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Consequence Management – Terrorism Essay

           The outdoors life almost every day gives us terrible examples of terrorism in all of its types and species. It’s enough to switch on TV or radio to hear that today Iran plans to go on with its nuclear intentions. Strongly suspected in continuing its nuclear investigations, Iran affirmed last week that those are the part of a completely peaceful program.

            Syria- in recent days the Danish Embassy in this country was close to be destructed by the offended Allah’s followers. The released Allah’s caricature caused a great deal of trouble for Danish and Swedish representatives in this country.

            The two examples above are taken into consideration only to describe briefly the whole situation about Islamic-West civilizations in contemporary world. The human history counts with a huge number of terrorist actions based on various international or internal contradictions. So, who is who among countries in contemporary world? Which of them is potentially dangerous regarding the whole world’s piece and calmness? That is the question which is to be answered in this research.

            India is among declared current possessors of chemical weapons. In 1992 this country signed the Chemical Weapons Convention according to which it has no rights to produce

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chemical weapons. But in 1996 already the country was reported to stockpile the chemical weapons against Pakistan. NTI web-site (2005) reports that: “By the end of 2004, India had destroyed 1.7 metric tons of toxic waste that it had declared as Category 1 chemical weapons, all of its declared Category 2 chemical weapons, and all 1,558 of its Category 3 chemical weapons. Nevertheless, the sophistication of India’s domestic chemical industry would allow it to rapidly reconstitute a significant chemical weapons capability, if it chose to do so.”(n. p.). According to the information of Chinese researches India disposes of nearly 1,000 tons of chemical warfare agents.

             Israel’s nuclear program developed in a rather active pace since the middles of the 20th century as it was justified because of Holocaust means as far as Israel had to ensure its survival in this way. By the late 1990s Israel was suspected to have about 75-130 weapons, warheads for missiles particularly. According to the Global research web-site (2006): “since late 2004, Israel has been stockpiling US made conventional and nuclear weapons systems in anticipation of an attack on Iran. This stockpiling which is financed by US military aid was largely completed in June 2005. Israel has taken delivery from the US of several thousand “smart air launched weapons” including some 500 ‘bunker-buster bombs, which can also be used to deliver tactical nuclear bombs.”(n. p.).

               Among the countries suspected of attempting acquisition of biological weapons, Libya has been also mentioned. In December, 2003 Libya was announced to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction and reveal all the information regarding this point.  Nevertheless, there are no precise public indications that Libya has no active biological weapons. Since 2003 Libya is suspected to “re-establish its offensive chemical weapons capability.”

             In the 1980s South Africa was noted in a range of short-lived ballistic missile programs (“booster rocket”, space launch vehicles with strong reference to the ballistic missile). Besides, the strong connection between Israel and South Africa has been revealed. Israel was accused of “secretly given South Africa access to the nuclear club”. South Africa’s nuclear program was terminated rather involuntarily than by the country’s own intention. In 1991 U.S.A. Federal Register announced sanctions against South Africa as it was importing ballistic technology from Israel. The certain pressure from Bush administration towards Israel took place as well. As a result in 1993 South Africa refused from manufacturing long-range missiles. In 1995 South Africa joined the Missile Technology Control Regime.

              Actually, terrorism can be divided into two types. The first type, called “international” is based on a radical Islamic fundamentalism. This terrorist type gets financial and spiritual support from the part of such Islamic organizations as “Al-Qaeda”, “Jamas” and so on.

           The second type of terrorism is a local terrorism. It is usually provoked by separatist groups whose examples one can see in UK, Spain, Turkey, Israel or Chechnya. The main thing is not to permit the intrusion of the international terrorism into local terrorism.

         Speaking about what is terrorism today it is necessary to say that the terrorists of nowdays acts not impulsively but according to a strict plan, composed in advance. Their purposes are political, not criminal. Contrary to the criminal organizations they try to change the political and social situation in this world. Money is only a method for them, not the purpose. Their targets are citizens, not military personnel. State boundaries and distances are no more a great obstacle for them. Terrorist organizations today may have their bases in one point of the planet and their headquarters in completely another part of the world. Starting from the beginning of 1990s a new type of terrorism has been developing which differs a lot from the old pattern of terrorist area – conflict between communistic and capitalistic systems. Ten or more years ago the top priorities for terrorists were so-called “left motives”: Marxism, separatism and so on. There was no some special focus of effort made on religion. Today, religion is the principle factor which makes terrorists accomplish with their terrible plans. New terrorism is much more fatal than the old one. If before the main aims were to get rid of a certain political leader or regime, today among terrorists purposes are: complete destroying of the whole country or religious group or just a revenge which causes instability and confusion. “Old” terrorists were ready to bargain in order to stop their actions in exchange to certain political decisions. “New” terrorists act without warning. They do not inform press about future possible bombing, they just blow up. New terrorists are much more mobile and less vulnerable. New terrorist groups dispose of much more considerable quantity if its members. The most outstanding “new” terrorist Osama Bin Laden was able to create easily his own military units in Afghanistan consisting of few thousand professional soldiers.

                 The paradox is that the countries which are the most vulnerable to terrorist attacks today have helped a lot themselves to the creation of terrorist organizations once, e.g. USA was in close relations with Iran.

                 Terrorism has become a professional business today with all of its attributes: financial structure, information net, weapons supply net, staff training centers.

                In recent years the USA suffered a lot because of a great number of terrorist acts, issued both by the domestic and international terrorist organizations. Unfortunately, the terrific events of September, 11 were not the unique terrorist precedent in the history of the U.S.A.

              So called “eco-terrorism”- not as famous as Islamic terrorism but a very dangerous one as well, has become a real trouble for the U.S.A. lately. Earth Liberation Front is classified by FBI as a “serious terrorist threat”. This organization has no apparent leadership, membership or spokesperson. According to Wikipedia’s definition (2006) its main aim is to stop “the exploitation and destruction of the natural environment.” (n. p.).  The animal-rights movement can be also referred to this branch of domestic terrorism. The list of its terror proceedings is rather a various one. Eric Rudolph, –one of the most dangerous domestic terrorists and the representative of eco-terrorism, was sentenced to life in prison for bombing a family planning clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. Having bombed the clinic Rudolph blamed in that way the legalization of abortion. Before that he bombed while the Olympics games in 1996. A year before his “colleague” – Timothy McVeigh bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. FBI recognizes that animal terrorism and eco-terrorism is the threat ?1 regarding the domestic terrorism.

         Speaking about the international terrorism there are no facts denying the fact that today, as it was already mentioned, it is completely based on Islamic radical groups. The USA, being the pole of the Western civilization, is the main subject to attacks from the part of Islamic terrorists. The most typical kind of terrorist activity for Islamic terrorist groups is the suicide terrorist action using bombs or other methods which are able to cause the most efficient disasters and human deaths. In September, 2001 “Al-Qaeda” realized the terrorist action by crashing two planes into the Trade Centre in New-York. The main motive–to cause panic and fears among American population having as a final purpose the destroying of American civilization.

          “Al Qaeda” today isn’t only the name of terrorist organization but the antonym of American nation. This organization has arisen from the times of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Since then Osama bin Laden started the foundation of a wide-spread terrorist organization which in September 2001 realized one of the most horrible terrorist acts in the human history. As a response to the September 11 attack the USA destroyed the infrastructure of “Al-Qaeda” in Afghanistan. But they could not eliminate the organization that has been formed during many years and which posses a great financial power.

           Today “Al Qaeda” is a well-organized structure with its own financial and logistical network. Its groups are located all over the world. The holy war on the Americans and Jews –that’s the main mean of “Al Qaeda” in order to establish an Islamic nation all over the planet. The attacks on Spain and UK in 2004 and 2005 accordingly prove all the gravity of terrorists’ intentions.

         So, what’s the difference between domestic and international terrorism? May the above two terrorist organizations be compared or they represent the completely different phenomenon in contemporary world?

First of all it must be said that, certainly, these two organizations (“Earth Liberation Front” and “Al-Qaeda”) are cardinally different concerning the points which they have as purposes. But, at the same time, they are both terrorist organizations. Therefore, it would be helpful to revise them as two typical kinds of terrorism of the 21st century. Below, the most important similarities and differences between domestic and international terrorist organizations are given.

         Similarities:

 -both domestic and international terrorist group consider the financial power of the country and the human life as the mean to get their aims. In other words, they are ready to use any methods, no matter how grave they are;

-the terrorist agent is almost always represented by a group and very rarely by a single person (even if the terrorist act is realized by a single person, there is somebody behind this person because any serious terrorist group needs to have some financial and organizational structure –one person is just unable to cope with all that);

-sometimes a domestic terrorist group becomes the part of international terrorist group as they found some common interests which can help them to reach their aims.

         Differences:

-without any doubts, the international terrorist organization has much more global purposes than the domestic one (as a rule it has as a purpose to cover many countries or even whole the world);

-an international terrorist group is usually considerably better organized as it has to control its activities over big distances, within different social and political structures. Usually, a bright and famous leader is present.    A domestic organization may have not a strict structure and leader. It even may consist of a range of various independent groups which just have the same purpose (the “Earth Liberation Front” is a vivacious example of that).

            Today, when the biological and chemical weapons have been developed in many countries during many years, the notion of “environmental/agricultural” terrorism has become especially actual. A huge value of the USA agricultural resources makes it a very attractive for terrorists. A great quantity of potential resources of biological weapons is available all over the world today. According to the approximate calculations there are nearly 453 collections of various bacterial formulas. Such a big quantity of resources and not always reliable protection of same present a real danger for the whole world. According to the USA data 10 countries possess the biological warfare or carry out the investigations on its production actually.

            Jonathan Ban is completely right saying in his article “Agricultural biological warfare: an overview” that the Washington authorities have been slow to realize all the danger of their situation regarding the vulnerability of their agricultural sector. The agricultural segment is very attractive for the terrorists because of many reasons: economic interest, causing fear, the possibility to provoke damage without killing people or, vice versa, to kill in a silent, hidden way by damaging the vital stockpile of the country or region. Below the strongest arguments which prove the terrific efficiency of bio warfare, are given:

1) The using of the biological warfare by the terrorists is able to provoke the epidemic in short terms. For example, 100kg of anthrax is able to cause more considerable damage than the blast of megaton nuclear bomb. Besides, the biological processes have the chain effect and the results of biological warfare can be still perceived during long time after the biological intrusion.

2)  Besides, it is not necessary to have some special means of production for some kinds of bio warfare. The nature itself already gives to the humanity a wide range of bio substances which under condition of a certain human proceeding can convert into fatal weapon.

3)  One more point in favor of bio warfare is that it is difficult to reveal it while checking or revising terrorist agents. It also can be transported easily.

4) Practically each infection consists of 48 organisms and each of them needs its own means of treatment what makes it very difficult to prepare in time for the attack.

5) The diagnostics of the diseases caused by bio warfare is a very difficult process. Some infections have not typical symptoms. So, the diagnostics have to be started immediately but that is really difficult thing to do on practices.

           Generally, it is really difficult to say what will be the terrorists’ target speaking about chemical or biological agent attack. The usual terrorists’ practices shows that their main targets are buildings and transport systems. But it practically impossible to determine which of the environmental segments will be the terrorists’ target. It can be air, plant crops or cattle. The certain thing is that it is practically impossible for terrorists to attack water. All the water supply systems have their own safeguard systems which have been implemented recently.

           Indeed, crops result to be the most vulnerable point among all the agricultural settings. Crop dusters which are used to spread fertilizers and seeds can be converted into a dangerous weapon spreading a chemical warfare agent. An average crop duster is able to carry from 300 up to 800 gallons of substance. For example, a 300-gallon tank can hold more than a ton of such a nerve agent as Sarin. That quantity of this chemical agent is enough to kill 10,000 people.  Also other clever methods can be used: coating turkey feathers with the agent and filling small bomblets with the feathers and drifting them on the wind. Simpler methods can be efficient as well: introducing an infected animal to the herd or just walking along the farm with contaminated shoes or clothes.

          But the impact of an agricultural attack wouldn’t be limited to the food manufacturers only. The other, not less important aim of such attacks is to provoke crisis in U.S. economy. A widespread-epidemic would result in significant changes of supply of the affected plant or animal materials on domestic and international markets. In general, the main goals of the terrorists in this case are:

–  hurt the food supply of the United States

– destabilize the U.S. government by initiating food shortages or unemployment

– damage supply and demand patterns for a commodity

           “Al-Qaeda” which, without any doubts, is the most dangerous terrorist agent for USA has revealed a great deal of interest to the USA’s agricultural resources. A plenty of U.S. agricultural documents have been translated into Arabic. Therefore, USA has one more segment which is a strong subject to Islamic attacks. So, it was not a surprising fact that all over 2005 state agencies increased considerably the security and inspection of agricultural goods all over the country.  But being the agriculture a very complex industry it is practically impossible to speak about the complete safety. Twice a month the Defense Secretary –Donald Rumsfeld elaborated the attack simulation exercises in order to find out the potential reply to a potential attack.

          Henry Parker, a USDA researcher, pointed out the five potential targets for agricultural terrorists: crops, farm animals, foods ready for whole or retail sale, research labs.

          No one among USA cities has more than a week food stock. The results of a considerable agricultural attack would have fatal results in very short terms. Food shortage, fear and panic would be quickly spread among population.

           As one can see, the USA and the rest of the countries which are subject to terrorist attacks must arrange the defense appropriate to the modern bio warfare. So, how the USA, in particular, is going to deal with terrorist attacks against environmental or agricultural sectors?

             Aum Shinriyko’s gas attack on Tokyo subway in 1995 was like a signal for many countries to pay more attention to the chemical and biological defense. USA was not the exception in that. Then, the events of September, 2001 showed once again that terrorism is a serious threat to USA and the world.  In 2001 $1.555 billion was required as a necessary amount to strengthen the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense of the state. This point is extremely important for USA. Agriculture plays a great role in the economy of the country. One-eighth of all jobs are concentrated in agriculture. If serious destruction of crops, it will provoke a fatal loss for the state’s economy and agricultural manufacturers in particular. Nevertheless, as it was submitted in Jonathan Ban’s overview (2000) the United States Department of Agriculture “only plays role in addressing naturally occurring plant and animal disease outbreaks. Very little of the department’s efforts are dedicated to protecting U.S. agricultural resources……and no funding has been specifically dedicated for these purposes.” (p. 5).  Such an attitude to the problem of bio terrorism would have been to be changed   radically in order to create an effective defense system. And the Bush’s Administration replied appropriately to this threat by providing funding in order to strengthen the country’s medical and public health capacities to protect its citizens from future attacks. A lot of things have been done in the past few years to enhance the safety and security of the food supply in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has worked with food safety agencies, as well as with law enforcement and intelligence-gathering agencies, and with industry in order to significantly strengthen the nation’s food safety and security system across the entire distribution chain, from farm to table, to ensure the better protection of the food supply against deliberate and accidental threats. Such cooperation has resulted in greater awareness of vulnerabilities, creation of more efficient prevention programs, new surveillance systems, and faster food-borne illness outbreak response capabilities.

                The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responsible for maintaining national surveillance for specific infections and for outbreaks of food-borne illnesses, supports states in investigating and controlling outbreaks, and maintains close cooperation with FDA and USDA.

               Food safety and food defense continue to be top priorities for the U.S. Administration. A terrorist attack on the food supply could have both severe public health and economic consequences, while damaging the public’s confidence in the food they eat. The changes in food safety and defense that have been implemented in the last few years are the most fundamental enhancements in our food safety and defense activities in many years.

               According to the President’s National Response Plan, Health and Human Services (HHS) leads federal public health efforts to ensure an integrated and focused national effort to anticipate and respond to emerging biological and other weapons threats. HHS is also the principal federal agency responsible for coordinating all Federal-level assets activated to support and augment the state and local medical and public health response to mass casualty events.

               Through HHS’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), funds have been provided to States and localities to upgrade infectious disease surveillance and investigation, enhance the readiness of hospitals and the health care system to deal with large numbers of casualties, expand public health laboratory and communications capacities and improve connectivity between hospitals, and city, local and state health departments to enhance disease reporting. CDC also operates HHS’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), which contains large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. Once Federal and local authorities agree that the SNS is needed, medicines will be delivered to any state in the U.S. within 12 hours. Consequently, each state is now required to develop plans to receive and distribute SNS medicine and medical supplies to local communities as quickly as possible in the event of a deployment.

             HHS’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) is assigned the lead role in the development of medical countermeasures to biological attack, and in the conduct of research concerning potential agents of bioterrorism that directly affect human health. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is the NIH institute with primary responsibility for carrying out this assignment.

             To further encourage the development of new medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents and to speed their delivery and use should there be an attack, President Bush, in his 2003 State of the Union address proposed the Project BioShield to assure developers of medical countermeasures that funds would be available to purchase these critical products for use to protect our citizens. Project Bioshield is operated out of the HHS Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, which also coordinates the HHS-wide emergency preparedness activities and serves as the principal point of contact at HHS for other Federal agencies and Departments.

             FDA is the Federal agency that regulates everything people eat except for meat, poultry, and processed egg products, which are regulated by our partners at USDA. FDA’s responsibility extends to live food animals and animal feed. FDA also is responsible for ensuring that human drugs, human biological products, medical devices, and radiological products as well as veterinary drugs are safe and effective and that cosmetics are safe. In addition, FDA is responsible for ensuring that the health consequences of foods and medicines are accurately and honestly represented to the public, so that they can be used as effectively as possible to protect and improve the public health. FDA’s primary mission is to protect the public health. Ensuring that FDA-regulated products are safe and secure is a vital part of that mission.  First, terrorists could use an FDA-regulated product, such as food, as a vehicle to introduce biological, chemical, or radiological agents into the U.S. stream of commerce. Second, FDA-regulated products, such as human drugs, vaccines, tissues, blood, blood products, and medical devices, as well as veterinary drugs, will play a central role in preventing or responding to human or animal health concerns created by an act of terrorism. It is HHS’s goal, with FDA working closely with other HHS agencies and other Federal agencies, and with state and local governments, industry, and the public, to reduce the likelihood that an FDA-regulated product could be used to poison or otherwise terrorize Americans. We also help ensure that the nation’s public health system is prepared to deter a potential threat and is ready to respond to an act of terrorism.

        To describe that briefly, the following steps have been taken out in USA in order to ensure (in a certain degree at least) the agriculture sector against terrorists’ attacks:

             1) Many states have passed the legislation related to agricultural terrorism (a range of laws specially elaborated by U.S. authorities taking into consideration the ultimate bio warfare technologies and the experience of previous bio warfare precedents all over the world)

             2) More farm and food inspectors have been hired to improve security at agricultural facilities

             3) The strict coordination between all the departments responsible for the food safety was improved: Agricultural Department, the Food Safety and Inspection Service, Plant Health Inspections Service, etc.

             4) Special teams have been created by the USDA under its Regional Emergency Animal Disease Eradication Organization, which are able to travel to any site in order to implement

              5) The diagnostic capacities of the state labs have been increased

              6) All the companies now must provide advance notice of imported foods

              7) All the food processing facilities must be registered with the state agencies

              Actually, Jonathan Ban in his “Agricultural Biological Warfare: an overview” has already expressed the necessity of the above measures (2000): “Strategy, Contingency plans, Surveillance, Diagnostics, Bio safety level 4 laboratory capacity, Training” –these are the methods proposed by Ban. As one can see they have become truth recently. Of course, these steps are expected to improve a lot the agricultural safety of USA but the experts affirm that it’s not enough. The main aim to reach here is creating a single federal agency which would have enough authority to standardize foods and agricultural safety procedures. That would help to avoid the mixture of different food safety intentions which are present in USA today.

            The conclusion that must be made here is that the agricultural/environmental threat to USA is real and the main thing is that U.S. authorities are not only aware of this fact but have started to take efficient measures in this direction. The elaboration of the unique, strictly coordinated and self-controlled security system-that is the main aim of U.S. government in order to guarantee the safety of its agricultural and environmental resources.

                                                           Bibliography

1. Global Security.org. (2005).  Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Chemical Weapons. Retrieved  February  5,  2006,  from http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd//world/india/cw.htm

2.  Chossudovsky, M. (2006).  Nuclear War against Iran.  Global Reserach.ca. Retrieved February  5,   2006,  from www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=%20CH20060103&articleId=1714

3. Kerr, P. (2004).    Libya Vows to Dismantle WMD Program. Arms Control Association.  Retrieved  February  5,  2006,  from http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2004_01-02/Libya.asp

4. NTI. (2005). Working for a Safer World.   South Africa Profile. Missile Overview.  Retrieved  February  5,  2006,  from  http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/SAfrica/Missile/

5.   Wikipedia. The free encyclopedia. (2006). Earth Liberation Front. Retrieved February  5,  2006,       from   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Liberation_Front

6.   CNN.COM.  LAW CENTER. (2005).  Rudolph reveals motives.  Retrieved  February  5,  2006,  from           http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/04/13/eric.rudolph/index.html

7. Peters, K. (2005).  Officials fear terrorist attack on U.S. food supply.  Govexec.com.  Retrieved   February  5,  2006,  from  http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0603/061003kp1.htm

8. Ban, J. (2000).  Agricultural biological warfare: an overview. The Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute (CBACI). Retrieved  February  1,  2006,  from  http://www.mipt.org/pdf/agrobiowarfareoverview.pdf

 

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