In view of the devastating consequences of the corona pandemic, NATO is increasing its efforts in the field of biological weapons defense. The coronavirus is not a virus created in a laboratory, but it shows the dangers that exist in connection with the use of biological warfare agents, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an interview with the German Press Agency in Brussels. The defense alliance must therefore strengthen security. For example, NATO is already in the process of improving the exchange of intelligence information in order to prevent possible attacks with biological weapons.
Defense against terrorists and state actors
“These weapons, like chemical weapons, are banned under international law, but we have to be prepared for their use because we know that these weapons are still around,” said Stoltenberg. They could be used by state actors, but also by terrorists.
In addition, Stoltenberg did not rule out the possibility that a widespread bioweapons attack with hundreds of thousands of deaths could also result in a retaliatory strike with conventional or nuclear weapons. “NATO has no banned weapons, but we have a range of capabilities to respond appropriately,” he said. If Article 5 for collective defense is triggered after a biological weapons attack, the Then use all of these skills.
When possible bioweapons In addition to smallpox and anthrax pathogens, flu and coronaviruses have also been in effect for years. Researchers have repeatedly shown that viruses occurring in nature can be artificially made more dangerous. However, virus changes are mainly researched in order to better arm oneself against the consequences of natural virus mutations. At the same time, the research results also show what consequences it could have if, for example, terrorists were to gain access to such capabilities.
Diverse threat scenarios
A horror scenario is that modified viruses are only fatal for selected groups of people – for example only for blacks or only for whites. Another terrifying scenario is that biological warfare agents are used by fanatics who believe that the only way to save the world from its end is to drastically reduce its population.
UN Secretary General António Guterres also warns of the dangers of terrorist attacks with biological weapons. The pandemic has shown that preparations for the disaster may be inadequate, he said in July. He also demands that which came into force in 1975 Biological Weapons Prohibition Agreement to strengthen. So far, for example, this does not contain a monitoring mechanism. In addition, 14 states have not acceded to the agreement to date. These include Eritrea, Israel, Egypt, Somalia and Syria.
With a view to the current corona pandemic, Stoltenberg emphasized that NATO was still ready to help. “NATO and the military could help distribute the vaccines,” said the Norwegian. The NATO center for disaster control has been coordinating aid in other areas for months. For example, recently numerous ventilators were delivered to Balkan countries and other alliance states.