Question: Pick and describe, using course material (citing as appropriate), five (5) characteristics of our agricultural and food industries and the threat agents which could impact them and how do these characteristics increase our risk?
Every level of the food chain, including farms, feedlots, chemical storage, meat packing plants, and distributor are vulnerable to agroterrorism. Because terrorism relies on unpreparedness these industries are at risk.
Within the agricultural and food industries there are several different characteristics that may increase our risk in the U.S. and across the Globe. I would say farms are the most at risk throughout, they can be established in any given region with little to no supervision, security, or under and type of surveillance. Many of these produce or livestock farms there are several hundreds of acres, with difficult terrain making any surveillance or security a difficult task. Hiring process may not be with a good vetting process and terrorist may infiltrate the farms and cause harm.
Livestock throughout the country and world provide a great opportunity for terrorist to carry out an attack. This could be a disease or virus due to the close quarters of some livestock holding areas or the wide-open ranges. Infecting one animal could make it easier to spread throughout the whole heard. These diseases can be transmitted by airborne, direct contact, vector transmission, or zoonotic disease. Airborne mode is extremely difficult to contain. Direct contact could be animal to animal or contaminated objects. Vector transmission is transmitted by insects. “Zoonotic diseases are those diseases that are shared between animals and humans.” (Jayarao, n.d.). With Biosecurity measures the spread of harmful disease maybe stopped or controlled. Proper sanitation efforts will also help with the spread of disease and proper screening of newly purchased animals.
Within the federal, state, local, and private levels it is no secret that the communication system is broken. U.S. infrastructure and security has been lacking but since 9/11 it is on the up tic of getting better. It is still up to the individual farmer or local level to contact the state emergency planners if an outbreak happens and then it is the state responsibility to contact the federal level agencies. Keeping livestock current on immunizations would help with keeping the disease rate down and reporting any type of disease to the authorities. We need to make a streamline process for reporting and trust that everyone will do their part. The hinderance to report is mainly due to the economy or price of the livestock to the production facilities. If a farmer reports a disease, then the market goes down and the farmers don’t get paid as much. Keeping everyone informed would limit the downfall of the market.
Another risk is the production facilities and transportation system moving the U.S. products. Screening for possible disease from overseas markets need to happen more and more. Sanitation measures need to be enforced and more quality control measures need to be implemented.
Agroterrorism is a fear that everyone should have in the back of their minds. It is real and has not really affect the U.S. The main goal of agroterrorism is to promote economic stress in agricultural and food industries, create social unrest, and loss of confidence in the government at the federal, state, and local levels. We rely on these industries to give us good quality food without disease. “They believe that by imposing economic hardship on America, its citizens will tire of the struggle and force their elected leaders to withdraw from commitments abroad.” (Olson, 2012) This is what the terrorist believes and will do anything to make it happen.
Jayarao, B. (n.d.). Agroterrorism: A Threat to US Animal Agriculture. Retrieved Aug 15, 2018, from extension.psu.edu: https://extension.psu.edu/agroterrorism-a-threat-to-us-animal-agriculture
Olson, D. (2012, Feb 1). Agroterrorism: Threats to America’s Economy and Food Supply. Retrieved from leb.fbi.gov: https://leb.fbi.gov/articles/featured-articles/agroterrorism-threats-to-americas-economy-and-food-supply
Question 2 of 4
Question: What radioactive material killed Alexander Litvinenko in London in November 2006? How has the investigation developed between 2007 and 2016? Do the British authorities have a theory who ordered Litvinenko killed?
In an article form the BBC from Jan 2006, Alexander Litvinenko related he may have been killed by poisoning with polonium. Polonium-210 is a rare radioactive material metal and emits a high-energy form of radiation. “Purified polonium is very volatile, and polonium isotopes are radioactive. The most common and best-known polonium isotope is polonium-210.” (MacGill, 2017). Polonium enters the body through inhalation, ingestion, the skin and can be fatal.
The investigation started in with Litvinenko’s death in Nov 2006. In May 2007 the British director of public prosecution charge Mr. Lugovoi, but a Mr. Kovtun was also being looked at as well. Mr. Lugovoi denies this and blames a British spy. July 2007, Russia denies extradition of Mr. Lugovoi. (BBC.com Staff, 2016). There was an inquiry about who did it and Russia denied any involvement. In March 2015, President Putin showed his support by awarding Lugovoi a medal for service to the motherland. As of 2016 Andrei Logovoi still denies any involvement in the death of Litvinenko’s death and is living in Russia.
Many theories have come out about who did it? One theory was a Boris Berezovsky was person who might have done it. Berezovsky was assisted by Litinenko in escaping Russia. Another was the Italian connection. “Litvinenko caused astonishment when he accused the Italian security consultant of spiking his meal at Itsu in Piccadilly.” (Malnick, Telford, & Newell, 2015). It could have been just rogue elements or ex-members of Russian secret service or Chenchen separatist.
BBC.com Staff. (2016, Jan 21). Alexander Litvinenko: Profile of murdered Russian spy. Retrieved from bbc.com: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-19647226
MacGill, M. (2017, July 28). Polonium-210: Why is Po-210 so dangerous? Retrieved from medicalnewstoday.com: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/58088.php
Malnick, E., Telford, L., & Newell, C. (2015, Jan 24). Conspiracy theories: Who killed Alexander Litvinenko? Retrieved from telegraph.co.uk: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11366764/Conspiracy-theories-Who-killed-Alexander-Litvinenko.html
Question 3 of 4
Question: In April 2010, President Obama said, “The single biggest threat to US security, both short-term, medium-term and long-term, would be the possibility of a terrorist organization obtaining a nuclear weapon.” How does this statement impact current U.S. National Security Policy? If you were President, what changes would you make to U.S. National Security Policy to reduce the likelihood of a terrorist organization obtaining a nuclear weapon?
The U.S. National Security Policy fundamental responsibility is to protect American people, the homeland and American way of life, to promote American prosperity, preserve peace through strength, and advance American influence. With Obama’s statement of “The single biggest threat to US security, both short-term, medium-term and long-term, would be the possibility of a terrorist organization obtaining a nuclear weapon” it makes no sense to the National Security Policy. The policy means right there right now. There is no short, medium and long term.
In the Policy the enhancement of missile defense is a focus against countries like North Korea and Iran. Detect and disrupt weapons of mass destruction we protect our borders by integrating intelligence, law enforcement and emergency management operations. Enhancement of counterproliferation measures to augment measures to secure, eliminate, and prevent the spread of WMD. Further the Policy with counterterrorism operations to target terrorist organizations against the any financial, specialist or facilities opportunities. (Whitehouse.gov Staff, 2017). The Policy strives for a nuclear free environment, by achieving no nuclear materials or components fail into terrorist’s organizations, criminal organizations, state sponsored, or non-state sponsored organizations.
If I was President of the United States what changes would I, make? One: Relook over the security process of all material or component facilities. Stronger access control, higher security process, and Satellite surveillance for the storage facilities and facilities of the materials and components. Update current facilities, transportation equipment, and stronger guidance on who can be within close approximately of these areas or means. Stronger regulations of the storage of the materials and components. Provide a stronger intelligence community for the surveillance of possible threats towards any organization that may think it is a good idea to utilize a nuclear device or purchase.
Whitehouse.gov Staff. (2017, Dec). National Security Strategy of the United States of America, December 2017. Retrieved from whitehouse.gov: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/NSS-Final-12-18-2017-0905.pdf
Question 4 of 4
Question: The video “Iran Nuclear Deal: Triumph of Diplomacy or Dangerous Precedent?” provides several different perspectives on the Iranian Nuclear Deal. Detail one perspective from each side of the argument (Triumph of Diplomacy and Dangerous Precedent) then support it with applicable references explaining the rationale for each side of the debate.
Triumph of Diplomacy or Dangerous Precedent? I would say dangerous over trying to act like diplomates. “For more than five decades, the U.S. and Iran have negotiated the sensitive terrain of nuclear proliferation.” (npr.com Staff, 2009) Starting in 1957, the U.S. and Iran sign the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. In 1968, Iran signs the Non-Proliferation Treaty, in 1995, Clinton Administration impose sanctions on Iran, 2003 Iran begins talks with International Atomic Energy Agency and the EU3 to suspend work on uranium enrichment and allows inspectors in to the country, and 2006/2007 more sanctions by the UN, and 2009 U.S and other countries start negotiations again. (npr.com Staff, 2009)
Nuclear negotiations between European Union and Iran established grounds of talks between the U.S. and Iran. These talks could conclude the nuclear standoff of negotiations. If successful, the Iranian Political forces agreed in a consensus that direct talks are needed to gain an Iran nuclear disbarment program. Many during the talks agree of a nonproliferation, but they argue for something different at the sametime. On one side they argue terrorism tendencies and economic issues.
Obama’s approach to Iran even though other countries at the time were developing and testing nuclear weapons was more so because of the many violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. “Enriching uranium is a vital aspect for the production of a nuclear weapon. Despite the
heavy sanctions that hit Iran thereafter, Iran has not opened up enough about its possible
military dimensions according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).” (Jansen, 2017, p. 33). Obama argued that Iran was to dangerous and unstable to have a nuclear weapon. Obama leaned more towards diplomacy through economical engagement, security assurance and diplomatic relations. He also focused on core needs rather than the normal traditional path of promoting democracy. “He engaged Iran again in global affairs by lifting the crippling economic sanctions and did not actively push for regime change like his predecessors did. In a way this can be interpreted as a form of liberty promotion because the deal relieved, at least temporarily, the nuclear threat and that is crucial to the safety of America and its allies.” (Jansen, 2017, p. 25) With this Obama made it very clear if you break the rules consequences will happen and Iran new all the consequences that could happen before the signing of the deal.
Jansen, E. (2017, July). Exploring American ideology in Barrack Obama’s foreign policy towards military Israel and nuclear Iran. Retrieved from core.ac.uk: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/94138117.pdf
npr.com Staff. (2009, Aug 25). Timeline: The U.S., Iran And The Nuclear Question. Retrieved from npr.com: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112187088