Improving Border Security From Biological Threats
Border security has the utmost priority in the security system of every country since any internal safety and sovereignty entirely depends upon sufficient border protection. Indeed, border security is a significant system protecting any country from numerous threats. Since border security is an essential issue of any country’s defense system, the U.S. government has also initiated several steps such as protecting its border from biological threats. Nevertheless, the program is expensive but any country’s security system can never be proscribed due to the high expenditure. The U.S. government has undertaken safety measures to defend its borders from attacks that may contain biological weapons. Due to the frequent development of the border security, defending the country from extensive range of biological threats is the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security. This department complies correspondingly with its duties. The aim of biosecurity is to provide proper protection to the life of human beings, farm animals, and farm earnings from various harmful diseases, detrimental animals, birds, and weeds. Border security must protect the environment. Its improvement is a complicated task, since the terrorists and criminals attack the border and try to cross it. However, the Department of Homeland Security implemented new approaches and forecasts regarding possible biological attacks. A man can handle the criminal with biological weapons under condition of the rapid advancement of science and technology. Indeed, it is necessary to exercise technological advantages for the benefit of the humankind. However, chemical, atomic, or other weapons are being used against humanity. Hundreds of people die due to the wrath of this cruel power. Simultaneously, there are numerous devastating prospects of these biological weapons. Henceforth, the negative aspects and features of biological weapons are very apparent to the people of this world where demonic power practice should be banned. The question is whether there are enough good people in the world to refuse from biological weapons for the betterment of civilization. The people involved in the policy making activities against biological and other kinds of weapons, such as chemical, nuclear, radiological, and cyber security attacks using special tools, must realize that border security has especial importance.
Biological weapons are produced using various biological materials. Biological threats are the challenges to the U.S. community. On the other hand, biological agents increase natural microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, yeasts, parasites, rickettsia, Chlamydia, viruses, and toxins which spread various diseases and cause deaths in the target population. Guillemin asserts that the Department of Homeland Security and its members activate their efforts to protect the U.S. border by providing biological weapons programs. Only toxins, viruses, and bacteria are considered to be the agents that are used to produce biological weapons. Toxins are not the living organisms but they spoil the environment. On the other hand, bacteria and viruses producing toxins can damage human body, plants, and animals. These small microorganisms spread through the pollution of food, water, and air. In some cases, several vectors, such as pest, birds, domestic and wild animals, are responsible for the multiplication of these germs. Biological weapons are produced using three key sources such as viruses, bacteria, and toxins. The most important reason for using such microorganisms is the miscellaneous nature and different harmful effects of the germs. Furthermore, some special biological agents have the characteristics of breaking down speedily as well as maximum sustainability. Nevertheless, these microorganisms have rather detrimental impacts on the biodiversity, environment, and human life. They hamper ecological balance, damage food production and resources as well as supply of fresh water. Enemies and terrorists can use different techniques to employ biological threats. The most common threats are as follows:
- Pollution of Food and water
According to Wright, the research asserts that biological threats are the most dangerous which have ever existed. The Department of Homeland Security and its members should control the growth, manufacture, and supply of biological weapons. Security should be unyielding while protecting borders from biological threats, so that the people inside the country live in peace and are free from the harmful effects. In addition, there is another tension connected with mishandling of biological weapons. Therefore, tenaciously improvement of border security may lessen the apprehension of biological threat, and the members of the Department of Homeland Security should surreptitiously follow biological weapons programs. In the World health report it is stated that in 1990, during the Gulf War, the United States Government’s concern about potential anthrax attacks had led to the vaccination of more than 100000 military personnel. There is no suspicion that biological weapon is the only violent power which a man has ever used. But regarding its destructive force, it is certainly a curse for humanity. These facts are sufficient to unveil the demonic purpose of biological weapons.
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Viral Threats and Diseases
It is an evident fact that biological weapon is a severe threat to the everyday life, health, and happiness of the U.S. citizens. The desire of terrorists to kill the U.S. people is not a secret, and this intention of the terrorists became evident after their attack on 11 September 2001. These terrorists want to sacrifice the innocent people in order to implement their plan. The use of anthrax via mail system is a solid proof of the terrorist’s intensity to destroy civilization using non-conventional weapons. Undeniably, using biological weapons is an old system which has been deployed since 300 B.C. Various diseases, such as plague and smallpox, have been used as the agent for a long time. There were several systems of spreading diseases, such as catapults, blankets etc., which transmitted disease to the target population. World War I is one of the stages that witnessed biological combat strategies. Other diseases, such as cholera and plague, were used in Russia and Italy. Perhaps, at the same time in Romania, anthrax was used to infect animals. In 1925, there was a Protocol established to prohibit the use in War of asphyxiating, bacteriological, or other gases, and poisonous methods of warfare that was recognized as the Geneva Protocol. This protocol suggested refusing from the application of biological agents in warfare except their research, improvement, manufacture, or stockpiling. Martin et al assert that-
The US military recognized biological warfare as a potential threat after World War I. Major Leon Fox of the Army Medical Corps wrote an extensive report concluding that improvements in health and sanitation made biological weapons unfeasible and ineffective. In the fall of 1994, before the US entry into World War II, opinions differed about the threat of biological warfare. Consequently, the secretary of war asked the National Academy of Sciences to appoint a committee to study the issue.
There is another issue that viral intimidation and infection causing threats to biodiversity stimulate policy makers to develop border security. The posterior effects of biological weapons are much different than that of the conventional diseases. These diseases cause many harmful effects on the humans, animals, and plants. The consequence of viral diseases is not conventional, and this is not easy to control. Thus, border security should get the utmost concern to prevent the complexities and diversities of illnesses.
Magni argues that viral threats and diseases should be prevented by implementing proper diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Certainly, there is a risk of viral threats and diseases since the genetic engineering and modern technology have reached the supreme level. The extension of germs, pathogens, and organisms must injure biodiversity and human being. The U.S authorities realized after the unexpected attack on 11th September that they should not operate border security in compliance with the contemporary system. Presently, the new measures and steps have been taken to update the border security in order to protect the U.S. citizens from possible land, air, and water attacks. Terrorists can attack American land that will cause disease and damage of valuable objects. Paauw comments that during the last decades, the most dangerous disease was AIDS that had become pandemic since the 1980s. The severe diseases are often entering the United States through border. The authority of the U.S.A. is much concerned of the epidemics. The immigration authority of the U.S. A. should control the flow of the immigrants, especially of the sick people, and provide proper vaccinations.
There are many arguments regarding the issue whether biological weapons are a blessing or a curse. Though the subject of biological weapons has constructive aspects, its negative features clearly prevail. Nowadays, when many people suffer from the poverty, it is certainly a real extravagance to establish expensive biological weapons plants. After examining the evidence, everybody can say that biological weapons are not only very costly but extremely perilous. The use of biological weapons may be more destructive than an attack using conventional, chemical, or nuclear weapons. Minute particles can easily pass through the air supply systems of ships, vehicles, command head-quarters, sleeping quarters, and even hospitals. Biological weapons are also exclusive in their aptitude to inflict large numbers of casualties over an extensive area which is done with nominal logistical requirements and by means that can be almost untraceable. The United States remains vulnerable to the considered, tactical, and terrorist use of biological weapons. There may be a propensity in the actions of some latent opponents of this country to overcome their usual military disadvantages by choosing weapons of mass destruction. The weapons can be used effortlessly and inexpensively with the current available technology. The most significant drawback of biological weapons is that their use may causes the rise of a military conflict. The weapons are extensively viewed as mass-destructive weapons. The U.S. government has evacuated the biological weapons from the weapon store. Therefore, presently, the effect of chemical weapons is much limited. It is impossible to envisage the reaction of the United States if the military forces or civilian populations were attacked with biological weapons. Such apprehension is one of the reasons why Iraq decided not to use biological or chemical weapons in the Persian-Gulf War. Riedel states that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta have classified various organisms and diseases that could potentially be used as biological weapons. These diseases are grouped in three categories according to their possibility of use and their impact on public health (Table 1). Even if there are positive sides of biological weapons, it is perceptibly a curse for humankind. Indeed, biological weapon is a burden, and some highflying people handle it. The panic arises due to the fact that the terrorists have an access to the weapons which may cause serious damage. If people avoid using biological weapons, it will be better for humanity.
Despite nuclear weapons, the most dangerous of the existing ones are genetically engineered biological organisms. The international use of toxins or microorganisms obtained from living organisms is defined as bioterrorism. This type of activity is called war or political violence causing casualty or disease for humans, plants, or animals. Plant viruses are used to formulate biological weapons that are agro-terrorism. Thus, Takken and Knols say that plant virus diseases are those of the major threats to the food supply and crop losses caused by viral pathogens. There are numerous identified diseases that were rare in the past. Some diseases are emerging as a major threat such as Ebola, MERS, Bird flu, Swine Flu, etc. All these viruses are threat not only to the animals but also to the human beings. During warfare breakdowns of medical and other logistic support, including veterinary, the situation becomes problematic and, consequently, epidemic occurs among human, livestock, and wildlife. During the war between Iran and Iraq and on the Gulf region, the diseases spread very rapidly among livestock and populations in the area. It happened due to close war-related dislocations of pastoralists and the cattle. A new form of virus resistance is necessary for the maintenance and assortment of the crops. Apt border security is essential to prevent the spread of the plant virus diseases. In contrast, biological control is necessary since pests may grow in the U.S.A. Thus, stretched border security can avert pest insects. This tight border security can protect the U.S.A. from the introduction, diffusion, and increase of biological pests from other countries. In the security system, there should not be any gap through which the deadly germ-vector can enter the country. The sea ports, air, and land as well as transportation networks are the most vulnerable places. In these places, the government should deploy medical teams to check the immigrants, tourists, pilgrims to protect the country, people and keep the environment clean. Suitable measures and actions should be provided correctly to stop the entrance of biological pests inside the border. The community of the U.S.A. and the federal government should consider the benefits and expenses while implementing border security campaign. Any lethargic attitude may cause the spread biological pests.
The total credit and responsibility of border security belongs to The Department of Homeland Security. Thus, this department should take corresponding actions for the sake of the security of the national border. Bio-terrorism is one of the major threats to the present world, and the people have already suffered from this type of undesirable problems. Therefore, such a country as the U.S.A. must ensure their tight border security since tragic incidents may occur permanently. Many researchers state that long-term bio-security is necessary to protect the nation from biological threats. Protecting border is a challenge and responsibility for the U.S. government. A country’s safety, independence, and sovereignty depend upon the defense system. A weak defense system provides more possibilities to the enemies to cross the border. Since the enemies are using modern technology to puzzle the world, the current population has to review their security and safety. Enemies may utilize every possible method to attack the U.S. border, and the terrorists follow this plan. Therefore, the U. S.A. should develop border security. The protection of the U.S. people entirely depends on the U.S. government and its defense system. In order to defend the nation, livestock, and agriculture from the threat of biological weapons and viral threats, the U.S. government should take proper initiatives. Nobody can deny that border security is an important part of any country’s security system, and improvement of border security means protection from biological and other threats