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Living Weapons: Biological Warfare and International Security (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801477522
ISBN-10: 0801477522
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  • Living Weapons: Biological Warfare and International Security (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Koblentz provides an up-to-date and comprehensive analysis of biological weapons as a strategic problem that should become the standard text in the field. . . . The book draws lessons about intelligence, verification, and oversight, and also about what strategic value the offending countries sought to extract by pursuing such weapons. . . . Through a careful examination of actual cases, Koblentz has done his best to get the true measure of the bioterrorist threat."―Foreign Affairs (January/February 2010)



"Living Weapons is a succinct, highly readable analysis of the unique challenges presented by biological weapons. Koblentz provides an excellent summary of the historic utilities and disutilities posed by biological weapons to international actors and the potential erosion of constraints on their future use. Highly recommended."―Choice



"Koblentz thoroughly addresses the wide range of challenges that biological weapons pose to countries in the 21st century. . . . He explores these issues by weaving together historical information on Iraqi, Russian, South African, and Soviet biological weapons programs with analysis of the scientific and security challenges biological weapons present . . . [and] he recommends several possible ways for countries to decrease, unilaterally and multilaterally, the threat posed by biological weapons."―Arms Control Today (November 2009)



"A readable, succinct, yet through review of the myriad issues surrounding biodefense from a policy perspective. . . . More importantly, Living Weapons provides a disturbing yet refreshing look at the myriad obstacles confronting those who would play a role―whether political, diplomatic, or scientific―in attempting to rein in the use of biology in war and terror."―Emerging Infectious Diseases (October 2010)



"Living Weapons promises to stimulate attention and provoke thought on a very important topic. Gregory D. Koblentz writes clearly about the problems posed by biological weapons and provides particularly good summary accounts of the Soviet, Iraqi, and South African offensive programs."―John D. Steinbruner, University of Maryland, author of The Cybernetic Theory of Decision



"Gregory D. Koblentz's comprehensive and insightful study explores the unique dilemmas that biological weapons pose for defense, intelligence, arms control, and global governance. Filled with information and analysis, the book is a valuable resource for both scholars and policymakers."―Jonathan B. Tucker, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies

"Living Weapons presents a careful, authoritative analysis of a national security problem of great consequence that is often distorted by apocalyptic scenarios and ignorance of scientific complexities. With great clarity, Gregory D. Koblentz has moved the political discussion forward in an important and substantive direction that deserves a wide audience."―Jeanne Guillemin, author of Biological Weapons: From State-sponsored Programs to Contemporary Bioterrorism

From the Back Cover

"Living Weapons promises to stimulate attention and provoke thought on a very important topic. Gregory D. Koblentz writes clearly about the problems posed by biological weapons and provides particularly good summary accounts of the Soviet, Iraqi, and South African offensive programs."--John D. Steinbruner, University of Maryland, author of The Cybernetic Theory of Decision

"Gregory D. Koblentz's comprehensive and insightful study explores the unique dilemmas that biological weapons pose for defense, intelligence, arms control, and global governance. Filled with information and analysis, the book is a valuable resource for both scholars and policymakers."-- Jonathan B. Tucker, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies

"Living Weapons presents a careful, authoritative analysis of a national security problem of great consequence that is often distorted by apocalyptic scenarios and ignorance of scientific complexities. With great clarity, Gregory D. Koblentz has moved the political discussion forward in an important and substantive direction that deserves a wide audience."--Jeanne Guillemin, author of Biological Weapons: From State-sponsored Programs to Contemporary Bioterrorism --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Cornell Studies in Security Affairs
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (July 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801477522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801477522
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,032,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By R. E. Zartman on February 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Living Weapons: Biological Warfare and International Security" is a very well documented text describing the successes/failures of verification, oversight and the intelligence of biological weapons issues. The first chapter "Offense, defense, and deterrence" discusses the characteristics of biological weapons (microorganisms and toxins) from the United States, Soviet Union and Iraq perspectives. The paradox of biological weapons is well stated on page 42 "The secrecy required to retain the element of surprise in a biological attack reduces a state's ability to issue credible threats to inflict unacceptable damage against an adversary". Chapter two "Verification" discusses the problems of knowing who has what biological weapon and where is it. Chapter three, "Oversight" portrays a scary world when the leaders of the various countries are mislead as to the status of their country's biological weapon inventory. Chapter four, "Intelligence" was an eye-opener to me. I was surprised to learn how little the US knew of Soviet, South African and Iraq biological weapons programs. Chapter five "Biological terrorism" discusses the history of biological weapons. This chapter concludes with the ominous statement that long-term prospects of bioterrorism are "worrisome." The "Conclusion" has as its explicit goal of "Reducing the danger posed by biological weapons." This book, while not an easy read, was very informative and worth reading.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Koblentz's book gives a very honest and real depiction of bioweapons and the different programs throughout history. His points on dual-use technologies and the generations of bioweapons are extremely relevant with the growing discussion over CRISPR and genomic editing. I enjoyed his overview of different international programs, especially the American one. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in biological weapons and their role in international security issues. Koblentz keeps the reader engaged with interesting facts and a touch of humor.
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Format: Hardcover
"Living Weapons" is on the ROROTOKO list of cutting-edge intellectual nonfiction. Professor Koblentz's book interview ran here as cover feature on November 23, 2009.
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