Insect used as Biological Weapons in War

By Kaneez Fatima

Insect used as Biological Weapons in War

Kaneez Fatima, Asad Ullah, Sohaib Sarfraz

Doesn't matter how much the small creature exists in nature, has the potential to humiliate entire Kingdom. “Biological Combat (BC) is a war strategy that uses insects either in direct attack or as vectors to deliver a biological agent, such as plague or cholera” against enemies. Mostly three ways are commonly adopted while using BC war Strategy. First, Use Pathogen-associated infected insects over the target areas while the insects carrying pathogen infect any person or animal. Second, Direct Insect attack against natural diversity like crops and forestation of rivals so that they don't have surplus food and the last one is the use of uninfected insects, such as bees, for direct violence. The contentions and occasions about BC before 1800 are not recorded.  But, it is important to talk about some of these records to understand the full spectrum of BC. In 600B.C.The river Pleisthnes was polluted with the plant root of Poisonous Hellebore (a group of highly poisonous perineal plants) to give the champions of Kirrha insistent diarrhea, which led to unpredicted devastation. In 200 B.C. Carthaginian treated wine with toxic roots that make a sedative effect and leave from his military camp. When the enemy drunk that stained wine they fell into a deep sleep and then Carthaginians revisited to the camp to wipe out their enemy. In 190 B.C. Hannibal used clay vessels that were full of snakes and were thrown into king's ship that granted a sailing victory over king Eumenes of Pergamon. There are so many records all over the ages of ruthless military strategies including dumping dead humans and animals into wells, ponds, streams, and rivers to pollute the enemies' water supplies. In the mid-1300s, Mongol tartars broke the record of three-year by throwing the infected dead bodies over the wall of city and whole city fell infected with the disease in 1346. It was assumed that evasion residents of the city introduce plague into Italy, commencing the deadly disease and 1348 to 1350 lay people were annihilated. In 1763, the new BC instances were recorded. During Indian and French war, smallpox disease was sturdily alleged against Indians. Sir Jeffrey commander in chief had sent two blankets and handkerchief from British smallpox hospital to Indians. A smallpox epidemic soon erupted.

During The American Civil War, insects were used as a biological weapon. The first time they introduced harlequin bug, (Murgentia histrionica) that resulted in tremendous crop damage. This allegation was never demonstrated that harlequin bug was used by the union or not. It was also assumed that bug was moved on its own into the South. Then military started to use this bug as combat agent.

During World War I mostly chemical weapons were used. In 1915, German agents inoculated the horses and cattle with the glanders and anthrax were sending off to U.S. In 1915 and 1916 German again inoculated 4500 donkeys and was sent to Russia. The world catastrophe has been influencing from 1939 to1947. In the 14th century plague spread has resulted due to the biological attack on the Crimean city of kaffa which became known as Black Death. The bees or their nests were thrown into the caves to force the enemy out and into the open world. During and following wars began their own entomological warfare programs. The basic form of entomological odious armaments is use of insects in conflict, use of insects in violence and use of insects in suffering. Following these rules, insects are used in three basic capacities, to conflict pain, to devastate agriculture and to spread disease. The most primitive use of insects was to treat them as an instrument of warfare against enemies. During World War II, the Japanese biological warfare program planned to use cholera infested fleas as a biological weapon against China because of their ability to produce half-billion plague-infested fleas a year. The Japanese tried several methods for fleas' dispersion and finally they decided and dropped clouds of infested fleas over the enemies (China) with low flying airplanes.  More people were killed in China because of that Pathological weapon than killed by atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Simultaneously, Germans were also trying to destroy or annihilate England's agriculture through production and spread of Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) as an entomological weapon. Literature revealed that several trials about the infestation of Colorado potato beetles were conducted during 1942-1944 in German periphery but the actual bombardment did not happen. It was suggested that Britain and Germany were both exposed to biological attack through Colorado potato beetle. During World War II, French also participated in entomological combat program like Germany. They supposed that the Colorado potato beetle would be the best asset for destroying the enemy's food sources during the war. Second time during Cold War, American military used more than one million mosquitoes to spread yellow fever on rural Georgia followed by subsequent epidemics. While 6 decades has been passed to the Korean War that resulted in South Korean's victory with the death of two million soldiers and two million civilians. It is believed that US used biological weapons (combat) against Korean civilians by dropping “germ” bombs that contain insects, shell fish and feathers infected with anthrax and typhoid bubonic pestilence. People in the village developed high temperatures, loss of appetite and aches on the arms and legs, there was much pain. Among the allied powers in WWII, Canada led the ground-breaking effort in development and establishment of vector-borne combat. Studies revealed that Canada was more equipped with Biological weapons such as plague-infested fleas than Americans and British armies. During World War II, again rehabilitation of chemical weapons such as toxic gasses appeared but President Roosevelt stood up against the Alliance Powers to stop the use of chemical and biological weapons. In the 1962 session of Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee (ENDC), the United States and the Soviet Union offered a plan to ban the use of BW and (Chemical Weapons (CW). The Department of Defense ordered to draw up a plan for the disposal of existing stocks of biological agents, vectors and weapons. On February 14, 1970, the White House announced the extension of the ban to cover toxins (substances falling between biological and chemicals in that they act like chemicals but are ordinarily produced by biological or microbe processes). In 1969, President Nixon ended all offensive aspects of a biological weapons program.  After three years, the U.S. signed the Biological Weapons Convention Treaty, which banned the development, production, stockpiling, transfer, and acquisition of Biological Weapons (BW). On December 16, 1970, the General Assembly approved a resolution, adopted by a vote of 110 to 0, commending the convention and expressing hope for the widest possible adherence against demoralization of biological and chemical weapons throughout the world. In accordance with the Final Declaration of that Review Conference, and the ad hoc meeting of scientific and technical experts (held on March 31 - April 15, 1987), on January 22, 1975, President Ford signed instruments of ratification to develop procedures for implementing annual data exchange. The Ad Hoc Group met four times in 1992 and 1993, completed its work and submitted a consensus report which was circulated to all States Parties. The Sixth Review Conference (2006) succeeded in reviewing the Convention comprehensively while adopting a final document as consensus. The States parties were agreed for the promotion of universal adherence and decided to update and streamline the procedures for submission and distribution of the Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs). They also adopted a comprehensive intercessional program spanning from 2007 to 2010. In a significant development, the Conference agreed to establish an Implementation Support Unit (ISU) to assist States parties in implementing the Convention.

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