Air University Review, January-February 1967
Major Harry H. Malvin, USAF (MC)
This article, although broadly outlining a strategic campaign, is meant not as a system blueprint but rather as a portent of possibilities that are already within the state of the art and do not require astronomical budgets to develop or support. Since such a system is possible, it is time to consider countermeasures.
For those who consider the material unworthy of consideration for moral and ethical reasons, it is interesting to note that one of the earliest references to an organized biological warfare campaign is in the Bible. Coincidentally, it included a psychological warfare component, and apparently a chemical warfare one as well. It is also probably the first record of controlled escalation and is attributed to the Almighty. For those who wish to verify this allegation, see the story of the ten plagues, the onset of the Exodus.
Clausewitz, in his strategic primer On War, verbalized the concept that war was an extension of international relations by extraordinary means. Hitler demonstrated the validity of the converse corollary, namely, that a suitable dynamic foreign policy could improve the strategic position of a nation’s armed forces and thus facilitate its operations.1 The Communist powers standardized opportunism and coexistence in their armamentarium for practice of international relations.2 These developments have resulted in the negation of the following logical equation:3
and the substitution of four conditions for the earlier two, namely, Peace and not-Peace (Peace) and War and not-War (War), which bear the following relationships:
Peace = War + [War - Peace]
War = Peace + [Peace-War]
With this introduction, and with proper attention to Liddell Hart,4 who describes the ideal battle as the one in which the general secures his objective without any casualties to his forces, the technic of the scenario as exploited by Kahn5 will be used to develop a philosophy of NBCP operation from the point of view of the devil’s advocate: to present a possibility so that effective countermeasures can be prepared. In this article the letters “NBCP” represent the Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Psychological armamentarium, with its full range of capabilities.
The time, the year Y, is a suitable distance in the future (perhaps four generations). The national character of the world then is of no special consequence: it may be similar to the present configuration, it may consist of continental supernational aggregates, or it may consist of any intermediate configuration. The United Nations Organization may or may not be in existence.
For simplicity, attention is focused on two protagonists, Alpha and Omega. These nations have both advanced to a high level of scientific and technological development. Except for the limits of reasonable possibility, the state of development bears no special relation to their status in 1966. Further, Alpha and Omega may or may not be identifiable in the geographic or political structure of the world of 1966. Relations between Alpha and Omega were amicable until the year Y—2, when strains began to develop and grow. At time Y, Alpha and Omega are at the point of opening hostilities.
The birth rate in Alpha began a logarithmic drop in 1966, and at present (Y) it is approximately one-quarter of the 1966 level. Concomitantly, the median age of the population has risen from approximately 30 years to approximately 50 years. This has effectively reduced the manpower resources available for maintaining a military force in-being and for manning the industrial resources available to support the military force.
Prior to Y—2, a series of poor crops of feed grain resulted in increased slaughter of meat animals (beef, veal, pork, and poultry); and though the feed situation improved, there was a marked depression in birth rate and in meat production during the period Y—2 to Y.
In summary, at the brink of a major conflict, Alpha finds itself deficient in the quantity and quality of human resources necessary to cope successfully with the situation.
In order to explain the situation presented in the scenario, it is necessary to examine the grand strategy devised by Omega circa 1966. Convinced that Omega is destined to become pre-eminent and omnipotent on earth (and perhaps in the solar system) and equally convinced that all means designed to effect such a state are justified, Omegan planners, beginning in 1966, launched a covert attack against Alpha, the champion of the anti-Omega bloc.
The covert attack was implemented by a combination of NBC (nuclear, biological, and chemical) agents and directed at the population base of Alpha and the Alphan bloc.6 During the years of amicable coexistence, manpower deficiencies in Alpha were covered by encouraging emigration from the Omegan bloc.7
Monitoring the effectiveness of the fundamental campaign by following the medical literature8 and governmental statistics,9 Omegan strategists selected an appropriate time for initiating phase two, the campaign against feed grain,l0 which created food shortages in Alpha and made the return home of Omegan emigrés both desirable and reasonable. The final effort against the meat produce industry was a veterinary modification of the antihuman effort initiated very early in the campaign.
Using psychological and motivational research technics, the subtle rumor, and a planned program of disseminating scientific and popular information, Omega exploits its strategic advantage and reduces the effectiveness of Alphan countermeasures.
The program, as outlined, is designed to reduce the fertility of the human and livestock populations of Alpha to an arbitrary level acceptable to Omega.11 Assuming a birth rate of 25 percent of the selected base-line level to be acceptable, this program is theoretically attainable in a variety of ways:
(1) Seventy-five percent of the fertile female population could be eliminated, either physically or functionally.
(2) The period of female fertility could be reduced by 75 percent.
(3) Fifty percent of the population of both sexes could be sterilized, and then random selection of mates would produce the desired combination.
(4) The incidence of abortions, miscarriages, nonviable anomalies, and neonatal deaths could be increased.
(5) The foregoing methods could be combined in suitable proportions.
Considering initially the first and third possibilities, one realizes that no nation would consciously permit sterilization of a major portion of its population; yet the mumps virus is capable of producing gonadal atrophy, while the German measles virus and drugs like thalidomide are capable of teratogenic effects. Physiology texts list a number of gonadotropic compounds that are amenable to tagging with beta emitters, such as tritium, carbon 14, phosphorus 32 and 33, sulfur 35, chlorine 36, calcium 45, selenium 79, etc. As pure beta emitters, these elements would be difficult to detect without warning and could provide an excellent source of internal radiation to the gonads. It is also possible to create changes in subsidiary reproductive organs, such as the fallopian tubes, prostate, and epididymis, using agents like N. gonorrhoeae or radioactive tin or zinc. This second possibility is more difficult to arrange, but agents such as the oral contraceptives make it a possibility. This area is a variation of the first and third.
The teratogenic portion of the fourth possibility has already been cited in the first and third, while the neonatal death rate can be enhanced by infantile diarrhea, pneumonia, and a variety of other processes that can be induced by biological and chemical agents.
With the overall objective always in view and sufficient operational details available, the psychological warfare expert can exploit the advantages as they develop in the overall campaign. The immediate objectives of the psychologists are to undermine the Alphans’ confidence in their scientific and political leaders: to create unrest and disorder and ultimately to strain and exhaust the will to resist. To illustrate, assume that the public health officials of Alpha isolate, identify, and develop an antiserum against a specific agent in use; a report in the Omegan medical literature of a similar outbreak could also contain a statement to the effect that the proposed Alphan therapy was dangerous. Field agents of Omega would switch agents, on cue, and fatalities would develop among the treated population. Such an approach would be, to say the least, uncomfortable for the Alphan public health service, especially after it was leaked to the people by periodicals. A second exploitation could be in the vicinity of a major military support project, such as a special weapons plant. Following a suitable incident, reports of infertility; documented by biopsy of repatriated Omegan nationals whose presence in the key area was documented, could generate problems among employees of the plant. In the late phases, dissatisfaction with shortages of labor and food could be advantageously developed and manipulated.
This article is purely an academic exercise on the part of the author. It outlines, albeit sketchily, a means of effectively employing biological and chemical (including radiochemical) agents, augmented by a psychological warfare campaign, to secure an ultimate military victory after a period of “peaceful” coexistence.
1. Adolf Hitler, prior to opening of overt hostilities in September 1939,
carefully laid the groundwork for
One additional point of planning, though unsuccessful, is worth noting.
Evidence was planted to indict
2. Opportunism and program flexibility have been causes of much strife in the Communist camp. Classical Marxists, of whom Mao Tse-tung is the present champion, tolerate no such compromise with Marxian dogma. Lenin, Stalin, and Khrushchev have not only compromised the differences between ideal and practical but also on occasion have resorted to domestic incentives, as well as international coexistence, in promoting the Communist state.
3. This equation in symbolic logic reads “peace is the class of all things which are not war (not-War).” The subsequent equations read “not-Peace includes all things which are War” and “those which are neither war nor peace” (cold war, for example), and vice versa.
4. B. H. Liddell Hart, Strategy, the Indirect Approach (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1954). This book gives the essence of successful strategy, with illustrations.
5. Hennan Kahn (ed.), “Introductory Comments to Part II,” A Paradigm for the 1965-1975 Strategic Debates, a report prepared for the Advanced Research Projects Agency, Directorate of Defense Research and Engineering, Department of Defense, by Hudson Institute, Inc., Hannon-on-Hudson, New York, 1963; in “The Nature of Nuclear War,” Chapter 2 of Vol. IV, National and Military Strategy, Air War College Associates Program, 1963-64 (2d edition), pp. 36-59.
6. Alpha and the Alphan bloc are terms used to represent a nation or group of nations. For purposes of simplicity, the world in the year Y is considered to be bipolar, Alpha and Omega.
7. Precedent is seen in the labor shortages in
8. Monitoring of case reports in the urologic, gynecologic, endocrinologic, and other medical journals published by the Alphans will provide a means of evaluating the effectiveness of the genocidal campaign. This will serve as a guide for implementing the subsequent phases and for employing the psychological warfare resources.
9. Census reports and local chamber of commerce publications can be utilized to augment the evaluation of the effectiveness of the program.
10. When the monitoring of data indicates that the desired level of efficacy has been reached, the second phase—the campaign against the food supplies—is to be instituted, first by reducing the population of breeding stock, then by reducing the fertility of the remaining animals in a manner analogous to the antipersonnel campaign.
11. Once genocide is recognized as the method of operation and the reliability of the weapon system is known, any effective population figure may be selected. “Effective population figure” represents only that portion of the population which can be mobilized in the defense of Alpha, either in industry or armed forces. Since no overt hostilities are involved, D-day may be opportunely selected with wide leeway.
Major Harry H. Malvin USAF (MC), is
Chief, Pathology Branch, USAF School of Aerospace Medicine,
The conclusions and opinions expressed in this
document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression,
academic environment of
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