Tech Zone

Bioterrorism Response: Does the Way Forward Lie in Our Past?

Issue 9 and Volume 162.

BY DAVID M. LADD and CHERYL GAUTHIER Ever since the “Amerithrax” attacks of 2001, a debate has raged throughout much of the collective homeland security community regarding field testing of biological agents. Despite multiple reports and mandates citing a priority of need to develop an improved biodetection capability, no national strategy presently exists. The following commentary offers the hypothesis that we as the homeland security community, collectively, need to step back and reevaluate our approach, shifting from a technology-driven solution to a deliberated strategy. For nine years, the “national” effort has been narrowly focused on finding the “perfect” technology without resolving the fundamental questions of what we are seeking to accomplish. Although it is late, it isn’t too late to take the lessons learned and work to provide America with what it expects from us and what it has invested tens of billions of dollars to achieve. WHAT WENT WRONG…

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