank Memorial Fund report, “Why Health is Important to U.S. Foreign Policy,” and to discuss contemporary topics that form the nexus between global health and U.S. foreign policy
Bio-terrorism is the one of the deadliest threats facing the United States today. This roundtable, in light of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, discusses measures to protect against or mitigate the effects of such a bio-terrorist attack by asking questions such as:
• What is the potential for a significant bioterrorist attack on the United States;
• What public health and related measures can be taken in advance of an attack to reduce their impact;
• Are we currently equipped to deal with the consequences of an attack?
• What type of biological agents can terrorists get their hands on?
• Can they keep them alive and grow enough of them to mount a significant attack?
• Can they weaponize them effectively to mount a massive attack that puts tens to hundreds of thousands at risk;
• How much money is needed to prepare the United States for a large scale biological terrorist attack?
• How the money should be allocated, which programs/agencies should be funded?