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WMD, Chemical and Biological

Know When to Fold ‘Em, Ms. Hickox

By Robert Connors
Kaci Hickox – you should have called me. We could have chatted about your situation: how you feel and how unfair it is to be in quarantine when you aren’t sick. After you got everything off your chest, I’d point out that there is a legitimate fear of Ebola, and that counts for something.

Only in Washington – Regulations Proposed as Way to Fix Failed Regulations

In a recent op-ed, Christine Todd Whitman, the former head of the EPA, proposed greater regulation of the U.S. chemical sector because the current regulations aren’t working. Gov. Whitman is right on one thing: the current system isn’t working, but it is not because of a lack of regulation. Chemical companies have tried, but DHS isn’t keeping up

Water and Chemical Security – Whitman Got it Wrong

Yesterday, the New York Times ran an editorial by Christine Todd Whitman, titled “The Chemical Threat to America.” In the op-ed, the author calls on the Administration to expand and implement chemical security regulations in the water sector as a means to protect America. She advocates that the federal government should be able to mandate chemical processes and force water systems to use so-called Inherently Safer Technologies. Ms. Whitman is smart and capable, but on this issue she is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Chemical Security (CFATS) Bogged Down in Congress Due to Lack of Action

CQ Homeland Security (subscription required) Chemical facility security is getting bogged down in Congress, due, evidently, from lack of energy (energy – get it? no one?): A set of bills that would extend the federal government’s ability to assess chemical facility security have never had a clear path to enactment, largely due to longstanding disagreements between […]

Foreign Affairs: Send in the troops to Iran to stop nuke program

Why Obama Should Take Out Iran’s Nuclear Program | Foreign Affairs According to the recent IAEA report, Iran is closer to having nuclear weapons that was widely assumed. Once it does goes nuclear, Tehran will be almost impossible to stop. To prevent it, the Obama administration must use military force–and soon.

Airborne Chemical Releases: Ninety Tons of Trouble Blowin' in the Wind

DHS | Modeling Airborne Chemical Releases: Ninety Tons of Trouble Blowin’ in the Wind How do DHS experimenters release 4,000 pounds of deadly gas in 1 minute? Very, very carefully.

U.S. Isn’t Ready for Large Biological Attack

U.S. Isn’t Ready for Large Biological Attack, Officials Say – Businessweek The U.S. isn’t prepared to respond to a pandemic or large biological attack, federal officials said. “We’re not ready for a global catastrophe involving” a pathogen, Tara O’Toole, undersecretary for science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, said today at a Senate […]

Weapons of Mass Destruction – A Dangerous and Uncertain Future

The present, predominant view that Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) is confined to Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High Yield Explosives (CBRNE) only is now passé. Many people do not even include the “E”. This is far too narrow a view! At least two other categories must be included in the pantheon of WMD. These are cyber weapons and economic warfare.

National EMP Awareness Day: The Threat that Can’t Be Ignored

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack – produced by a nuclear weapon detonated at a high altitude or by a geomagnetic storm – has the potential to decimate America’s electrical and technological infrastructure. The Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack found that an EMP is a threat to our society and military. Yet, despite broad consensus, Congress has yet to act in a substantive manner. For the most part, U.S. government agencies have not taken planning for their response to an EMP attack out of the theoretical stages.

A Retrospective Look at Chem-Bio Terrorism

The Center for a New American Security released an excellent study – “Aum Shinrikyo: Insights Into How Terrorists Develop Biological and Chemical Weapons.” The result is a superb history of a singular event in modern terrorism history – the Sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo in 1995. The CNAS team shows how a small group of dedicated loyalists can pull off some acts that many “experts” still persist in saying only nation states can do and highlight that sixteen years later, still facing a threat from terrorists, we need to learn more from this incident.