Also known as germ warfare, biological warfare is the use of infectious agents or biological toxins to incapacitate or kill humans, plants or animals. The toxins can be anything from viruses, bacteria and fungi. Proponents of biological warfare claim it provides tactical and strategic advantage. But opponents argue that it can have a major impact on perfectly innocent individuals. To determine where you stand, it is best to understand its advantages and disadvantages.
List of Pros of Biological Warfare
It takes only a single gram of biological warfare agent to wipe out millions of individuals. Drop a small amount of botulinum toxin, and all enemies can go away for good. Now all that needs to be done is to clean up the mess.
2. Cost Effective
Compared to chemical and nuclear weapons, biological weapons are cheaper. And with viruses and bacteria kept in laboratory, it is also very accessible, which further bring down its cost. If you think of its effect, which is often on a massive scale, using biological weapons is definitely more affordable.
3. Quick Ending
Do you want to end war quickly? Just drop a gram of chemical agent and an entire enemy population would be wiped out at a blink of an eye. How quick and gradual the effect is depends on the type of biological warfare agent used. What is even better is that an attack doesn’t have to make as much noise as a bomb dropped over an enemy camp.
4. Easy to Make
If you don’t have access to existing biological agents, you can easily make them yourself. Just make sure you wear protective gear to ensure your safety, and you have appropriate containers for proper storage. The last thing you want is to be the guinea pig for your homemade biological weapon.
5. Easy Delivery
During the 2001 Anthrax attacks, delivery of anthrax spores were only made through post, which says a lot about the mode of delivery of most biological warfare agents. No need to develop an elaborate plan that can rival that of spy movies. Depending on the bacteria, virus or toxins used, a target would not even know what hit them.
List of Cons of Biological Warfare
Airborne Toxins, for example, would be carried out to other areas that are not supposed to be affected. Biological weapons have also been known to infect own troops, which is worse than a friendly fire.
2. Long-Term Effects
Anthrax, for example, can live in the soil for more or less than 50 years. During those times, the possibility of it infecting people who comes in contact with it would increase and continue until the spores no longer exist. The possibility of unwanted effects is absolute.
Research showed that 1 to 10% of the general population are naturally immune to most biological compounds used in germ warfare. To ensure efficiency, continuous testing has to be done, which would involve own troops, and eliminating them in the event of a failure.
So are you for or against biological warfare?