The Myhrvold Report and Understanding Strategic Threats

More troubling, Myhrvold’s solution to the potential threat of bioweapon terrorism would appear to be, as I infer it, even greater centralization of power in the hands of a national security surveillance state. As I expect Dr. Myhrvold is a great respecter of data-driven, probabilistic logic, he might want to consider that nearly every man-made, high magnitude, lethal event in the past century and a quarter years has been initiated by governments for reasons of policy, up to and including the auto-genocide of tens of millions of their own citizens. Most people on this planet are in far greater danger of harm at the hands of the state than they are as a result of terrorism or foreign attack and it would seem foolish, in light of such statistics, to increase our risk by delegating greater grants of power to the entity most likely to cause us harm. In the words of the late defense and security expert Dr. Fred Ikle, we would be risking Annihilation from Within.

Ikle anticipated years ago much of what Myhrvold wrestled with in his report and, in my view, prescribed better answers.

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4 comments on this post.
  1. Cheryl Rofer:

    Mark – 
    Good point about the scalar approach to strategy.
    With the events over the weekend in Somalia and Libya, it seems to me that it’s getting harder and harder to make Myhrvold’s case that the USG is ignoring these threats. Plus the 17-year effort in Kazakhstan to get loose plutonium rounded up. 
    Myhrvold’s white paper seems to be a case of a guy who thinks he’s so brilliant that he doesn’t have to look at what’s been done already. And Washingtonians are too quick to believe that a tech billionaire must know what he’s talking about. 

  2. Charles Cameron:

    Hi Cheryl: 

    And Washingtonians are too quick to believe that a tech billionaire must know what he’s talking about.

    Surely you jest!

  3. morgan:

    Yes, Charles, jesting or not,  the Washingtonians are geniuses in their own minds, so they’d scrape and bow to a legitimate tech billionaire.  

  4. Charles Cameron:

    But that’s STOOPID!!!!