Biodefense: When Technology Goes Global

Part of the 2012 Global Forecast

Biotechnologies present critical choices for the United States in this new strategic era. These technologies contain both great promise and great risk. Genetically modified crops may provide the means to feed the world’s growing population, and new drugs may treat diseases that have plagued humans throughout the millennia. The growth of this sector may provide good jobs and profits for American workers and industry.

At the same time, these technologies pose grave dangers. Their growing sophistication and availability makes possible a catastrophic biological attack by a nonstate actor—an event that could cost thousands or even tens of thousands of innocent lives.

Carol R. Kuntz