For Americans, the nature of warfare changed on September 11, 2001. Our national security henceforth will require distributed defense. One extreme of distributed defense is represented by fully deployed military troops responding to a threat from a hostile nation state. At the other extreme is a country of 'citizen soldiers', with families and communities securing their common defense through heightened awareness, engagement as good neighbors, and local support of and cooperation with local law enforcement, emergency and health care providers. Technologies - for information exploitation, biological agent detection, health care surveillance, and security - will be critical to ensuring success in distributed defense.
Biological weapons are within reach of individuals, small groups, terrorist organizations, as well as nations. With pervasive integration of civilian and military populations worldwide, the ill winds of biological warfare stand to affect military troops and civilians alike. A variety of technologies are emerging - such as pathogen detection devices, streaming internet characterization tools, information exploitation techniques, automated feature extraction, and ubiquitous wireless communication - that can help. These technologies, if taken together within an integrated analytical framework, could make possible the monitoring of diverse parameters that may indicate a change in the state of health of a given population - either the emergence of a naturally occurring disease or the outbreak of a disease as a result of hostile intent. This presentation will discuss the application of new information surveillance tools and technologies as they apply to health and disease monitoring, particularly within the context of potential terrorist or hostile nation use of biological warfare. Although discussed within the specific context of health surveillance, the tools and processes described here are generally applicable within other domains of subject matter expertise.