was little cooperation to upgrade surveillance systems, but during the early 2000s, considerable emphasis was placed on coordination of capabilities to detect and respond to outbreaks of diseases at an early stage and to limit their subsequent spread should such outbreaks occur. In short, while the early emphasis was to develop projects that had direct relationships to proliferation and bioterrorism concerns, the scope of activities rapidly diffused to effect more traditional outcomes of human and animal health activities that are addressed in the next three chapters.
Appendix C.2 presents one set of DOD’s indicators of progress in improving biosecurity at individual Russian facilities. The appendix also identifies a number of cooperative research projects carried out on the basis of their potential contribution to improving the research infrastructure of the country, where appropriate research activities could be implemented in a transparent manner.
An activity that commanded considerable attention for a number of years throughout the international security community was a collaborative program to investigate the properties of variola virus strains that have been preserved in both Russia and the United States. This effort was undertaken at the Russian research center Vector. It was directly related to ongoing discussions at the WHO as to whether all remaining smallpox isolates should be destroyed or whether it was important to continue to investigate the properties of the virus. Better understanding of smallpox diagnostics and medical countermeasures was considered important in the event that the contagious disease reappeared as the result of (a) accidental release of the organism into nature from Russian or U.S. WHO-approved stocks or (b) intentional release from other currently unknown and unapproved stocks (Box 2-6).
Many cooperative research activities carried out within the framework of nonproliferation programs were of considerable interest to the civilian research communities in a number of countries. For example, brucellosis is a disease of considerable concern in the agriculture field. Joint efforts within the framework of nonproliferation programs advanced scientific understanding of the characteristics of that particular disease (Box 2-7). Other common diseases were also addressed in the program, and some are highlighted in Chapter 3.
As collaborative programs developed and expanded, DOD and interested Russian institutions organized a number of international conferences and workshops that focused on bioproliferation concerns and the opportunities for cooperative research activities. The conferences, in particular, had a significant impact by helping transform previously isolated programs into reoriented transparent activities of worldwide interest.
In particular, during the early 2000s, DOD supported several international conferences directed to research at Russian institutions involved in U.S.-Russian collaboration. Hundreds of investigators from Russia, from other areas of the former Soviet Union, from the United States, and from Europe reported on cooperative projects (Box 2-8). The Russian project implementers were particularly