Joint Statement by the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on Strengthening the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction
The Russian Federation and China reaffirm their conviction that the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BWC) is essential as a pillar of the international peace and security, and their determination to safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the Convention. Today, as in 1975, its objective remains relevant: to rule completely out the possibility of biological agents being used as weapons.
The Russian Federation and China reiterate the need that the BWC should be fully complied with and further strengthened, including through its institutionalization and the adoption of a legally binding protocol to the Convention with effective verification mechanism, as well as through regular consultations and cooperation in resolving any issues related to the implementation of the Convention.
The Russian Federation and China emphasize that the BWC functions, including in what concerns the United Nations Security Council, should not be duplicated by other mechanisms. With a view to shaping a BWC mechanism of investigation of the alleged biological weapons incidents, they call on the BWC States Parties to develop operating standards for the mechanism, together with technical guidelines and procedures.
The Russian Federation and China note with concern that over the past two decades the BWC States Parties, despite the wishes of the overwhelming majority, have failed to reach an agreement on resuming the multilateral negotiations on the Protocol to the Convention, suspended in 2001 when the United States unilaterally withdrew from this process despite the fact that the consensus was almost reached. Consequently, and also in the light of rapid advances in the field of science and technology with dual-use capabilities, the risk of biological agents being used as weapons has increased.
In this context they emphasize that the United States’ and its allies’ overseas military biological activities (over 200 US biological laboratories are deployed outside its national territory, which function in opaque and non-transparent manner) cause serious concerns and questions among the international community over its compliance with the BWC. The two sides share the view that such activities pose serious risks for the national security of the Russian Federation and China, and are detrimental to the security of relevant regions.
The Russian Federation and China further note that the United States’ and its allies’ military biological activities on their national territory also cause serious compliance concerns.
Given the fact that the United States and its allies do not provide any meaningful information on those military biological activities that could allay concerns of the international community, the Russian Federation and China urge the United States and its allies to act in an open, transparent and responsible manner, by informing properly on its military biological activities carried out overseas and on their national territory, and supporting the resumption of negotiations on a legally binding protocol to the BWC with effective verification mechanism, so as to ensure their compliance with the BWC.
In this context the Russian Federation and China note the importance of improved confidence-building measures under the Convention, inter alia, by including information on the overseas military biological activities by the BWC States Parties in the reporting form. The two sides believe that such declaration will be conducive to filling in the blank spots and fostering confidence among States Parties.
The Russian Federation and China also call upon the BWC States Parties to continue joint efforts towards strengthening the Convention on a secure, legally binding basis. They welcome relevant initiatives. At the same time, they support ancillary measures to improve the current implementation of the Convention.
The BWC institutional framework would be strengthened with the proposed mobile biomedical teams to render assistance in cases of biological weapons use, investigate such cases and help combat epidemics of various origins. This proposal represents a new approach to the improved BWC implementation at the international level, combining the principles of collective security and cooperation for peaceful purposes.
The Russian Federation and China stress that the rapid development of science and technology in BWC-related areas call for greater attention of the BWC States Parties. There is a need to raise awareness of the risks associated with dual-use research and, simultaneously, promote the full use of the latest advances in biotechnology for peaceful purposes. In this context, the Russian Federation and China support the idea to establish a BWC scientific advisory committee to analyse scientific and technological advances relevant to the Convention and advise its States Parties accordingly.
At the BWC Ninth Review Conference, the Russian Federation and China are prepared to consider any proposals capable of strengthening the Convention and improving its implementation in a non-discriminatory manner. They call upon all BWC States Parties to adopt a constructive approach to ensure that the decisions taken serve strengthening the BWC regime.
The Joint Statement was made in conjunction with this long statement by Vladimir Ermakov, Head of the Delegation of the Russian Federation and Director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, at the General Debate in the First Committee of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, New York, 6 October 2021. While welcoming “the sober pragmatism shown by the new U.S. administration,” Ermakov went on to say:
“However, problematic issues remain, mainly caused by the destructive actions performed by Washington attempting to obtain unilateral advantages in the so-declared ‘great powers competition’.”
Ermakov then went on to enumerate a long list of treaty negations and violations by the Outlaw US Empire while making suggestions aimed at strengthening the organizations and deliberations aimed at disarmament and toughening of WMD related treaties and conventions. The clear intent is to get the world’s nations to put pressure on the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals to obey their obligations and disarm.
As far as I’m aware, this is the first joint venture by the Russia/China team to rouse international pressure on the Outlaw US Empire outside of Summit-related statements and their joint declarations. Clearly, not only is China seeking its own “discourse voice” as expressed in this discussion between Zhang Weiwei and Fan Yongpeng, but we now see further efforts to combine Russian and Chinese voices into one so that they carry greater weight. And as the SCO grows larger and matures, I expect to see something similar occur via that platform as the Eurasian Bloc begins to exercise its geopolitical muscle.
Good context, thank you.
And so it begins, the thin slices of escalation, as the chimera of bio-warfare becomes tangible reality now at the UN level.
Some may call this simply words, but declarations of war and terms of surrender are made out of words – everything is words, and especially as it relates to law and agreements. Even military doctrines are made out of words, and while political power comes out of a gun, steps of military escalation are often accompanied by words.
So Russia and China have begun the incremental task of bringing the US to heel in its last domain of weaponry and attack: that of biological menace. I suspect that no one in their ministries has much doubt as to the origin of SARS-CoV-2, and no doubt as to the historical context of this current outbreak, nor of what this portends for the future.
Yes, the US must be stopped, and the bio-labs must be made accountable, and the final program of aggression available to the United States must be bound by chains. Until today, I didn’t think could be done, but now I see the way it will be done.
What’s clear is that, submarines and aging warplanes notwithstanding, the US lead in bio-warfare remains its only fighting tool left to it – and very affordable for a bankrupt empire. Russia and China have begun the several stages of pulling the teeth of this weapon. I have no doubt that they will succeed. The multi-polar world will indeed gentle the degenerate giant to his knees.
We will see the voice of the world take on increasing power in the years to come, and ultimately it will compel the US to yield.
This seems an impossible prediction, but with Russia and China combining to show the way, and with their numerous successes to date, it seems a very feasible prediction.
Thanks Grieved for your reply! I recall the first cinematic production of Frankenstein and how the monster’s end was portrayed. I expect the Bioweapon Monster will have a similar fate, the world’s nations playing the role of the enraged townspeople. Unfortunately, as we know, the Monster was–like the viruses and bacilli–innocent, while Doctor Frankenstein was the guilty party who escaped justice. That mustn’t be allowed to occur in this case. I know we’ve discussed this at length before, that at some point those leading the Outlaw US Empire must pay for their crimes. Yes, the labs and their contents must be destroyed without doing any harm, but those who ordered their construction and accumulation of their contents must be put on trial just as Dr. Frankenstein deserved but evaded.
The bio-weapon labs scattered around the world constitute at least as big a threat, if not a bigger threat, to humanity as do the nuclear weapons scattered around the world. These labs all need to be identified, rolled up and cleaned up and consigned to history. They serve no good purpose.
Maybe ???? in response to
West pushes Russia for answers on Navalny poisoning
Issued on: 05/10/2021 – 22:58
The Hague (AFP)
A group of 45 Western countries demanded at the global toxic arms watchdog on Tuesday that Russia provide urgent answers about the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
Moscow now has 10 days to respond to the questions posed by the EU and countries including the United States, Canada and Australia, under the rules of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Western nations say opposition leader Navalny was poisoned in Russia with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok in August last year. He was treated in Germany before returning to Russia, where he is now in jail.
Moscow has always denied involvement in Navalny’s poisoning.
“It is essential that Russia sets out in detail the steps taken to investigate and shed light on the use of a chemical weapon on its territory,” said the statement by the 45 countries.
They also asked Russia to explain why it had delayed a visit by OPCW inspectors to look into the Novichok claims.
“Russia has 10 days to answer,” British delegates said in a tweet.
The US State Department said that it had concluded that agents from Russia’s FSB intelligence agency had poisoned Navalny using Novichok, which it said only Russia possesses.
– ‘No impunity’ –
“There can be no impunity for such actions,” it said in a statement. “Russia’s continued lack of transparency and cooperation surrounding the poisoning is particularly concerning.”
The Hague-based OPCW has previously confirmed that samples from Navalny supplied by Germany tested positive for Novichok.
If Russia’s answers are deemed unsatisfactory the countries have the right under the Chemical Weapons Convention to ask Moscow for further “clarifications”, and then for a group of experts to investigate.
Should the issue remain unresolved after 60 days they can call special sessions of the OPCW’s executive council — its 41-member policy-making body which is meeting this week — and, if necessary, of all 193 OPCW member states.
Countries deemed not to be complying with the Chemical Weapons Convention can have their voting rights suspended….
You cannot identify Novichok conclusively without having chemically pure Novichok manufactured under appropriate ISO 17034 and GMP compliance standards in order to compare it with the putative sample. So in order to identify Novichok, the Western labs would have to have some. If they have it, we therefore have a second possible source. Of course, we would also need to see the chain of custody of the German lab samples to determine if novichok was introduced to the sample after the fact (obviously what happened).
Of course, as with the previous idiotic story, why wouldn’t the FSB just put a bullet in Nalvany’s head and call it a day? Why would they continue with these poisonings that don’t kill anyone and point right back at them? Why use an exotic poison that only leads to Russia? It’s stupid. Like obviously this is some James Bond plot hatched up by British hacks. It was beyond idiotic the first time, and now it has taken idiocy into an entirely new realm.
Also, they know that Nalvany is a racist, anti-gay, anti-trans far right guy, right? This story doesn’t move a needle in their moronic campaign because Nalvany is not in the least bit a sympathetic figure in the woke West. Like why don’t they poison Pussy Riot or some other diverse poor sap waiting to get almost poisoned to death?
Or, gee, they can call it a day finally and decide to live in their own little European bubble and just stop interacting with Russia entirely. This seems like it would be the most prudent decision for all involved.
Russia had every step of novelne’s movements in Russia prior to him leaving it’s all on film that woman gave him the bottle of water at the airport
If the Russian government wanted Navalny dead, why wouldn’t they kill him in the same ways the CIA traditionally uses? He might jump out of a high window, suffer a “heart attack”, beat himself to death with a club in his hotel bathroom, shoot himself in the head – twice… etc.
But of course Navalny is far more useful to the Russian government alive, making incessant foolish and self-justifying statements and constantly revealing his allegiance to Washington.
The answer is simple: Navalny’s handlers faked “poisoning” to accuse Russia. There is no need to discuss nonexistent poisoning any further.
There is the need to discuss means how to stop fabricated baseless accusations. Feudal-like impunity for smearing opponents must be abolished. This is form of terrorism and it should be addresed in similar fashion.
That is the only topic we should use our time and energy on.
Mine would be: expel all diplomats from these three countries above and same for the real sponsors behind(US/UK).
Then the next night load some icbm targeted at key EU/US/UK assets.
You will see them provide excuses and capitulates very fast as they have no balls.
Very simple but if you never try…
Only the Western media give any credence at all to the OPCW since it was outed as a US tool after the Douma false flag.
They may as well disband because nobody will believe anything they report into the future.
If the Germans believed Navalny was poisoned by Russian agents then why did they “extradite” him back to Russia?!
The crazies from Washington have outsourced the bioweapon sector to genocidal computer geeks who ride Lolita Express to work. The same ones that are preparing to take away meat as a staple food from mankind, pardon me, peoplekind and poison the atmosphere with aluminium oxide in order to “reflect back sunlight in order to fight global warming”.
They have thirteen biolabs in the Ukraine only with notorious labs in Georgia (Gruzia) regularly killing cleaners and tradies that maintain it. It also was the source of livestock diseases reported in the south of Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere.
The crazies know that they cannot win head-to-head wars with their woke Nazi armies so are using germs as warfare.
Russia and China (once the Chinese roll up their Soros labs in Wuhan) need to figure out how to deal with these rogue shit-hole countries that allowed those labs open in the first place. Kazakhstan has a few too. No wonder desert shill Sasha Cohen makes fun of them.
“The crazies know that they cannot win head-to-head wars with their woke Nazi armies so are using germs as warfare.”
why should the modern west put itself thru PTSD in killing “the eternal victims” aka Russians face to face?
nonsense. with germs and rent-a-terrorists, it is much more humane to the attacking side.
“…thirteen biolabs in the Ukraine only with notorious labs in Georgia (Gruzia) …”
It was inevitable that rising strength of Russian/Chinese alliance surpasses defence-mode and allows them to counter-punch.
In the case of bio-labs, all recent moves lead to conclusion that “these rogue shit-hole countries” will be “encouraged” to close them for good. One way or another.
The time of endless impunity for shills is almost up. Hopefully, for their handlers too.
Perhaps China and Russia should have a talk with the countries with the bio weapon labs. Close them down or else we will with extreme prejudice.
Russia did exactly that during the 3.5-day war on 08.08.08. They levelled the US biolabs in Georgia (Gruzia). I have no doubt the same will happen again. This time by the kinzhals.
Some historial information: Who resorts to germ and biological warfare?
Jeffrey Kaye makes it his job to research exactly this.
Secret History: U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps Flyers’ Confessions on Use of Biological Weapons in the Korean War
The Schnacke Affidavit: U.S. Admission of Offensive Germ Warfare Capability During the Korean War
Censored: North Korea Accused U.S. of Working with Unit 731 War Criminals on BW Attacks
A Concealed War Crime: U.S. Anthrax Bombings of China During the Korean War
“A real flood of bacteria and germs” — Communications Intelligence and Charges of U.S. Germ Warfare during the Korean War
And then we have not started looking at Japan.
Maybe the US got rid of its chemical stockpiles but I find that just hard to believe. It’s not that we can trust statements. So, perhaps someone has real information on this.
There is evidence (how strong I do not know) that the ranges of swine flu outbreaks in China over the past number of years were planted and some of their crop failures were ‘created’.
And then there is stuff like this: Forty years after one of the most abominable USA bioterrorism attacks against the Cuban people: dengue hemorrhagic fever. By Professor Ariel Alonso Pérez.
XJP personally ordered the crack down on All biolabs in china. that was 2-3 days ago. mayb 1 wk. hunt the tiger swat the flies. he has not leave china borders for a year now – why?!
you take extra extra Extra care there dear amarynth dear :)
p/s ‘that is not to say another round Is Not In Place’ was what I last said – they need that to complete their ‘fairy tale’ now that the ‘seed’ is inside the body… and its time sensitive… otherwise they will go to their grave ‘hurting for the unrealized 100yr old dream’
Since Odessa, weak answer after weak answer…and they of course continue to double down(neocons, US/UK/NATO).
@war is comming
“Since Odessa, weak answer after weak answer”
You’re right. It is infuriating.
My guess is that Russia refuse to play propaganda game with more experienced opponent and stick to the realm of real world.
Look it this way:
Finishing NS2 against all odds will strike wedge between pro-US and patriotic factions in Germany (and EU) much more than any propaganda stunt. The longer permits are delayed, the more damage is done. When NS2 start delivering and prices drop sharply, Russia will look even better.
That’s what I call good PR.
You make a very good point. Germany will reap the benefits of NS2 while the rest of Europe shivers in the cold. The average European will start asking what benefit is there to me from these anti-Russian policies? I can go somewhere else besides Russia for Pride Week.
“ A critical inflection point identified by US war planners for years is approaching, where China’s economic and military might will irreversibly surpass the US and the center of global power will likewise irreversibly shift from West to East creating a global balance of power unseen for centuries. A closing window of opportunity estimated to close between 2025 and 2030 allows the US to carry out a limited war with China, resulting in a favorable outcome for Washington. Beyond that, the US will find itself outmatched and any attempt to curb China’s rise rendered futile.”
Taken in context, the over the top lockdowns in the Anglosphere (especially Australia) are almost certainly drills for exactly this near future contingency of bio-warfare against China’s 1.4 billion – and the literal bio-blowback.
” A closing window of opportunity estimated to close between 2025 and 2030″
That estimation took into account war against China only. War against China, Russia and number of opportunistic allies seams unthinkable for Western strategists. Probably because of fear they’ll lose jobs for being doomsayers.
Lockdowns in “5 eyes” could be drills for biowar, but after two years of lockdowns, it is quite obvious that China is much more capable to protect their population than western countries. Which means that China would win biowar even more decisively than conventional one.
The whole bioweapon idea, all those biolabs, is from the time when West had huge advantages in healthcare. Today, it’s just the opposite.
On top of that, bioengeneering disease that affect one particular nation without spilling on your own is much, much harder than designing plague that will eradicate one particular bloodline of inbreads. Remember, stick has two ends.
Reaching for such unpredictable, and uncontrollable weapon as biological one is another sign of desperation. They won’t use it.
They will use what they always did. Blocades, propaganda, sabotage. Pushing others into fight. We won’t see Anglos fighting Chinese before they try to push India, EU, and Australia first. Good luck with that.
I agree with your conclusions. We have to consider what is happening in the big context, and this is not an easy thing to do as we need relevant information.
Excellent joint statement.
This statement has put the Empire on the back foot. Although I don’t expect AZE will pay any heed, nonetheless with the backdrop of a pandemic this statement will appeal to the other BWC State Parties, especially this part:
The Russian Federation and China emphasize that the BWC functions, including in what concerns the United Nations Security Council, should not be duplicated by other mechanisms.
Big hit against unilateralism. The whole world saw how the OPCW was usurped in Syria and with the Novichok ‘poisonings’, and BWC states should ensure that a similar thing doesn’t happen to BWC by supporting the joint statement.
On another aspect, the EU which in the past decade has been championing BWC especially in the Global South should support this statement wholeheartedly; otherwise it will be shown up as being a hypocrite with a capital ‘H’.
Perfect time to get the ball rolling again.
Some of the 200 bio Weapons labs are within close proximity to Russia. IMO it would seem possible if not probable that Russian agents could gain access (covertly or otherwise) to said labs or turn someone employed there to provide information on the exact nature of the ongoing research and development of these bio Weapons. Maybe soon we could see a detailed report of the findings exposed at the UN Security Council and then copies of the report provided to media.
Bioweapons do not exist. A “weapon” is, by definition, something that kills when you want it to kill, and/or something that kills only specific people or people in a specific area. Viruses and bacteria are not weapons – they don’t want to stay safely contained, and they will try to infect and kill everyone, once released. There’s no reliable way to control their spread and limit the damage (COVID-19 proved that very well, and COVID-19 is barely lethal). Ergo, “bioweapon” is an oxymoron.
Some people *want* bioweapons to exist. Other people *don’t* want bioweapons to exist. But the fact is that bioweapons do not exist at this moment. It’s all hypotheticals (for some supposed future bioweanons) and engineered natural disasters (for all attempts that have been made).
stay with your ‘facts’ you are safe there.
or study history – WWI and WWII.
Well people like Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, and as this joint statement indicates, both the Russians and the Chinese states disagree with you. I guess those are the people that we must pay attention to.
The purpose of bioweapons (no matter how you define it and there are probably correct definitions) is to decimate civilian populations. The most common of these, we all know as Agent Orange used by the US forces in Vietnam from 1962 to 1971. It was not only to defoliate areas where the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces were thought to be, but also to destroy crops, in other words food for the population. Unfortunately, it also killed many people in most horrible ways and left a history of chemical injuries in the populations. So, this Agent Orange was a chemical no? There are many historical incidents of virii or bacteria used in warfare – and these were not hypotheticals, and for future warfare, I am sure they are part of arsenals, and not hypotheticals.
In addition, the labs referred to are very real, and not hypothetical. Patrushev has said (and this from memory and not word for word correct), that strange diseases break out in the vicinity of these labs.
“Dirty War” is a real thing.
You said it. “Chemical”, not “biological”.
Chemical weapons do exist. You can make a poison that can be delivered to a location, that will kill everyone there, and that will then either fall apart by itself, or can be decomposed with some other chemical. Chemical weapons are a thing.
With your head in the hole in the ground, how do you see reality outside the hole? Seriously.
Bioweapons have been in existence and use for a long time. Centuries.
Smallpox was used to decimate Native Americans.
Bioweapons are used to attack necessary food supplies. Swine flu, avian flu, grain diseases, dengue fever are documented as tools used against second and third world nations and fourth world people.
Either you literally have your head in a hole in the ground, or are incredibly uniformed of the history of bioweapons, or are pathetically trying to troll and distract the readers of this blog from a vital stage of warfare being waged against Russia and China and other nations considered targets by the US and UK in particular.
For starters, to break through the lock on your mind that presently prevents a rational approach to learning about bioweapons, ask yourself this: why are biolabs the US has established around the globe, like a fence around adversaries, are all top secret? Why is the work at Fort Detrick, Maryland top secret?
Are all the biological work not weapons? Then why is biological research, science, top secret?
Why do military officers and security operate these biolabs?
Pull your head out of the hole. We can’t be trolled here. We are far too advanced in our studies to be trolled or to put up with such nonsense as you foisted.
Someone had a bright idea to use biological disasters (diseases) in warfare and called it a “bioweapon” (or, more precise, people did the deed first, and came up with a nifty name later). I never claimed that this practice doesn’t exist, just that it’s a misnomer.
Diseases are a disaster. They can (and will) kill people, animals, crops. You can totally use an engineered natural disaster (yeah, sounds strange) to that effect (in fact, people did that, as you just pointed out). But that doesn’t make it a weapon. It’s like calling Global Warming a weapon.
I have issues with the terminology that is used to frame this discussion, not with the facts. Diseases are not weapons. Don’t think of them as weapons. Don’t try to weaponize them. And don’t let anyone else to even conceive anything of the sort. Every time you call a disease “a weapon”, it follows that it is a weapon that can be used in warfare. Because weapons are used in warfare, that’s what they are made for. One of the first things you need to do when discussing and acting around something is to properly name it. A bad name will make people think wrong things and come up with bad analogies.
Like “bioweapons are prohibited, yeah, but we’re desperate, and we need to win, and everything’s fair in love and war, and can’t we use this here bioweapon just this once, because we really want to, since it’s just a kind of weapon, amirite?” – kind of like that. People shouldn’t think like that. Diseases are not weapons.
To put it differently: if it were possible to create a weapon that kills specific people in specific places, only kills when you make it kill, and doesn’t kill you or anyone else you don’t want it to kill – would it matter if it’s biological in nature? What I just described is an utopia, sure, because biological objects tend to *not* have the features we need from our weapons. But if it *were* possible, there would be really no point in prohibiting such weapons or campaigning against them. It would have been like arbitrarily prohibiting weapons made from wood.
By the way, this also applies to AI and “autonomous weapons”. If it kills something without your consent (given at the moment or in advance), then it isn’t a weapon, it’s a disaster.
Rekas, well said. Thank you.
All right, genius of the “Bioweapons do not exist” variety, why don’t you convince the world’s scientists, military specialists, and leaders that there is no need for “The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BWC)”?
BTW, have you heard of Agent Orange and Anthrax? These were not hypothetical.
But perhaps I just wasted my time arguing with a troll?
Of course this is bio-logical warfare. I mean, what else did the west have to bargain with on the diplomacy level? They thought of a alien invasion that would unite the world against a common enemy, they used terrorism to get the super-powers aligned with the U.S all these attempts failed..so they had to bio-warfare and eradicate their own so it would be sufficient enough that no1 would expect the west to have released this weapon. They successfully are eradicating the elderly so that the younger have their source of wisdom, experience wiped out so they can fall on the laps of the godless LGBT/Zionist order. Heck, even my own Father collapsed in front of me and died due to the mask smothering him to death and noticed his health decline ever since they introduced masks (I looked after my father for 15 years) I knew what his health was like, moment masks came in he’s health depleted. This isn’t a emotional charged statement it took me a long time to come to this conclusion..it is evident. Even on Online game’s there is a lot of anti-Chinese anti-Russian slander going on..you can’t escape it. They’re hurting the human soul so that we can hate China day by day…Blame the state of the world on China! Climate Change! Blame China, blame the developing countries! The west is losing control and are taking the world down with them.
I recently read an indepth article (see link) about how the Israelis assassinated a leading Iranian nuclear scientist in Iran. The article reads like a Popular Mechanics piece. I do not get any sense of outrage at all. I mention this as the Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies could determine who is working at these labs and send in assassins to take them out. I know that this sounds reprehensible but these people are Josef Mengele types who are inferior to rabid dogs and deserve to be put down.
Only force can eliminate gangsters
I will once again chime in from my perspective having worked so long for the US Army Biodefense Research program (BDRP). For some background: the US military officially stopped developing and stockpiling all bioweapons when Nixon signed the Convention. The brand new building at Fort Detrick built to manufacture weapons was immediately re-purposed for use as the National Cancer Institute and all equipment mothballed in a field at the back of Fort Derrick which serves as the graveyard for all laboratory equipment. The older (much older in the case of building 512 which dates back to WWII) buildings changed from offensive to defensive research and was spit into Bacteriological, Virological, and diagnostic Divisions and managed as part of the Medical Research and Development Command (MRMC – Fort Derrick). The medical research was all managed through MRMC program managers and BDRP work was managed out of an old WWII barracks converted to offices and usually had a Major and Captain plus a Sergeant to run the entire program which was named Research Area Directorate IV (RAD-IV). It was not a big program and the lion’s share was conducted at the United States Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) which up until 1973 was a sub-command to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). The WRAIR conducted emerging threats and non-BW related zoonotic disease and the largest program was the malaria vaccine program. As an aside the “new” malaria vaccine was developed entirely at the WRAIR and given to glance Smith0Kline (GSK) who paid for the expanded efficacy trials.
Anyway, this is the way things remained as the status quo up until 1998 when some pencil necked geek decided to bring all BDRP work under the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Note to all, an Agency is higher up the food chain than any combat Corps. DTRA’s focus up until then was entirely on nuclear and chemical weapon counter-proliferation programs and they enjoyed some success dismantling these programs in the former Soviet Union. I will add to that threat Russia and all the FSU’s have completely eliminated all chemical weapons which has been verified by inspection, unlike the US who still has not even gotten 50% of the way towards reaching this goal. The Chemical programs are managed by DTRA who overseas the US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRIC) up at Aberdeen Proving grounds. DTRA is managed mostly by senior civilians (Senior Executive Service – SES) nut historically they came from research and were normally professors of physics and appointed to temporary ranks of SES to manage the programs. This worked well but when the BDRP stuff was included they didn’t have any technical experts. Chemical and nuclear weapons are finite and easily inventoried usually stored in guarded and secure facilities designed to house these very hazardous materials. So, the thinking about these weapons was an inventory logistical approach. Biological weapons are not at all similar. Inventorying these comes down to counting vials in freezers but always fails to consider clinical or tissue samples. Worse, all BW agents are in fact zoonotic diseases that already exist in nature and are quite common in many places. The confusion always leads this kind of logistical thinking down the wrong direction. I can add that to my personal knowledge (and I worked in every lab the military had at the time) no offensive work was being conducted. It was strictly taboo and because of space constrictions all labs were shared and everyone with access (access control was extremely tight) was watching each other, mostly out of jealousy, so there is no way anyone could get away with doing anything nefarious. Frankly, it is completely unnecessary as the methods used for the ongoing work didn’t require weaponized material.
I will digress into something that should be very obvious but I never see mentioned at all. Biological weapons from a military viewpoint are stupid. There are two potential uses in combat. The first is denial of terrain meaning keeping the enemy from entering a geographical space saturated with some deadly bioweapon thus changing them into fields of fire. Chemical and tactical nuclear weapons do a better job and last a lot longer. The other usage is to disrupt lines of communication by attacking rear support areas. But, again other weapons work better including artillery, missiles, chemical and nuclear weapons. From a military standpoint this is the the meat and potatoes of the subject and BW really are very useless. The main problems are they are alive somas be freshly made in cultures that last perhaps 24 hours outside an incubator or refrigerator. The exception is anthrax spores which are the only actual fielded bioweapons as you grow up spores, keep the dry in warheads and the can act like that for 10,000 years. No other agents are similar with the exception of Brucella which can be lyophilized and can last in a desiccated state a few weeks. The other problem is that delivering spores in a warhead is not efficient and a lot are lost on the initial explosion. Other delivery systems have been attempted but most fail. The exception was the Japanese dropped millions of plague infected fleas into the air from the back end of a bomber onto Harbin China and killed about 10,000 people. Fleas are light enough to simply float to the earth where they then infect rats and the disease takes off from there. Of note all the Japanese involved were moved to the US (General Ishii the commander of Unit 731 worked at USAMRIID until his retirement) to develop bioweapons for the US. So, prior to signing the Convention the US was heavily invested in offensive BW work. I reiterate though this all stopped in DoD programs. However, we do know that the CIA didn’t stop at all.
The Soviet Union had a very extensive field sanitation program to monitor for outbreaks of zoonotic diseases and set up a vast array of small laboratories around the entire Soviet Union to sample potentially infected animals and people. In general these small labs were run by veterinarians and samples coming from these labs were sent to central storage facilities. When DTRA took over they assumed all these hundreds of labs were in fact secret BW research labs and eagerly undertook to investigate these places and to eliminate them wherever possible. The problem is they serve a real purpose and most are still operational today although the US believes firmly they are secret labs doing nefarious stuff. I know this at a personal level as I was stuck into several of these programs to develop projects designed to give the former scientists supposedly developing BW agents some real work to do so as to keep them too busy to do bad stuff. This is your tax dollars at work doing stupid (and expensive) stuff. The FSU republics saw this as an opportunity to get funding and have been milking it all the way along and to my knowledge nothing was ever accomplished. STRA did spend quite a bit of money building new ABSL-3 laboratories and one of these was in Tbilisi Georgia. There the Eliava Institute of Research famous for developing bacteriophage treatments was given a brand new state of the art facility now named the WRAIR/Richard G. Lugar Center for Public Health research (CPRH) and is a laboratory which is part of the overseas laboratory network managed by WRAIR. We have a network of labs around the world doing zoonotic research in endemic areas where US soldiers might get deployed. This is the purpose of these labs to develop vaccines, counter-measures, and diagnostics against endemic (mostly tropical) diseases. None of this is offensive work and most managed on a shoestring budget. DTRA doesn’t manage any of this work and no money comes from DTRA for work that has nothing to do with counter-proliferation. DTRA itself took over management of RAD-IV and moved it to Fort Belvior. Where we had at most 3 managers before now there are over 400. That is where most of the money goes now into a self-licking ice cream cone called DTRA.
I wired in 2009 completely and have had nothing to do with any of this stuff since so cannot reliably speak towards anything going on today. I fear under Obama who was the CIA’s best friend ever and supported even possible nutty idea, that anything is possible. I cannot explain all these labs in Ukraine or Georgia (or anywhere else for that matter). It is my belief these are former sanitation labs still doing the jobs they were intended to do but now under supervision of DTRA. But, that is a guess. Wha I do know is the US Army has less than 32 microbiologists and most of the are involved with running hospital laboratories. Very few are in research and a few ended up doing program management work. The military tries to recruit PhD level scientists but often takes them with a Master’s degree (like myself) and then sends them to get a PhD at a civilian university (like myself). The expectation is upon returning back to duty with a fresh PhD to do one single 3 year tour learning military research and then go on to program management and usually taking a secondary MOS in the Acquisition Corps (microbiologists would them be involved in protective suits, stockpiling vaccines and therapeutics, etc.). Very boring stuff. I committed carer suicide by staying in research. So, my point is no one wants to go live in these (not so wonderful) places to work for years running research programs that won’t accomplish much as the local civilians usually are terrible. This become vacation tours for anyone stupid enough to take an assignment at one. We have a frilly extensive number of medical doctors and veterinarians involved in research who are eager to do stuff in endemic areas only to be woefully disappointed when they can’t get anything done. Maybe that has improved but I doubt it. However, I see a movement to contractors for pretty much everything and especially funding from pharmaceutical companies such as Moderna who was going some shady clinical trials in Georgia that resulted in a large number of deaths.
The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) permits any signatory country to demand on immediate inspection of laboratories they suspect of conducting work that violates the Convention. The US has done this to Russia several times but has never permitted any inspections of US labs. The labs overseas might fall into a grey zone but the host countries also have signed the convention. So, this move by Russia and China is an opening gambit towards demanding inspections. But, they will be ignored by the US. I have a suspicion, and that is all it is, that the CIA has inserted itself into some of these facilities. It is easy enough to do as the budgets for these labs is really tight and money talks. Only Congress can even attempt to control the CIA and so far they have shown no interest in reigning in this rogue agency that has no moral compass.
Larchmonter445 I know for a fact that in the US Army (at least up until I left in 2009 which arguably was quite a long time ago now) no one was doing any offensive work. The Navy has a tiny program as does the Air Force who does protective and decontamination research as it applies to ships and aircraft traversing through contaminated areas. The majority of the work is entirely defensive and more or less limited to improved rapid detectioon methods, vaccines, and countermeasures. US Army microbiologists (and infectious disease doctors and veterinarians) are tasked with performing normal duties like running laboratories and seeing sick animals or patients. Research is generally a temporary assignment and these days is career suicide to stay in it. At most you get 3 years of research time which any researcher knows is just getting started. Army civilians run the show most of the time and use contractors to do most of the work. The overseas labs are a bit tricky and some medical doctors and junior scientists go there assuming they will do great things only to find these labs are mostly populated with local civilians who in general are poor and difficult to manage. They see officers come and go yet they stay and if they had any meaningful desire to do any work it was cynically removed from their minds over time. Very little comes from these labs. Sometimes a military scientist comes who has enough force of will to get things done but politics usually screws them. Promotions in the military no longer go to leaders but to people who stay in the shadows and never stand out. At best they are mediocre at worst villains and the worst petty kind. Good officers don’t stay in the military anymore.
Rakaman, you are absolutely correct about detection. The methods used are GC-MS and you have to have a library of known agents to compare to. I ran 2 labs that did battlefield detection in situ. This calls into question all the hype about how long it takes to run samples. We had portable mini GC-MS machines we took with us and could do sophisticated chemical analysis in hours not weeks. Extraction is the only time-consuming part other than getting samples and transporting them to the lab. Using portable labs or couriers within minutes makes this a lot easier.
However, it is extremely rare to find an intact agent particularly hours later as it is rapidly broken down by humidity, and sunlight. In the case of biological samples, you look for probable metabolites. The problem here is that many things can cause the same metabolites and trace amounts are in almost every person due to insecticide use. Anyone categorically stating they found Novichuk in a human hours after potential exposure is lying. It simply isn’t possible. Finding “probable” metabolites is another matter. But to know these metabolites you have to perform exposure studies (dose and timing combined with treatments) and I doubt that has been done anywhere for this class of agents. There is no single Novichuk agent but it is instead a class last I read was at least 5 different related agents. Also, nerve agents act immediately and do not take hours or days. Most have no effective treatment at all. In the Army we carry around automatic syringes with a huge dose of atropine and another with 2-PAM-Chloride. We are trained that you must inject yourself immediately if you even have a tiny hope of survival. THe 2-PAM-Chloride was adopted in the early 70’s after we found Soviet soldiers carrying it. We took it on faith it must work only to find out 30 years later it is useless. So it is complete hype when you hear the patient was treated and recovered. Possibly, if they had a very low level of exposure and were able to stay breathing long enough the agent would eventually get broken down in the liver. But, it would have to be a very tiny dose at the almost undetectable levels. Getting sick on a plane and then being treated hours later? Complete BS. But this stuff is put out there all the time and swallowed by the media and politicians.