Posted: 12.05.2023 14:05:00

Enemy that is always ready to attack

Biological security as the order of the day

With the United States losing its hegemon status and the formation of new centres of power, Washington is ready for any action in order to maintain its own political weight. Realising that direct influence on opponents is not always effective or extremely costly, the American establishment has paid close attention to hybrid confrontation, when all possible means are used from information to military. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed millions of lives and disrupted the global economy, has forced us to take a closer look at another component of our security — biological.

Historical background

In the National Security Concept of Belarus, the draft of which is now being actively discussed in the country, biological safety is defined as the state of protection of the population, animals and plants, the environment from the impact of hazardous biological factors, which ensures an acceptable level of biological risk. What is the reason for the need to expand the aspects of ensuring national security?
History knows many examples related to the threat of use or even the use of biological weapons.
The distribution of blankets infected with smallpox by the British in 1763 to the natives of America is documented. At the beginning of the 20th century, the American writer Jack London published The Unparalleled Invasion story, in which he called on the United States to unite with its allies in biological warfare against China in order to stop its rise. 
Throughout the 20th century, Great Britain, Germany, the USSR, the USA, Japan and other countries worked on bacteriological weapons, achieving significant results. Moreover, this type of defeat has no equal by cost-effectiveness.
The realisation of the danger of such experiments for mankind resulted in the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC), which entered into force on March 26th, 1975. Today, 183 states, including the United States, are its participants and have pledged not to develop, produce, or stockpile biological weapons.

Mysterious virus

Despite this, the biological aspect has remained a priority for the United States and its military department for decades. Most of the programmes in this area are carried out through a system of grants by civilian research centres. 
Professor Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina was the first to synthesise the coronavirus in 2002. And in 2015, he created a hybrid virus based on SARS and SHC014 (carriers — bats), capable of rapidly replicating in human lung cells.
Since 2009, USAID has been running the Predict programme to collect and study coronavirus varieties in bats around the world, including Georgia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. Its executor is Metabiota, a contractor associated with the US Democratic Party and J. Biden’s son Hunter.
Analysts call the Johns Hopkins Institute in Baltimore an active participant in the programme, on the basis of which, on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic, American military biologists conducted the Event-201 exercise to counter the spread of an unknown strain of coronavirus. Even more interesting is that the organisation has branches in Italy and China, where cases of biological infections have become world sensations.

Who calls the shots

A large amount of information for analysis and reflection was provided by Russia’s special military operation 
in Ukraine, during which information was obtained on the implementation of US biological projects. 
According to released data, the Pentagon now has 330 biolabs around the world, funded by the DTRA military agency under a $2.1 billion annual programme. 46 research facilities are located on the territory of Ukraine and about 30 are still functioning.
Furthermore, according to available information, more than 500 scientific projects were implemented from 2014 to 2022, including ‘Development of Technologies for Modelling, Assessing and Forecasting the Impact of Conflicts and Threats of WMD Proliferation’, ‘Transfer of Ukrainian Technologies for the Production of Complex Dual-Use Materials to the European Union’. 
Under such ordinary names, work with the pathogens of plague, cholera, tularaemia, typhoid fever, bird flu, African swine fever was veiled, for which the US military allocated more than $350 million.
At the same time, citizens of Ukraine were involved as experimental subjects and the impact of various dangerous infectious agents was studied. Local outbreaks of diseases in Ternopol (2009), Kharkov (2016), Nikolaev (2015, 2017), Zaporozhye (2017) passed without any publicity. And these are SARS, swine flu, cholera, botulism and hundreds of dead Ukrainians.
Of particular interest is the information obtained during the special military operation about the transfer of more than a thousand samples of blood serum from residents from various regions of Ukraine, belonging exclusively to the Slavic ethnic group, to the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (Hamburg, Germany). It can be assumed that this is Washington’s next step towards achieving the general goal — the creation of bioagents capable of selectively affecting various ethnic groups of the population.

Global threat

According to the UN, the global economy contracted by 4.3 percent due to COVID-19, which is more than 2.5 times more than during the 2009 financial crisis. As of May 31st, 2022, the number of officially registered victims of the pandemic in the world amounted to 6.9 million, and the number of deaths related to it exceeded 17.2 million people. From 115 to 125 million inhabitants of the Earth were below the poverty line. These are only the most general indicators of the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are comparable to the results of the world war. Belarus has not bypassed this trouble either.
There is no doubt that a threat of this magnitude requires the closest attention and the development of mechanisms to counter it. Moreover, COVID-19 is not the first case of a biological disaster. Over the past 20 years, the world has experienced the pandemics of SARS (2003), H1N1 swine flu (2009), Ebola in West Africa (2014-2016) and Dengue, and other local scourges.
In terms of the number of victims and the distribution area, COVID-19 significantly exceeds its predecessors. In terms of the nature of the course and the consequences, it is very reminiscent of a ‘first effort’ or a large-scale experiment on the use of biological weapons to solve geopolitical problems. 
Such a hypothesis will be confirmed or refuted only by time, however, the elements of purposeful influence have pronounced signs. The results of the COVID-19 pandemic, the active work of the world’s leading states on biological programmes, the approach of this threat to the borders of Belarus make it expedient to expand the area of security and consolidate these provisions in the National Security Concept of the country. 
The old saying ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’ remains relevant today, even if this is a biological war and is waged by proxy without an official announcement.
Nor does the April 2023 forecast by the US news agency Bloomberg add to optimism, according to which ‘there is a 27.5 percent chance of a pandemic as deadly as COVID-19 occurring in the next decade’. 
We would like to get acquainted in more detail with the materials on the basis of which such conclusions are made, however, one of these, apparently, is the final report called ‘NATO-2030: United for a New Era’, a significant place in which is given to ‘the development of artificial intelligence, quantum and biotechnologies’.

According to released data, the Pentagon now has 330 biolabs around the world, funded by the DTRA military agency under a $2.1 billion annual programme. 46 research facilities are located on the territory of Ukraine and about 30 are still functioning.

By Nikolai Buzin, Doctor of Military Sciences, Professor