CBRNe advice for the new US President
With only one week to go until CBRNe Convergence 2016 in San Diego, and the Presidential election results due shortly afterwards, we asked one of our key speakers what CBRN issues the new President will be facing.
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Professor Gary Ackerman, Director of the Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division, START, University of Maryland will be speaking on the first day of Convergence on Assessing the Evolving CBRN Threat.
He said: “The new President will face a different landscape with respect to CBRN threats to all previous Presidents. There are three major areas of change in the global environment which will have a major impact – geopolitical, technological and commercial.
“Geopolitically, we are facing a further decentralisation of the terror threat. Jihadists are still showing an interest in CBRN that is not waning, but the origin and nature of potential attacks might change as ISIS is weakened and the countries that form the focus of global salafi-jihad are changing. At the same time, global non-proliferation efforts might be taking a step back as international rivalries sharpen. For example, our changing relationship with Russia is starting to affect collaboration on nuclear security – we are beginning to step back on that from where we were just a few years ago.
“Commercially, the centre of gravity of industries making and utilizing chemical, biological and nuclear materials are moving eastwards into countries like China, India and several states in Southeast Asia, so away from the USA and Western Europe. This means the security of materials and the regulations surrounding them might now not be as tightly controlled as they would be in Europe or the US. It’s becoming easier for terrorists to get their hands on dangerous substances including bio agents and chemical precursors. For example, people can order chemicals and even synthesized products from China over the internet with few controls. There will be new avenues for proliferation.
Gary said: “The evolution of hi-tech CBRN is also moving East. This could empower terrorists to get hold of CBRN weapons. The good thing is the technology provides opportunities – while it helps them with the offense, it also provides us with defensive opportunities. So the new President will need to look not only at counter-acting the offensive technologies but also understanding and nurturing the right defensive technologies.”
Professor Ackerman will be speaking on the first morning of CBRNe Convergence 2016, which takes place at the Town and Country Resort, San Diego, 1-2 November.
15 countries will be attending, including organisations such as Department of Homeland Security, Edgewood Chemical and Biological Centre, Defence Research and Development Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, USAMRIID, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Utah County Sheriff's Office, CBIRF, Los Angeles Police Department, Pakistan Air Force, Polish Armed Forces, Netherlands Police, Boston Police Department, Montreal Police Service, State House of the Republic of Uganda, Boise Fire Department, City of Los Angeles Mayor's Office, Christchurch Hospital and many, many more.
Visit: www.cbrneworld.com to download the full programme and to book your place.