Bioterrorism In The Homeland:The Impact Of Acts Of Bioterrorism On American Culture
Cheatham, Sharon A.
Palarino, R. Nicholas
BIOTERRORISM IN THE HOMELAND: THE IMPACT OF ACTS OF BIOTERRORISM ON AMERICAN CULTURESharon Cheatham, B.S.MALS Mentor: R. Nicholas Palarino, Ph.D.ABSTRACTSeptember 11, 2001, marked a profound change in the manner in which Americans viewed their homeland. The events of that day fostered the realization that America was not immune from destructive acts against its citizens, on its soil, from forces that serve to cripple and destroy the nation. Few individuals would argue that the terrorists' attacks of that day impacted the cultural landscape. In fact, few individuals would dispute that the circumstances of that day were tumultuous, and that even greater atrocities and calamities could have been experienced. What is the pulse of American society today as it relates to the threat of acts of bioterrorism?Chapter one introduces why bioterrorist activity is a problem for America. It offers a review of the methodologies to be utilized to validate the principal hypothesis, which is, the philosophy of bioterrorism response and disaster management adopted by America, which seeks to constantly monitor and strives to prevent terrorist attacks, while implementing methods of response to attacks that happen, is one that must constantly be revised and revamped in order to be efficacious and effective in fighting the threat of bioterrorism in the homeland.Chapters two and three explore the origins of bioterrorism and the different types of agents. Chapter two offers a brief history of bioterrorism, examines whether bioterrorism vigilance is justifiable or untenable, and offers a review of the various scholarly opinions regarding whether attacks by biological or chemical agents are likely or unlikely. Chapter three provides the definition of bioterrorism and offers a detailed examination of the various types of biological and chemical agents available for possible dissemination, and the techniques associated with each. In addition, an examination of relevant pieces of legislation which address the accessibility of, and the possession of these agents is offered.Chapter four examines the potential economic and public health impact that acts of bioterrorism would have on the homeland, while chapter five investigates America's level of preparedness for biological attacks by examining simulated readiness planning exercises, and exploring options to improve biosecurity measures.Chapter six studies the manner by which the threat of bioterrorism shapes American culture. An analysis of a simple random sample survey reveals the popular opinions of individuals in relation to how threats of bioterrorist type activities affect their existence. The conclusion reemphasizes the importance of accurately assessing the threat of bioterrorism in order to ensure the effectiveness of countermeasures and policy considerations, and substantiates the thesis' hypothesis.