The objectives of the papers included in this volume were to critically consider the science and technology policies necessary for defence against terrorism and other threats to security; to assess the priorities for governments, universities, national laboratories and industrial firms; to identify how governments and the science and technology community can most effectively work together to enhance our security; and to share the experiences of policy makers and policy analysts. The importance and relevance of this selection of papers to the policy community is reflected in the seniority of the contributors. These included Dr. Parney Albright who held the position of Assistant Secretary for Science & Technology at the US Department of Homeland Security as well as senior figures from the UK Home Office, UK Office of Science & Technology, the European Commission and NATO.
This book is the product of a NATO Advanced Research Workshop held in Manchester, UK from 12th to 14th September 2004. The Workshop was hosted by the University of Manchester's PREST science and technology policy research centre. The Workshop was directed by Andrew James of PREST and co-directed by Professor Myklov Ozheven, Kiev Taras Shevchenko National University, Ukraine.
The objectives of the Workshop were to critically consider the science and technology policies necessary for defence against terrorism and other threats to security; to assess the priorities for governments, universities, national laboratories and industrial firms; to identify how governments and the science and technology community can most effectively work together to enhance our security; and to share the experiences of policy makers and policy analysts.
The importance and relevance of the Workshop topic to the policy community was reflected in the seniority of the speakers and participants. These included Dr Parney Albright who at the time of the Workshop held the position of Assistant Secretary for Science & Technology at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as well as senior figures from the UK Home Office, UK Office of Science & Technology, the European Commission and NATO. Our Key Note Speaker was Dr Ian Gibson MP who at the time was Chairman of the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee. The timeliness of the Workshop was also reflected in the high quality of participants from the academic and think tank communities. In all, 50 people attended the Workshop. Participants were drawn from 11 countries representing NATO, the Partnership for Peace countries and the NATO Mediterranean Dialogue.
Active and open discussion and the sharing of experience were critical to the success of the Workshop and I would like to thank all the participants for their contributions. I would also like to thank several colleagues at PREST without whom the Workshop would have been impossible. In particular, Jessica Chen, Deborah Cox and Susan Nicholson provided excellent organisational support. James Allen's editorial assistance is also gratefully acknowledged.
This Chapter introduces some of the key questions that are addressed by the authors within this book. What do we mean by a “new anti-terrorism era” and what, if anything, is new about the security challenges that we face today? What contribution can science and technology make to counter terrorism? What are the public policy responses and how should they be judged? What is the extent of international cooperation in anti-terrorism science and technology development? What are the implications of the new security environment for the governance of science and technology? The answers to these questions are critical to formulating sound science and technology policies to confront one of the key international security challenges of our era.
James J. Richardson, Whitney Matson, Robert Peters
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This Chapter examines the need for better decision processes on national security issues with a science and technology dimension and suggests ways to improve those processes. The Chapter summarises the key points from a study by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, titled Shaping Science and Technology to Serve National Security and published in greater detail elsewhere . The study was conducted under the auspices of Senators Jeff Bingaman and Joseph Lieberman, Representative Curt Weldon, Deputy Undersecretary for Defense (Science and Technology), Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Department of the Army, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Intelligence Council, National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
This Chapter explores the role attributed to science and technology in combating the global war on terror in an age when social bonds have been eroded and our sense of the need for social solutions diminished accordingly. One consequence of this is the exaggeration of risks presented by science and by terrorists to the point of ignoring the more mundane and probable threats that confront us. Prioritising technical means to build social resilience over cultural change is also likely to be counter-productive by further fragmenting the ordinary human bonds that actually make society truly resilient. A political debate over societal values is required if we are to re-engage the public and deal appropriately with all-manner of disasters, including terrorist attacks.
Terrorism is by no means a new phenomenon. In recent decades, however, it has become a major security threat that requires a shift in the focus of the defence efforts of many developed countries to designing effective anti-terrorism strategies, and corresponding R&D strategies. This Chapter analyses the main characteristics of terrorist organisations with a view to identifying their main weaknesses. We find that the key weaknesses of terrorist organisations are their small size, their high vulnerability to any action against their leadership, and their high susceptibility to the use of high-tech intelligence gathering and processing systems. The Chapter recommends that the main anti-terrorism strategies should be active (pre-emptive) and focus on applying continuous pressure on key activists (including leaders) of terrorist organisations. Since such pressure is attainable only through the coordinated effort of a broad range of defence-related agencies, the emphasis of the anti-terrorism R&D strategy should be on investment in integrative technologies and in particular on long-term intelligence (LTI) systems.
Most attacks by terrorists have involved the use of conventional munitions including explosives. It is likely that explosives will remain the weapon of choice by terrorists, however, it is also possible that attacks in the future may involve chemical and biological agents. It would be irresponsible to ignore this possibility and governments need to plan for such an eventuality. Emergency and other professionals involved in dealing with the aftermath of the release of a chemical or a biological agent face many challenges including detecting what has been released, determining who might have been exposed and what has been contaminated as well as how to clean up afterwards. All these activities require the use of equipment, measurement approaches and protocols which the scientific community could help develop. A UK Royal Society working group was convened in 2003-4 to consider these issues and this paper discusses its recommendations.
The effectiveness of decontamination after a chemical, biological or radiological terrorist attack is determined by the cleanup technologies that are employed. This Chapter describes what is expected from the science community to develop adequate, reliable and economic decontamination methods and equipment. The needs for improved detection methods and adequate personal protection are also discussed.
The developed nations of the world hold an asymmetric advantage in the fight against terrorism - an advantage due to a well-funded and highly capable science and technology enterprise. This enterprise has been deployed over the past 50 years in part to support the military establishment, with incredible success. However, the basic way of thinking about military science and technology does not hold for the civil operational environment, and hence it should not be assumed in general that military technologies can simply be transferred to the homeland security community. In fact, that rarely if ever happens successfully. Furthermore, there are substantial policy constraints and issues surrounding the development of a homeland security research and development community. These issues led to the formation of a separate and dedicated homeland security research and development capability. A specific and critical issue associated with homeland security, and its research and development capability, surrounds the use of weapons of mass effect. Understanding the risks and prioritising among these threats brings additional difficult issues to the table that may never be resolvable. In part because of these very difficult policy dilemmas, the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created, with a Science and Technology Directorate that is on equal status with the other operational agencies within the Department. This status reflects the President's vision for employing the advantage held in science and technology against the threat of catastrophic terrorism.
In Canada, the CBRN Research & Technology Initiative (CRTI) represents the federal commitment to providing science and technology (S&T) solutions for national security and CBRN preparedness. It is a joint, interdepartmental initiative between 15 science based departments and agencies, security based departments and central agencies to strengthen Canada's preparedness for, prevention of, and response to a CBRN attack by fostering new investments in research and technology. Three significant innovations were built into the development and implementation of the CRTI. These are the use of a Consolidated Risk Assessment to assess CBRN events and derive S&T programme targets; the establishment of laboratory clusters to address capacity requirements for response; and the formulation of a project model that values collaboration and that is open to all sectors of the national innovation system (government, academic and industrial). Within Canada, these have changed how the federal S&T community responds to a national priority and represent a significant shift in roles for federal science and technology from supporting the development of government policy to a more active role leading the nation's innovation system to address a national priority. Underpinning each of these elements is a strong, community building approach to ensure the broadest possible response to the public security and safety S&T objective.
The changing security environment puts a high premium on more systematic engagement of the science and technology community in order to improve relevant security capabilities. New science and technology clusters in the fields of biotechnology and life sciences are likely to be increasingly important in countering dangers stemming from the use of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) material. Although governments will benefit from entering into long-standing partnerships with key stakeholders in these new areas, engaging them will not be easy. Specific normative, regulatory, economic and scientific disincentives need to be overcome. Besides addressing these problems, this Chapter argues that a more strategic approach to security science and technology will be necessary. To this purpose, a comprehensive map of existing capabilities and needs has to be laid out, security science and technology policies commensurate with the new risks and a nation's grand strategy need to be set up, and security capabilities and security science and technology need to be developed in tandem.
This Chapter sets out the opportunities and challenges for effective international cooperation in counter terrorism technology development from the point of view of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Incentives for international cooperation on counter terrorism technologies are considered as are some of the non-technical influences that may be important in structuring such cooperation. The Chapter advocates a strategic approach to international collaboration and proposes a potential global research agenda.
Terrorism is increasingly a transnational threat, requiring transnational responses. Consequently, there are many potential incentives for expanding international cooperation in critical areas of science and technology (S&T) as it applies to developing, producing, and deploying systems for homeland defence and counter-terrorism. Europe has made considerable progress in promoting pan-European cooperation in the area of defence-related S&T, and these experiences and efforts could be useful in expanding transnational cooperation in the area of developing new technologies for combating terrorism. Given the United States' longstanding proclivity towards protectionism in its defence industrial base, it will be more difficult to expand transatlantic collaboration in the area of S&T for homeland defense and counter-terrorism. This Chapter concludes with some recommendations for overcoming these impediments, including reforming export controls, reducing controls over security of supply and information, and encouraging new institutional collaborative S&T initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
The U.S. has passed a number of new laws and tightened enforcement of others since the attacks of 9–11. These laws are affecting scientific research and higher education in many ways. This Chapter explores the impacts on science in several areas: foreign students and visitors; the use of certain chemical and biological agents in the laboratory; restrictions on federal grants and contracts; publication of research results, and dissemination of “sensitive but unclassified” scientific information. Some of the new laws and policies may turn out to be counterproductive, reducing U.S. security by retarding scientific and technological development.
It is essential to support international agreements, such as the Biological Weapons Convention, through the formation of international scientific advisory panels to keep up with the rapid pace of technological advance in the relevant sciences. The research community must exercise judgment in the publication of their work and raise awareness of the ethical and legal requirements related to their research. There should be a clear objective of moving towards an international consensus on adopting appropriate codes of good practice, particularly in relation to their role in combating the diversion of science advances into activities that pose a threat to global security and peace. The existing legal constraints relating specifically to biological weapons development both nationally and internationally should be examined and consideration given to what needs to be done to strengthen such laws and how they can be built in to an enforceable code of practice.
This Chapter assesses ongoing attempts to balance security and openness in the conduct of civilian bioscience and biomedical research. More specifically it examines the state of current policy discussions regarding the security threats posed by life science research results and techniques. Concern about their “dual-use” potential has intensified tremendously since 9/11 and the anthrax attacks in the U.S. Despite the considerable attention being paid to this issue today, this Chapter argues that current discussions are unclear and arguably problematic in relation to vital questions regarding the problem posed by life science research, the ultimate goals of controls, and the desirability of the circulation of dual-use knowledge. It seeks to challenge the state of discussion by asking how the current security presentations of the threats posed by emerging bioscience developments are themselves formed in relation to definitions of scientific practice. On the basis of this analysis, consideration is given to the potential and pitfalls associated with current international efforts to devise a “code of conduct” for bioscientists.
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