Institute for Software Research
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Systematic Assessment of Nation-States' Motivations
and Capabilities to Produce Biological Weapons

Ghita Mezzour, William Frankenstein, Kathleen M. Carley, L. Richard Carley

May 2014


Keywords: Arms races, biological weapons, bioweapons, arms control, remote detection, social influence

Remote detection of Biological Weapons (BW) proliferation is important, but challenging. We describe and use a joint socio-cultural influence and capability model to identify nation-states likely to have, or to develop BW. We utilize data about international hostilities and alliances, pharmaceutical capabilities, scientific and trade activities, and expert opinion. Our analysis suggests that Iran, Russia, Israel, China, Egypt, North Korea, India, Pakistan and Taiwan have both the motivation and capability to develop BW. The international community suspects Syria of having BW, but Syria has minimal apparent capability. Finally, Georgia, Sudan, Lebanon and Serbia have significant motivation and some capability.

21 pages

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