Pentagon's defense strategy against bioweapons outlined

Kenneth Myers, the director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the director of the U.S. Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction, recently outlined how the Pentagon’s lines of defense strategy is aimed at detecting, interdicting and defending against weapons of mass destruction.

"How do we make it harder?" Myers said, according to "How do we create more lines of defense between the threats and the American people?

"The first line of defense is at the source," Myers said. "The second line is detection (and) interdiction of these threats before they reach the American people. But the other major part of the DTRA responsibility is that last line of defense, here at home, and that's consequence management."

Myers told that his agency staff is responsible for much of the science and development behind the technology used to counter biological and chemical weapons, calling himself the banker for the chemical and biological defense funds.

To counter biological weapons, for example, DTRA specialists work both to stop the spread of disease agents and to also develop vaccines against them. Myers said that he has seen first-level success in the agency’s Marburg and Ebola work.

Myers told that it could take 20 years for the pharmaceutical industry to create an effective vaccine against a new threat.

"Our number one goal is to shorten these timeframes, that is, to try to get solutions to the warfighter...and the American people, should we face these types of threats," Myers said, according to

According to Myers, it is the potential for biological or nuclear weapons to be used against American citizens that drives his agency to move quickly to put defenses in place.