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Red Teaming the Chemical Weapons Threat Landscape 

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns on the state of biological warfare (BW) defense strategies. This includes identifying countries most likely to pursue the development of these BW capabilities, including the development of viable BW programs.


The objective of this project is to identify, explore and investigate strategic countries that do not possess robust biological weapons or full-scale BW programs. This analysis includes the identification of factors that may precipitate changes in current perceptions, the impact of those changes on potential threats, and the potential impact of COVID-19 on those BW activities.

The research team will conduct a systematic examination of relevant dynamics surrounding BW through the use of robust and replicative red teaming exercises. The detailed data captured will provide early warnings of nations and groups pursuing BW weapons and the type and timing of those activities. The project will also indicate if any identified tactics may be replicated, across multiple countries and regions.


The project will provide DHS with a preliminary threat assessment and help identify early indicators for countries most likely to pursue BW capabilities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research will also give a strategic overview of the future landscape of new non-traditional BW activity and identify countries behind these potential threats.

Research Leadership Team 

Principal Investigator:  Gary Ackerman, University at Albany – State University of New York
Co-PI: Brandon Behlendorf, University at Albany – State University of New York
Co-PI: Doug Clifford, University at Albany – State University of New York 

Homeland security risk sciences


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The CAOE is committed to developing innovative tools and techniques to safeguard our homeland from potential threats and vulnerabilities.