AIDS Declared National Security Threat
May 5, 2000
After extensive analysis by the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies, AIDS has been declared a threat to national security by the Clinton Administration. This move is important because it will involve many influential people and a major government apparatus, for the first time, in responding to the worldwide epidemic.
On April 30 the Washington Post published a page-1 article on this development, by staff writer Barton Gellman. From the article:
"A National Intelligence Estimate prepared in January, representing consensus among government analysts, projected that a quarter of southern Africa's population is likely to die of AIDS and that the number of people dying of the disease will rise for a decade before there is much prospect of improvement. Based on current trends, that disastrous course could be repeated, perhaps exceeded, in south Asia and the former Soviet Union...
"Dramatic declines in life expectancy, the study said, are the strongest risk factor for 'revolutionary wars, ethnic wars, genocides and disruptive regime transitions' in the developing world. Based on historical analysis of 75 factors that tend to destabilize governments, the authors said the social consequences of AIDS appear to have 'a particularly strong correlation with the likelihood of state failure in partial democracies.'"
The article is available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A40503-2000Apr29.html
Copyright 2000 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.
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