Govt 480 Db Forum 3 2 Replies Due 9142020



 You must post 2 replies of at least 200 words each to other classmates’ threads. 

Each reply must incorporate at least 1 citation. Acceptable sources include the textbook, the Bible, and electronic sources (excluding Wikipedia).

 Submit your replies by 10:59 p.m. (CST) on Monday of the assigned module/week. 

1st reply

 Nicholas Dziama 

This topic is one that is personal and very apparent to me as this is the field in which I operate on a daily basis. This is also a topic that is often discounted by the general public as something that could or can’t happen here. The response I always give is that “9/11 never happened…. until it did”. Historically biological material has been used in the United States for the purpose of terrorism more than a few times and should frankly be taken far more seriously then it has been.  “The U.S. national civilian vulnerability to the deliberate use of biological and chemical agents has been highlighted by recognition of substantial biological weapons development programs and arsenals in foreign countries, attempts to acquire or possess biological agents by militants, and high-profile terrorist attacks” (Ali S. Khan, 2000).  With the introduction of Covid-19 into our society, it is now just becoming apparent how easily biological material be spread and the devastation that can be caused by it. One good example of biological terrorism weather the specific details of the story are true or not was, in 1837 U.S. Army troops distributed wool blankets laden with Smallpox to the Mandan Indians at Ft. Clark, modern day North Dakota. These blankets were shipped from the Army’s smallpox infirmary and whether it was intentional or not may never be known. The Army released the Indians and the smallpox was widely spread throughout many tribes causing massive amounts of deaths. Another example of this is the release of ticks infected with Lyme disease form the USDA government research laboratory on Plum Island just south of Old Lyme, Connecticut. These examples show that weather intentional or not, the result can be devastating, and the aftermath could last for an eternity if the original source isn’t contained and all outliers are not traced.

Chemical weapons are also far more common than most people realize. The potential for chemical release is present on a daily basis. Thanks to security regulations and organizations like the Department of Energy, they do not happen very often.  The potential for chlorine gas attacks is very easily obtained and executed and has been attempted by Al-Qaeda in 2006 and 2007. Ricin attacks have been attempted as recently as 2013, when letters addressed to the President were intercepted by the post office in DC on multiple occasions. Ricin is easy to obtain and manufacture. “Ricin works by getting inside the cells of a person’s body and preventing the cells from making the proteins they need. Without the proteins, cells die. Eventually this is harmful to the whole body, and death may occur” (CDC, 2020). One month ago, today, 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in the port of Beirut, killing more than 200 people, wounding 5000 others, and leaving 300,000 residents temporarily homeless. The explosion was a result of a large, improperly stored, seizure of Ammonium Nitrate from the M/V Rhosus bound for Russia when it was intercepted and stored in Barut of over 6 years next to a fireworks production facility. This is an example of how easily materials can be obtained and how mishandling can result in devastation.    

Thankfully, storage and movement of hazardous material in the united states is more highly regulated and the Department of Energy tracks and monitors all facilities responsible for safely storing a disposing of materials. I believe that there is an astonishingly low emphasis on educating the general public about potential threats, what they look like, how they are packaged and dispersed. Providing proper training about identification, protection, and side effects of these types of attacks would greatly prepare individuals for an attack and reduce the number of casualties as a result of early warning and detection and containment. Bibliography

Ali S. Khan, M. (2000). Center for Disease Control. Retrieved from Biological and Chemical Terrorism:Strategic Plan for Preparedness and Response:

CDC. (2020). Retrieved from Facts About Ricin:

2nd reply

 Mike Shelor DB3

 Whether an accidental discharge, a natural epidemic, or a premeditated attack, biological threats are among the most life-threatening dilemma the United States faces. This occurrence has the potential to heavily impact health, economic, and national security types. “The Trump administration’s National Security Strategy released in December warns that biological threats to the U.S. homeland are growing” (Thompson, 2018). The reasons supporting this awareness are that threats are becoming more difficult to anticipate since they are so diverse, making it difficult to be prepared. An instance would be, in 2001, “our nation experienced a biological attack with anthrax mailed in letters, killing five people and injuring 17, and costing an estimated $6 billion in clean up and lost revenue” (Kadlec, 2018).

 To be able to prevent future attacks on the United States, there must be measures implemented to ensure a decisive and favorable outcome concerning biodefense. The term biodefense involves coordinated measures to deter biothreats, decrease risks, prepare and react to, and recover from confrontations. These measures are listed, by goals, within the “National Biodefense strategy.”

  Goal 1: “ENABLE RISK AWARENESS TO INFORM DECISION-MAKING ACROSS THE BIODEFENSE ENTERPRISE” (National Biodefense Strategy, 2018). This includes improving intelligence and investigation activities, conduct research and patterning behaviors, evaluate risks and capabilities, increase the development and assessment of bio surveillance systems, expand information sharing and reporting, and create improved laboratory operations.

 Goal 2: “Promote measures to prevent or reduce the spread of naturally occurring infectious diseases” (National Biodefense Strategy, 2018). Measures will include reinforcing infection prevention methods internally and externally, regulate border introductions, improve animal disease detection and prevention measures, bolster plant disease deterrence, endorse global health and security, strengthen our internal efforts to respond to instances, and prevent the usage of biological weapons.

 Goal 3: Form a national science and technology footprint to support biodefense. This incorporates developing plans and policies to support prevention and recovery, ensure the financial machinery is in place to support efforts, develop communication plans, promote diagnostic skills, and advance decontamination strategies.

 Goal 4: Assemble intelligence and share to enable an appropriate course of action that includes all government, non-government, private sector, and external units. This will include providing access to all information in a timely fashion, promote situational awareness through real-time reporting, provide the correct oversight and cooperation, support response efforts, provide understandable information to the public during an incident, and perform real-time research.

 Goal 5: Accelerate the recovery process to restore the community and the economy after an incident. This will ensure the restoration of certain infrastructures, perform recovery and relief operations, reduce the international impact of an incident, and deliver management oversight of the recovery process.

  America is facing an increase from external and internal threats that are becoming more difficult to combat. New strategies must be developed to help identify and deter any attack that could compromise our communities and our freedoms. References

Kadlec, R. P. (2018, September 18). National Biodefense Strategy: Protect the Nation Against all Biological Threats. Retrieved from U.S Department of Health and Human Services:

(2018). National Biodefense Strategy. Washington D.C.

Thompson, L. (2018, April 9). The Threat Of Biological Warfare Is Increasing, And The U.S. Isn’t Ready. Retrieved from Forbes:


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