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Managing Crisis and Response to NBC Incidents

Managing Crisis and Response to NBC Incidents

Increasing activity of terroristic organizations, illegal trade of weapons, and danger of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons evoked concern of governments throughout the world. The United States as an active player in the world arena is a particularly probable target for attacks. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 showed the gaps in the anti-terrorist programs, vulnerability of the civil society to the threat of terrorism, and low readiness of emergency services and civilians to such events. Current paper will review the recommendations on managing crisis and response to NBC incidents elaborated by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism in 2008.

The Commission report concentrates on the problem of proliferation of nuclear and biological weapons as those of greater perilous effect (Graham et al., 2008). The first and foremost way of controlling the threat is the prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to terrorists. While controlling the WMD should be an issue for joint efforts of the global community, the Commission has recommended a range of measures to increase safety and control for the USA.

Biological Weapons

Development and implementation of biotechnologies can give beneficial results. Meanwhile, it enables access to biotechnologies to wider circles of interested individuals and facilitates their conversion into WMD. As an example, a week after the 9/11 attack, terrorists sent letters with highly hazardous anthrax bacteria. As a result, 22 people contracted anthrax and five cases had a fatal outcome (Graham et al., 2008).

According to the first recommendation, the U.S. government should reinforce control over domestic programs involving bioogical pathogens and the work of high-containment laboratories. Meanwhile, the nation should receive information to increase security awareness and ensure adequate response to the possible biological attacks (Graham et al., 2008). The second recommendation aims at preventing proliferation of biological WMD through increasing global awareness, promotion of biosecurity, worldwide surveillance of diseases, and global implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention (Graham et al., 2008).

Nuclear Weapons

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Possession of nuclear weapons turns the owning nation into a power seriously reckoned in the world. For this reason, many countries are trying to develop or purchase nuclear weapons. The achievements of peaceful nuclear programs in the field of nuclear energy can also be applied for the development of nuclear WMD. The probability of proliferation of nuclear weapons to terrorists is high due to the minimum amount of the active substance sufficient for inflicting major destructions (Taylor, 2000; Graham et al., 2008).

The third recommendation concerns international co-operation towards strengthening the non-proliferation regime. It involves revitalizing of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), increasing its efficiency and controlling its fulfillment. The Commission advises to provide the non-nuclear nations with affordable nuclear fuel if they refuse to participate in nuclear programs. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should receive more resources and authority within its mandate. The global community should apply all resources to ensure cessation of nuclear enrichment programs in non-nuclear countries in order to prevent emergence of new nuclear powers, prolong moratorium on nuclear testing, and maintain nuclear security.. The Commission recommends ceasing government promotion of civil nuclear power (Graham et al., 2008).

Recommendation 4 and 7 concerns Russia as a nuclear superpower. The USA should broaden international relations with Russia in the sphere of control over development and proliferation of nuclear WMD (Graham et al., 2008). The fifth recommendation deals with possible international terrorists, such as North Korea and Iran to dismantle nuclear potential in these countries. Pakistan is another burning issue and the focus of the 6th recommendation. There, it goes about securing both nuclear and biological materials and defeating terrorism on ideological, military, economic, and diplomatic levels (Graham et al., 2008). Recommendations 8 to 10 specify the competences and actions of the U.S. President and the Congress to prevent WMD proliferation and terrorism. Recommendation 11 concerns updating the national security service. Recommendation 12 focuses on the importance of ideological combating of terrorism as an efficient preventive measure. The last, 13th recommendation advises involving citizens honestly and openly. The citizens should be aware of the possible challenges and prepared to them.

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To recapitulate, the 2008 report of the Commission foresees the impending wave of the global terrorism. Moreover, it warns against the use of WMD by terrorists. The recommendations to the U.S. government should be applied at the national and international levels. It becomes obvious that the threat of bio- and nuclear terrorism can be efficiently prevented only by joint efforts of the world community. Besides, the level of danger and the scale of potential destruction make awareness and involvement of the citizens a crucial point of the national safety.

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