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Biological and Toxin Weapons: Arms Control, Stability, and Western Security

  • Lynn M. Hansen (a1)

Abstract

Arms control is not about agreements, but rather deals with creating enhanced security and international stability. Such objectives are difficult to realize in the field of biological and toxin weapons. The 1972 convention which bans them contains neither enforcement nor verification mechanisms. Rapid advancements in the fields of biochemistry and genetic engineering provide enormous potential for developing novel toxin weapons that defy virtually all conventional verfication methodologies. Moreover, it is widely assumed that the 1972 agreement has been violated by the Soviet Union and its client states in various parts of the world. This undermines the agreement's credibility as an effective international tool to prevent the exploitation of science and technology for ever more egregious weapons. Despite the troubled past and uncertain future of arms control in this area, every moral government must attempt to make arms control a viable element in the fight against the proliferation and use of biological and toxin weapons.

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Biological and Toxin Weapons: Arms Control, Stability, and Western Security

  • Lynn M. Hansen (a1)

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