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US hopes to stop chemical weapons by hiring scientists before they can create any

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Kazakhstan flag (Sara Yeomans Flickr)
Kazakhstan flag (Sara Yeomans Flickr)

Remnants of the Soviet Union's bioweapons program may still be floating around Russia, be it actual chemicals or the highly trained scientists capable of making them. That's a scary thought for members of the United States' defense community, and as part of an effort to keep the region in check, they're helping to fund the construction and operation of a new laboratory in neighboring Kazakhstan to study deadly diseases. In a profile of the new facility, Motherboard reports that while the local researchers are apparently more than happy to have a place to fight back against dangerous pathogens like the bubonic plague, the US sees it as a way to keep the smartest scientists within its control by doing little more than employing them. "You cannot erase this knowledge from someone’s mind,” Lt. Col. Charles Carlton, a director of the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency in Kazakhstan, tells Motherboard. "Our hope is that through gainful employment they won't be drawn down other avenues."