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Red-Teaming the Post-Covid-19 Biological Weapon Threat Landscape

August 26, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Join us on August 26 for a CSWMD Spotlight Webinar on “Red Teaming the Post-COVID-19 Biological Weapons Threat Landscape” with Gary Ackerman and Ted Plasse.

The Spotlight speakers will describe a project that utilized Asynchronous Strategic Dynamics Red Teaming (ASDyRT) to investigate the extent to which COVID-19 might impact the strategic decision making of 30 states that currently do not possess an offensive BW program, to examine the decision elements that might precipitate changes in current strategic BW decisions by state leaders, and to explore the operational characteristics of any new programs. Results and the implications for BW monitoring, defense and nonproliferation will be discussed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented global disruption, including loss of life, economic crises, and political disagreements. Beyond these short- and medium-term challenges, the pandemic may have shifted the strategic dynamics surrounding biological weapons (BW). Will some leaders be more likely to put their countries on the path to pursuing biological weapons? Will the pandemic make other countries even less interested in having anything to do with biological weapons?

This Spotlight Webinar hosted online by the National Defense University (NDU) Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (CSWMD).

If you have any questions about the event, please contact the CSWMD Admin staff at

Speaker Biographies

Gary Ackerman is an Associate Professor in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at SUNY, Albany. In addition to his faculty position at Albany, he is Associate Dean for Research in the College, and the founding director of the Center for Advanced Red Teaming (CART), the first research center devoted to improving the science and practice of red teaming. Much of his work is centered on the motivations and capabilities for adversaries to acquire and use chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons, as well as other emerging technologies. He has an M.A. in International Relations (Strategic Studies) from Yale University and a Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College in London.

Theodore R. Plasse is the Analysis and Planning Team Chief for USSOCOM CWMD Support Program (SCSP) and a recognized Biological Warfare expert. He has a B.S. in Biology from Siena College of New York, a M.S. in Ecology from Central Washington University, Washington. Mr. Plasse is a retired US Army Military Intelligence Officer and has over 25 years’ experience in the IC working WMD issues.

Moderated by Sarah Jacobs Gamberini, Policy Fellow, CSWMD.


National Defense University
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