Chemical and biological countermeasures

Subject: Science
Pages: 10
Word count: 2611
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Abstract

The primary goal of this research was to recognize, analyze, examine and scrutinize CBRNE countermeasures embraced by the American government, particularly the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other Federal, State or nearby authorization organizations/establishments/bodies in charge of, and vested with forces for regulating open security and wellbeing amid potential CBRNE risks and taking legitimate measures for safety and security of American individuals and properties amid such real or danger of possible attacks. The study will use a descriptive and review research design to analyze the literature available on the role of the department of homeland security in eradicating, controlling and preventing the impacts of CBRNE on US soil. It will identify, analyze and critique the countermeasures the department of homeland security has put in place to ensure prevention and eradication of the attacks associated with CBRNE. The paper will make recommendations and draw conclusions from the discussions.

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Introduction

Chemical, Biological, Nuclear, Radioactive, and or Explosive (CBNRE) is a primary security concern in many countries, the United States being among the largest country CBNRE is a major concern. One of the major threats that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has to handle is the threat of chemical and biological attacks (Humphrey & Adams, 2009). Hence, various countermeasures have to be taken to prevent this CBNRE as well as deal with the consequences, if any, of these threats that are already caused. The use of unstable waste materials also constitutes a significant threat to precious human lives and properties. Therefore, it is recommended that they are also considered as potential significant risk components when addressing the risk and threats caused by CBRNE.

The primary goal of this research will be to recognize, analyze, examine and scrutinize CBRNE countermeasures embraced by the American government, particularly the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other Federal, State or nearby authorization organizations/establishments/bodies in charge of, and vested with forces for regulating open security and wellbeing amid potential CBRNE attacks and taking legitimate measures for safety and security of American individuals and properties amid such real or danger of possible attacks.

Additionally, this research will investigate the viability and the extent to which the countermeasures put in place by the Department of Homeland Security to address the threats caused by CBRNE are useful. It will try to establish how best these measures have handled the dangers these threats have posted on human lives and properties.  Further, this paper will seek to offer proposals on whether, how and the degree to which changes could be effected. It will suggest countermeasures which could best address such challenges and give revolutionary impacts at relieving such circumstances and enable countermeasure strategists to increase general control and Risk Management in these areas. It will further recommend how reformative arrangements, techniques, procedures, and conventions could offer more compelling solution bound ways to deal with these difficulties to improve environmental safety in the United States.

Research Question

The use of explosive materials poses very dire threats to human lives and property. Notably, the effects are increased by the use of Biological, Chemical, Radioactive and Nuclear Materials. These substances are extremely harmful to human lives. They also cause serious threats to both international and national security, especially in the United States. The government of the United States through the department of defense and the department of homeland security has the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the nation by eradicating, prevention and controlling the effects these substances have on human lives and their property. The aim of this research is to investigate the countermeasures these departments have put in place to ensure the eradication, control, and prevention of these effects. The research will aim at answering the question: What countermeasures has the government of the United States through the department of homeland security put in place to ensure the eradication, control, and prevention of CBRNE threats?

The secondary research questions will include:

  • What are the past, current and potential effectiveness of the countermeasures deployed by the United States regarding addressing CBRNE attacks on US soil?
  • What are some of the measures that can be taken to improve the current countermeasures against potential threats of CBRNE attacks on US soil?
  • What innovative and case-based approaches, perspectives, and solutions can be worked out to improve current countermeasures against CBRNE attacks with a modus of installations, and also the role of the media in these pursuits?

Aims and objectives of the research

The main purpose of this study is to identify, investigate and critique CBRNE countermeasures undertaken by the American government through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during potential CBRNE attacks and taking proper measures for safety and security of American people and properties during such attacks. The primary objective of the research is to identify the countermeasures the government of the United States through the department of homeland security has put in place to ensure the eradication, control, and prevention of CBRNE threats. Another objective will include:

  • To identify the past, current and potential effectiveness of the countermeasures deployed by the United States regarding addressing CBRNE attacks on US soil,
  • To identify some of the measures that can be taken to improve the current countermeasures against potential threats of CBRNE attacks on US soil; and
  • To identify innovative and case-based approaches, perspectives and solutions can be worked out to improve current countermeasures against CBRNE attacks with a modus of installations, and also the role of the media in these pursuits.

Significance of the study

The principal goal of this research is to identify, diagnose, investigate and critique CBRNE countermeasures undertaken by the American government, especially the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other Federal, State or local enforcement agencies/institutions/ bodies responsible for, and vested with powers for overseeing public security and safety during potential CBRNE attacks and taking proper measures for safety and security of American people and properties during such actual or threat of possible attacks.

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Since the use of explosive materials also constitutes major and widely used threats to precious human lives and properties, there is need to consider them also as major risk elements which need to be addressed in this countermeasure studies. Besides, this research will examine, investigate,  critique and comment on the ultimate effectiveness of these countermeasures and how best they afford competencies in addressing, tackling and mitigating such adverse scenarios, which pose greatest threats to human lives and jeopardizes properties.

Further, this paper seeks to offer recommendations on whether, how and the extent to which alternative improvements can be effected in extant countermeasures. It will recommend ways which can best address such issues and provide destructive effects at mitigating such situations and help countermeasure strategists gain overall control and Risk Management in these domains. It will also suggest how reformative policies, procedures, processes, and protocols could offer more practical solutions bound approaches to these challenges for peaceful coexistence in the United States.

Since the genres of CBRNE attacks are nebulous, and distinguishing between terror attacks, chemical attacks, or acts of war are ill-defined and poorly illustrated, it is necessary and important that policy makers, practitioners, and executory participants are fully trained, geared, exposed and provided expert knowledge on various genres of addressing problems of CBRNE nature and their solution measures. This research will provide the information that can be used for this purpose.

Research Design

This study shall employ a descriptive and a review research design. It will seek to satisfactorily answer the research questions by describing and reviewing the literature available on the research topic. From the different sources with the literature on the subject, the study will provide explanation and extract reliable conclusions based on the research objectives. It will describe and review the achievements of the department of homeland security regarding the countermeasures it has employed for CBRNE attacks, the effectiveness of such measures and the improvements that can be made by the department of homeland security on its countermeasures, and how best these actions could mitigate the current and potential risks and attacks posed by CBRNE in the US.

Review of literature

CBNRE countermeasures are formulated with information from Health and Human Service (HHS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) takes the first step in operation to determine, on an on-going basis, the risk of CBNRE materials and figure out which of these agents risk enough threat to National security. The material risk assessments (MTA) that DHS issues investigate the hazard posed by the given CBRN specialists or classes of operators (Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), Burkholderia mallei (ganders), Burkholderiapseudomallei (melioidosis), Clostridium botulinum (botulism toxin), Ebola virus (hemorrhagic fever), Francisella tularensis (tularemia), Junin virus (hemorrhagic fever), Marburg virus (hemorrhagic fever), multidrug-resistant Bacillus anthracis (MDR anthrax), Rickettsia prowazekii (typhus), and radiological and nuclear materials.) for conceivable, high outcome scenarios and give assessments of the quantity of individuals presented to various dosage levels of specialist in the situations.

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Since 2004, DHS has confirmed that 13 of these CBRN operators represent a material danger, given the MTAs. In the second step, HHS and its PHEMCE accomplices utilize the information from the MTA situations to evaluate the general well-being and therapeutic outcomes of an attack using these agents. Public wellbeing result was displaying gauges the quantity of people who may turn out to be sick, be hospitalized, or pass on from the introduction to and contamination with CBRN specialists, with or without therapeutic intercession.

To build up these evaluations from the MTA presentation information, HHS counsels with specialists and utilizations accessible logical information, for example, information on the amount of an operator is expected to cause contamination and to what extent it takes to create side effects of malady after introduction. Likewise, HHS evaluates the status of current countermeasure advancement and accessibility, including appropriate countermeasures that DOD might be creating. Through outcome displaying, HHS decides the general wellbeing sway on the influenced populace regarding the potential welfare impacts over the span of malady in light of various time periods for therapeutic countermeasure conveyance and treatment.

As indicated by HHS authorities, outcome displaying enables PHEMCE to consider general wellbeing readiness needs, for example, regardless of whether a particular countermeasure is conceivable or plausible for a specific CBRN specialist and the sum that would be required. In the third step, PHEMCE utilizes the outcome displaying results to decide prerequisites for required restorative countermeasures, including the required amount and the coveted attributes, for example, how they would be employed and put away.

HHS authorities disclosed to us that these prerequisites would incorporate the favored strategy for an organization, for example, the oral organization of a prescription that can be put away at room temperature. PHEMCE accomplices counsel with specialists and fuse insight data and data on State and neighborhood reaction abilities to decide perfect countermeasure attributes. On the off chance that countermeasures that meet these qualities are not instantly accessible, HHS may gain countermeasures that are right now accessible and work with producers after some time to create countermeasures that better meet the perfect characteristics

The DHS Biological and Chemical Countermeasures were initially taken from the Department of Defense (DOD), who preferred to duplicate from over an association that has been at the bleeding edge of synthetic and organic countermeasures since the origin of concoction and natural, a portion of the countermeasures in those days included suggesting the utilization of plastic sheets and conduit tape for homes and organizations to give “shield set up” aggregate insurance and the use of guide indicators toward distinguishing deadly levels of compound, organic, and radiological risks (Mauroni, 2010).

There were obviously blemishes in taking after the DOD layout for substance and natural dangers, most importantly, the DOD works as far as war zone countermeasures, the objectives that a foe would utilize a compound and organic assault on were few and for the most part fell inside a strategic attitude, no performing artist equipped for doing a synthetic and natural attack back in then would squander a concoction and organic assault on an irregular regular citizen masses, those sorts of individuals would utilize a mixture and biological assault on a military target.

There were two outstanding issues with this approach. In the first place, the risk of substance and biological hazard introduction to individuals at home (or even organizations) was about close to zero, and second, the little likelihood of a compound and natural danger being utilized on any one day amid the year at any one particular site inside the United States was for all intents and purposes zero (Mauroni, 2010).

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Because of this, the DHS needed to reconsider and reevaluate their substance and natural countermeasures, they needed to expand their objective base and understand that the fear based oppressor wouldn’t go for a hard focus on, these psychological oppressors would go for an extremely swarmed range that would dispense the greatest measure of harm, and that would likewise pull in the most media scope, it would be far less demanding to drop a compound specialist amidst a shopping center at lunch hour than it drops one within a military target (Sanyasi, 2007).

Recommendations

Among the many countermeasures at the disposal of the agencies, the use of robotic technology has gained currency in recent years, especially regarding how robots could augment extant human-based CBRNE Incident Response, by improving gained data assets and speed at which data assets could be retrieved and which help relieve physical payloads of respondents. However, this analysis also proves that badly-designed robotic technology inputs could be highly disruptive and adversely impactful to human- focused CBRNE response activities (Humprey and Adams, 2009).

Secondly, coming to aspects of the extent of detriment posed by lone actors, especially non-state actors and ‘autonomous cells,’ it is determined that the farmers have been engaging in smaller, unrefined and sporadic plots when compared to fully-fledged, larger terrorist outfits and hold fewer threats for mass disruptive activities. (Ackerman and Pinson, 2014).

Thirdly, coming to the aspects of role of military in preventing or combating CBRNE risks, according to the Article by Heffelfinger, Tuckett and Ryan, 2012, titled” The Military ‘s Response to Domestic CBRN Incidents”, the role, responsibilities and functional ambit of US militia has increased manifold in recent years, which has led to virtual restricting of the military force (Heffelfinger, Tuckett and Ryan, 2012).

Moreover, the gamut of communication systems, networking, agency interfacing and most of all, how communication aids in various facets of CBRNE terror crises management is considered in 2015 Article by Ruggiero and Vos (Ruggiero & Vos, 2015). The aftermath of imaginative yet potential CBRNE attack is vividly described by Sanyasi in her prominent Article titled “Humanity amid conflict, terror, and catastrophe: hypothetical but possible scenarios.” According to Sanyasi, its aftermath is potentially overwhelming and distressful, especially for aid-providing communities (Sanyasi, 2007).

Finally, in their Article published in 2012 edition of Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, joint authors, viz.,  Linkov, et al., presents case study analysis of deployment of Risk Information Decision Framework(RIDF) perspective using Target Capability List(TCL) as instrument for evaluation of countermeasures to CBRNE(Linkov et al, 2012).

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Conclusion

Chemical, Biological, Nuclear, Radioactive, and or Explosive (CBNRE) is a primary security concern in many countries the United States being among the largest country CBNRE is a major concern. From the discussion above we see how the government has tried to prevent the use of the CBNRE agents in the US soil, but we also see its setbacks. We wish that the government will employ more measures that will entirely eradicate this CBNRE device completely, including the above-recommended measures. 

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  1. Ruggiero A. and Vos M. (2015) Communication Challenges in CBRN Terrorism Crises: Expert Perceptions Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management Vol. 23 Number 3 p. 138 September 2015
  2. Sanyasi A. (2009).Humanity amid conflict, terror and catastrophe: hypothetical but possible Scenarios International Review of the Red Cross Vol. 89 Number 866.
  3. Ackerman G.A and Pinson L.E. (2014) “An Army of One: Assessing CBRN Pursuits and Use by Lone Wolves and Autonomous Cells, Terrorism and Political Violence” Rutledge p. 226
  4. Healy, MF., Weston K., Romilly M. and Arbuthnot K. (2009) A Model to Support CBRN Defense Rutledge Defense &Security Analysis Vol. 25, No. 2, p. 199
  5. Heffelfinger, D. G., Tuckett, C. M., & Ryan, J. R. (2013). The Military’s Response to Domestic CBRNE Incidents. Journal of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, 10(1), 1-19. Doi: 10.1515/jhsem-2012-0013
  6. Humphrey, C. M., & Adams, J. A. (2009). Robotic Tasks for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Incident Response. Advanced Robotics, 23(9), 1217-1232. Doi: 10.1163/156855309X452502
  7. Linkov, I., Tkachuk, A., Canis, L., Mohan, M., &Keisler, J. (2012). Risk-Informed Decision Framework for Integrated Evaluation of Countermeasures against CBRN Threats. Journal of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, 9(1), 1-17.
  8. Mauroni, A. (2010). Homeland insecurity: Thinking about CBRN terrorism. Homeland Security Affairs, 6(3) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/docview/1266215242?accountid=8289
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