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From Bug Drones to Disease Assassins, Super Weapons Rule U.S. War Game

• David Axe via
 A rogue state is on the verge of developing a deadly biological weapon against which the rest of the world has no defense. Through its connections to extremist groups and smugglers, the regime could be planning to launch bio attacks on U.S. allies and interests.

With tensions mounting, a cabal of American military officers, intelligence agents, scientists, industry officials and theoreticians gather at a secure facility within the Defense Department’s oldest base. Their mission: to plot America’s response to the bio-weapon threat. The ideas — some good, some bad, a few downright horrifying — flow freely.

A quiet man wearing a dark suit stands and the room grows silent. In clinical terms he describes a new technology, previously unknown to most of the cabal, that could disrupt the rogue state’s bio-terror scheme — but at a cost. If the Pentagon unleashes this weapon now, it will forever alter the strategic landscape, with unpredictable results. The new system, the man says, is a “game changer.” Like the atom bomb.

The scenario — the rogue state with its bio-weapon — is fictional. But the meeting, which took place at the Army’s historic Carlisle Barracks in southern Pennsylvania in mid-August, is real. The two-day war game, orchestrated by Australian consulting firm Noetic and hosted by the Army War College, posited a range of military threats in 2025 and the future technologies, in their infancy today, that the Pentagon could potentially use to counter those threats.

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