2002 November 04 Monday
CIA: Russia, France, North Korea, Iraq Have Smallpox

This report underlines the need for an even larger stockpile of smallpox vaccine. Other countries could become infected as a side effect of an attack on the US:

The CIA now assesses that four nations -- Iraq, North Korea, Russia and, to the surprise of some specialists, France -- have undeclared samples of the smallpox virus.

The agency's Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation and Arms Control Center (WINPAC) described a sliding scale of confidence in those assessments in a briefing prepared last spring. The briefing circulated among senior homeland security, public health and national security officials. Though the quality of its information varied from "very high" to "medium," one official said the report covered only nations for which "we have good evidence."

The US ought to be really ready in the vaccine department before it launches an attack on Iraq. Jordan and Kuwait have asked for smallpox vaccine because they both fear a smallpox attack from Iraq. That the US is reluctant to honor their requests suggests that the US does not have enough vaccine stock to run the risk of a war against Iraq.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 November 04 10:59 PM  US Foreign Preemption, Deterrence, Containment


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