Efforts to secure 88 biowarfare centers in former USSR falter

Published 30 November 2005

In the former Soviet Union we have not only “loose nukes,” but also “loose pathogens.” The Defense Department has been increasingly engaged in efforts to secure dozens of former Soviet pathogen collections and research stations. These efforts, however, fall short, and most of the eighty-eight “antiplague system” institutes and regional and field stations across eleven former Soviet states lack sufficient safety and security and their scientists on average are poorly paid, a nongovernmental expert said. The Pentagon has budgeted $61 million for security at facilities in six countries in fiscal 2006, Andrew Weber, senior adviser for Cooperative Threat Reduction policy at the Office of Secretary of Defense, said this month at a panel discussion on the antiplague sites. This is a major increase from the $2 million DoD allocated to this mission in 1998, but on the ground, in the former USSR, not much improvement is in evidence.

-read more in David Ruppe’s Global Security Network report