One of the most frequent ploys in encouraging public acceptance of weapons programs is to present them as defensive. Shulman's article states that "most of this research focuses on the development of vaccines against some of the most deadly and exotic diseases known—diseases that could be unleashed as part of a biological warfare (BW) campaign."
In this field, defense and offense go hand in hand. No nation would dare unleash such disease without first taking the precaution to immunize its own population. A few years ago, the Federation of American Scientists published a Public Interest Report discussing the possibility of recombinant DNA's contributing to BW. The article noted that if any nation proceeded to immunize its population against some disease, that action could be taken as a warning that it was about to launch a BW attack.
At the time I wondered whether this concept reflected our own attempt in the 1970s to immunize the entire American population against swine flu. It seemed strange to me at the time (and it still does) to have done this with such small provocation: a total of four cases of swine flu among army recruits at Fort Dix, N.J. One of the four died after an exhausting forced march while carrying heavy equipment. Obviously, we were not getting ready then to launch a BW attack. But could that have been a trial immunization run through, just to see how it would go?