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Discuss the Emergence of the Ebola Pandemic as a Threat to National Security

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Discuss the emergence of the Ebola pandemic as a threat to national security
National security is the protection or the safety of a country’s secrets and its citizens. The term national security encompasses within it economic security, monetary security, energy security, environmental security, military security, political security and security of energy and natural resources.
Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines.
As times progress threats to national security are constantly increasing with threats such as climate change, transnational crime, espionage, cyber terrorism and bio-terrorism. This paper is going to look at Ebola as a threat to national security.
Ebola's exponential spread has rekindled fears that terrorists may seek to turn the virus into a powerful weapon of mass destruction. Ebola virus is classified as a biosafety level 4 agent, as well as a Category A bioterrorism agent by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It has the potential to be weaponized for use in biological warfare, National security and infectious disease experts agree the obstacles to a large-scale assault with Ebola are formidable.
For starters, a bioterrorist would have to obtain the virus and be able to grow a massive supply in large vats, an extremely costly endeavour. Already there is historical precedent for states trying—and failing—to tap the virus for bioterror. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was “growing up large amounts of microbes for potential use in bioterrorism. The Soviets attempted to cultivate smallpox, anthrax, tularaemia, botulism and haemorrhagic fevers including Ebola, he says. Yet exactly how the country would have deployed the microbes remains an area of speculation. The Soviets eventually dropped the project, but they were not the only ones interested in the microbe’s potential. This goes to show the very possibility, considering the advancement in technology.
The U.S. Centres for Disease Control owns a patent on a particular strain of Ebola known as "EboBun." It's patent no. CA2741523A1 and it was awarded in 2010. A section of the patent document also clearly claims that the U.S. government is claiming "ownership" over all Ebola viruses that share as little as 70% similarity with the Ebola it "invented": The rationale for patenting a genetic sequence such as the novel coronavirus is to be able to develop products, such as diagnostic tests or a vaccine, that could be marketed and sold, Profit is what underlies the whole patent system. Furthermore patenting Ebola seems as odd as trying to patent cancer or diabetes. Why would a government organization claim to have “invented” this infectious disease and then claim a monopoly over it.
On the wrong hands this could prove fatal. For instance Dr. Bogart, has been collecting royalties of several million dollars per quarter from hospitals, health maintenance organizations, and testing laboratories throughout the US, for his patent on the human chorionic gonadotropin part of the maternal serum triple test for Down syndrome when performed between 18 and 25 weeks of pregnancy.
Contemporary security threats and challenges, which are by nature transnational and largely a product of globalization, make nation-states vulnerable and interdependent. On the one hand, globalization contributes to accelerated development of productive forces, scientific and technological progress and ever more intensive communication among states and peoples. So, objectively it helps mankind to build up the resource base and the intellectual potential for ensuring international security at a qualitatively new level.
At the same time the processes of globalization, which mainly develop spontaneously, without a collective directing influence of the world community, aggravate a number of old problems of international security and engender new risks and challenges. Globalization, have important security implications. Most dangerously, a variety of threats have become global in scope and more serious in their effects as a result of the spread of knowledge, the dispersion of advanced technologies, and the movements of people. These same developments, combined with expanding global economic interactions, contribute to some of the problems and resentments that lie at the root of these security threats, thus if there were to be a serious outbreak containment of the virus would prove futile.
While the international order among states is quite strong, the world is not peaceful. In the wake of globalization and the explosion in communication technologies, new security related threats have emerged that are to a great extent independent of national boundaries. The growing interdependence of countries and peoples in every sphere helps to generate new political approaches aimed at creating democratic multilateral mechanisms of managing the international system and hence reliable solution of the security problems. The role of external factors in the development of states is dramatically increasing. Because of the differences in financial and economic power, the interdependence between countries is acquiring an ever more asymmetric character.
While a small group of leading industrialized states plays mainly the role of the subjects of globalization, the vast majority of the remaining states are turning into its objects that are "drifting" on the waves of financial economic developments. We witness a massive "export" of the negative phenomena of globalization to the Third World. Just as an epidemic first strikes at the weaker people, the weakest members of the world community are sustaining greater damage from the growth of negative consequences of globalization than the countries that are protected by their financial and economic might.
Thus, the slowdown of globalization results in the gaps in the pace and direction of social and economic development of entire regions of the world widening, and not narrowing. The less developed countries dependence on the developed countries puts them at a compromising position, since most lack the adequate facilities to contain it hence spreading is not a problem.
Food security According to the World Health Organization, fruit bats are natural reservoirs for the virus, and fruit bats are regularly eaten in rural West Africa. Even though direct transmission to people is very rare, many people in very poor countries hunt the bats for food. People interact with these sick and dying animals and come into direct contact with blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of the infected animals. In Uganda, the frequency of Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreaks are increasing, with many of the patients unable to account for their source of infection.
The food security and nutrition of countless people are at risk as control measures and other restrictions have slowed down the movement of goods and services, including food items. This has resulted in panic buying, food shortages and rising food prices. Global food security is essential and the lack of adequate food could be a destabilizing factor in a country’s national security. Food and nutrition insecurity in failing countries can potentially provide opportunities for insurgent groups to capitalize on poor conditions, exploit international food aid, and slander governments for their inability to address basic needs.
Much work remains to be done in preparedness, education and, above all, in recognizing that in our interconnected world, there is no such thing as a distant threat any more. Ebola is a problem that is solvable. This outbreak actually can be snuffed out. The difficulties faced in controlling what should be – at least on paper – a relatively easy-to-control outbreak is humbling. It’s also a grim reminder that we’re still not ready for a pandemic that actually is a global threat.


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