Nonproliferation
Report

Stimson Center Report No 37: House of Cards

in Program

The Pivotal Importance of a Technically Sound BWC Monitoring Protocol

House of Cards emphasizes the need for more technical research and field trials of inspection techniques before conclusion of a BWC verification protocol. The report also cautions that premature conclusion of a BWC monitoring protocol without assurance that monitoring techniques would work reliably could ultimately weaken the biological weapons ban, arguing that a monitoring system based on sound, thoroughly tested technologies and techniques is more important than any arbitrary deadline. The study calls on the US government and the US pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to fully test assorted BWC monitoring technologies and strategies.

House of Cards’ findings are based on a series of brainstorming sessions with 35 experts recruited from top US universities, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, research institutes, and defense firms, as well as veterans of inspections similar to those that might be used to monitor this treaty. These experts assessed which inspection techniques and technologies might yield the best results but not reveal sensitive business or national security information.

 

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