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Barriers to BioweaponsThe Challenges of Expertise and Organization for Weapons Development$
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Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452888

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452888.001.0001

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date: 01 June 2020

The American Bioweapons Program

The American Bioweapons Program

Struggling with a Split Personality Disorder

(p.64) Chapter 4 The American Bioweapons Program
Barriers to Bioweapons

Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the termination of U.S. bioweapons program in 1969 due to issues of moral concerns as well as the unpredictability of the weapon effects and reliability. Because of this prohibition no bioweapons-specific missiles were designed, and biological weapons were never fully integrated into military war plans during the Vietnam War. This case demonstrates the interplay of positive endogenous variables and negative exogenous variables, as well as their difficult integration. On the one hand, the program adopted an organizational and managerial model well suited to ensure knowledge creation, resulting in scientific innovations. On the other hand, it failed to meet military requirements because of exogenous variables—the low priority that the political and military establishments gave to biological weapons, and its subordination to several government agencies.

Keywords:   U.S. bioweapons program, Vietnam War, endogenous variables, exogenous variables, knowledge creation

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