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Security and terrorism - Admission/Application Essay Example

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However, as technology and ways of life change, the ways in which terrorism is also unleashed evolve. Terrorists could resort to biological weapons in the form of dirty bombs…
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How Ebola threatens international security al affiliation How Ebola threatens international security When one thinks of terrorism, events involving the use of conventional weapons often come to mind. However, as technology and ways of life change, the ways in which terrorism is also unleashed evolve. Terrorists could resort to biological weapons in the form of dirty bombs. Terrorists can intentionally release biological agents such as bacteria, viruses or other toxins that can spread through air, water, food, and contact with infected people or animals. Such actions could ignite widespread panic because of insufficient vaccines or treatments capable of controlling large outbreaks.
Terrorists could use the Ebola virus to make a dirty biological bomb. Very few laboratories have the virus, but they are highly protected. However, terrorists can still obtain it easily from West Africa.i In recent months, the virus has spread widely killing hundreds of people. The worst affected countries are Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.ii Most of the outbreaks happen in remote rural areas although some infections and deaths have also been reported in urban areas. In these countries, the governments do not have complete control of their borders. Terrorists can enter and leave the countries unnoticed. It is also possible for terrorists to smuggle the Ebola virus out of those countries without the knowledge of the authorities.
The Ebola virus threatens international security because it is easier to make a biological bomb out of it in comparison to making nuclear weapons. It is difficult for terrorist groups to make nuclear bombs because such weapons require laboratories with sophisticated equipment. Uranium, the key ingredient, is also hard to obtain because of the strict regulations on its trade. In addition, nuclear facilities can be detected and subsequently destroyed by the world powers. However, an Ebola bomb can be much easier to make. Once the terrorists find the virus, they can produce the biological bombs in mobile laboratories that are difficult to detect.
The Ebola virus also threatens international security because there is no vaccine or treatment to prevent it from spreading. For the case of West Africa, the WHO authorized the use of untested drugs to treat patients because the virus had spread uncontrollably (BBC, 2014).iii The American firm manufacturing the drug has also said that it has run out of stock.iv Thus, if any terrorist group unleashed the virus in the form of biological bomb, many people would die because of the absence of vaccines or treatment. The virus kills 90% of those who are infected; very few people can recover after infection. In West Africa, the virus kills at least 60% of the victims (BBC, 2014).v Even in the presence of medical care, there is no guarantee that one can recover from the virus. If a terrorist group uses the virus, it will affect thousands or even millions of people within a short period. Thus, hospitals and other medical facilities will not manage to treat the overwhelming number of people infected.
The Ebola virus is a threat to international security because the world is not prepared for a large-scale outbreak of the disease. If the virus is used as a biological weapon, many people will die because of the lack of effective treatment. It will also take time before a vaccine is developed.vi Currently, there is no vaccine because the disease affects poor people who are unable to buy the vaccine (Teckman, 2013).
References
BBC. (2014, August 20). Why Ebola is so dangerous. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-26835233
Crossley, L. (2014, August 3). Terrorists could use Ebola to create dirty bomb to kill large numbers in the UK, says Cambridge University disease expert. Daily Mail. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2714832/Terrorists-use-Ebola-create-dirty-bomb-kill-large-numbers-UK-says-Cambridge-University-disease-expert.html
Teckman, M.A. (2013, May). The Bioterrorist threat of Ebola in East Africa and implications for global health and security. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from http://www.globalpolicyjournal.com/sites/default/files/pdf/Teckman%20-%20The%20Bioterrorist%20Threat%20of%20Ebola%2005.13.pdf Read More
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