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Philipp C. Bleek and Zachary Kallenborn: "Avatars of the Earth: Eco-Radicals and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Weapons"


Philipp C. Bleek and Zachary Kallenborn: "Avatars of the Earth: Eco-Radicals and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Weapons"

Date: 
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Time: 
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: 

8400 Baltimore Ave., Suite 250, College Park, MD 20740

On Tuesday, September 6 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm at START headquarters, Philipp C. Bleek and Zachary Kallenborn will give a lecture titled "Avatars of the Earth: Eco-Radicals and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Weapons". The event is free and open to the public, but RSVP's are appreciated.

Radical environmentalists pose risks of chemical and biological attack, while radiological or nuclear attacks appear less likely but cannot be ruled out. Though most lack both motivations and significant capabilities to conduct chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) attacks, a subset appear motivated and bring a spectrum of relevant capabilities to bear. And certain characteristics of radical environmentalism heighten the risk of outliers who may be both motivated and capable of carrying out more consequential CBRN attacks. Even radical environmentalists mostly strongly embrace non-violence, accepting the sanctity of all life as a core tenet. A small subset have engaged in direct actions focused primarily on both symbolic and functional infrastructure sabotage. Violent attacks have occurred, but have been rare and caused only minimal casualties. But outliers are possible, even plausible, since radical environmentalist ideology provides strong potential motivators for significant violence and draws some adherents who are more capable and well resourced. For officials working to counter the threat, the focus should be on two worrying trends: 1) Increased support for violence within the animal rights movement and, 2) The emergence of new green anarchist groups that reject longstanding traditions of non-violence.

Philipp C. Bleek is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of International Policy and Management and Fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, both at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. His research and teaching focuses on the causes, consequences, and amelioration of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons proliferation to states and non-state actors. During 2012-13, he was on leave from those positions to serve as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs under a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship in Nuclear Security, where one of his responsibilities was participating in chemical and biological terrorism red and blue-team exercises.

Zachary Kallenborn is a Senior Associate Analyst at ANSER, a not for profit government consultancy. At ANSER, he conducts futures analysis, organizational strategy assessments, and systems thinking analysis for offices within the Departments of State, Commerce, and Homeland Security. Previously, he worked at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, where he published research on chemical and biological weapons. Zachary holds an MA in Nonproliferation and Terrorism from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. At the University of Puget Sound, he double-majored in mathematics and international relations, with minors in German, history, and physics.