Academic Source Response – Biological Threat

For my blog this week I chose an article from the Arms Control Association entitled ‘Biological Threat Assessment: Is the Cure Worse Than The Disease?’ written by Jonathan B. Tucker. I chose this source as I believe it corresponds well with The Year of the Flood, specifically, in the discussion of biological threat. Within The Year of the Flood, nature plays a big role as a healer and a killer, and while we see the healing aspect detailed quite extensively in terms of God’s Gardeners, the danger of nature and biological advances plays a sinister role that we aren’t given much knowledge about. Therefore I selected this source to explore the concept of biological threat more extensively. Tuckers main point is the idea that by foregoing research on bioterrorism and biodefense in an effort to cease advances in that field, the nation is actually more susceptible and less prepared for attacks of biological warfare. Tucker also makes the point that at times it can be difficult to see where the line is drawn between research of biological threats and the development of possible weapon systems.

According to the article, US suspicion of world powers such as North Korea, Syria, Iran, and Cuba, is nothing compared to how these countries feel about the US. Tucker explains that we deem biological studies within these countries dangerous and possible breaches on the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), while we turn a blind eye to the research we conduct domestically that could be deemed volatile. In turn, as we conduct more research, developing countries continue to conduct research in an effort to stay competitive and strong on the world stage.

To me, this article illustrates how something like the waterless flood could occur in our world today. Although there is a treaty in place to prevent the creation of such biological weapons, it’s been noted that the suspicion of other world super powers actually leads to increased research and development on all fronts. I find value in this article as it lays the groundwork for a scenario like the one in TYOTF or in the real world. As the US does continue to become even more corporate, possibly even to the point reached in TYOTF, I can understand how this biological research could turn into development when not regulated by the bonds of a treaty or the ever-watchful eyes of the world.


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