This is Post 2.1 in a series. The previous post is here.

Welcome to the second half of our series. I’ve established that despite extensive historical weapons programs, biological weapons haven’t really been used in a major way since WWII. We don't ever seem to have been a "close call" away from biological warfare. Why not?

I don’t have a complete answer. I have some pieces of the answer, though. The first piece, and one very good answer, is that BW are not as cheap and deadly as commonly thought, and that substantial resources and expertise are needed to successfully create biological weapons. This argument is well-made by Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley in her book Barriers to Bioweapons - a combination between hard technical skills and soft skills like poor management. I’ve written a summary of the book on this blog before.

That post will act as Part 1 of this section. (Apologies for the brevity here, but there's no use reinventing the wheel.)


Ben Ouagrham-Gormley, Sonia. Barriers to Bioweapons: The Challenges of Expertise and Organization for Weapons Development. Cornell University Press, 2014.

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