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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: 27 May 2020

Small Bioweapons Programs and the Constraints of Covertness

Small Bioweapons Programs and the Constraints of Covertness

(p.122) Chapter 6 Small Bioweapons Programs and the Constraints of Covertness
Barriers to Bioweapons

Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley

Cornell University Press

This chapter argues that achieving covertness in a bioweapons program can be likened to a double-edged sword: though it can shield an illicit program from outside scrutiny while the program seeks the materials needed to commence its objective, it can also be a powerful impediment to success, similar to the case of the Soviet bioweapons program. In addition, the increased financial burden and its effects on knowledge management can derail a program. These problems are evident in covert bioweapons programs in Iraq, South Africa, and the terrorist group Aum Shinrikyo. The deleterious power of covertness of these three programs was distinguished by two factors: insufficient knowledge base at the outset, and coercive character of their regimes.

Keywords:   covertness, bioweapons program, Soviet bioweapons program, Aum Shinrikyo, Iraq, South Africa, bioweapons

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