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American BiodefenseHow Dangerous Ideas about Biological Weapons Shape National Security$
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Frank L. III Smith

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452710

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452710.001.0001

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Stereotypical Neglect of Military Research, Development, and Acquisition for Biodefense

Stereotypical Neglect of Military Research, Development, and Acquisition for Biodefense

Chapter:
(p.36) [2] Stereotypical Neglect of Military Research, Development, and Acquisition for Biodefense
Source:
American Biodefense
Author(s):

Frank L. Smith

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801452710.003.0003

This chapter examines the history of military research, development, and acquisition for biodefense, from pre-World War II through the 2003 Iraq War. Neglect in each area is evident throughout the period between World War II and the Iraq War. The U.S. military initially resisted the idea of biological warfare and assigned it to the Chemical Warfare Service despite all of the differences between chemical weapons and biological weapons. Moreover, inaccuracies inherent to the stereotype of “chemical and biological weapons” caused problems for offense as well as defense, and these ideas even influenced President Richard Nixon's decision to end the offensive biological weapons program in 1969. U.S. investment in biodefense soon hit record lows, which helps explain why General Schwarzkopf was unprepared for biological weapons during the Gulf War.

Keywords:   biodefense, World War II, Iraq War, biological warfare, Chemical Warfare Service, Gulf War, U.S. military

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