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News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160 | Fax (410) 516-5251

February 25, 2003
CONTACT: Glenn Small
(410) 516-6094

Iraq War Sources from the Johns Hopkins University

As the United States edges closer to armed conflict with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, consider the following professors and researchers as possible sources for stories about war in Iraq, the United Nations and the impact of all of this on the rest of the world.

Public Health Threat Posed by "Dirty Bombs" and Radiation
Jonathan Links, PhD

Dr. Links, professor of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has been working with the City of Baltimore to develop a plan for dealing with a "dirty bomb" or other radiological emergency. Based on his recommendations, the city purchased credit card-sized radiation detectors that can be worn by emergency responders. These detectors can be programmed to sound an alarm when they are exposed specific levels of radiation.

Dr. Links notes that the real threat of a dirty bomb is psychological. He says large amounts of radioactive material would be needed to pose a significant health risk to the greater population. Dr. Links also says potassium iodine tablets may not prevent illness in a dirty bomb scenario, because a dirty bomb could contain several types of radioactive material. Potassium iodine only protects the thyroid against radioactive iodine.
Contact: Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878.

Public Health and Medical Care in Iraq
Michael Van Rooyen, MD, MPH

In January, Dr. Van Rooyen went to Iraq to assess the country's public health, water, food distribution and health care delivery systems. The visit was organized by the Research Center for Economics and Social Rights. Dr. Van Rooyen reports that the Iraqi public health infrastructure is very fragile due to more than a decade of economic sanctions.

Some 60 percent of the population relies on a complex food distribution network set up under the Oil for Food Program. According to Dr. Van Rooyen, these systems could be severely disrupted during a conflict. He says relief agencies and the military will need to quickly restore these systems to avoid a catastrophic humanitarian emergency, if a conflict occurs.

Dr. Van Rooyen is co-director of the Center for International Emergency, Disaster and Refugee Studies (CIEDRS) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and vice-chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at School of Medicine. CIEDRS strives to promote excellence in humanitarian and emergency assistance through research, education, and field programs around the world.
Contact: Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878.

Advice for Helping Children Cope with News of War or Terrorism
John Walkup, M.D.
Violence or the threat of violence at home and abroad can cause extreme anxiety in children, but there are things that parents can do to help children cope. John Walkup, a psychiatrist at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and expert in this area, says parents should show their emotion during stressful events, but without losing control, because children take cues from their parents and will become nervous and anxious if the parents are reacting that way.

Other advice includes not leaving television or radio on all day, as overexposure to images of violence and destruction may make events more difficult for children to deal with. Maintaining the structure of a daily routine is crucial and eating and bed times should remain consistent. Stay with children during times of stress, but without smothering them with attention.
Contact: Holly Hamilton at 410-516-4934.

Bioterrorism and Biodefense
The Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies

Researchers at the Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are on the forefront of efforts to detect and prevent the use of biological weapons and are an excellent source of information on anthrax, smallpox and other threats to public health and safety. Since its establishment in 1998, the center has been seeking to guide policies and practices that will reduce the likelihood that biological weapons are used, and lessen the suffering and consequences should an attack occur.
Contact: Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878.

Could a War with Iraq become a Quagmire?
Steven David

Steven David, a political scientist who has been studying international security, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and military affairs for more than 20 years, says he sees some uneasy parallels between the pending war with Iraq and World War I. The wars leading up to World War I were "summer wars" with few casualties, and "Everyone expected that war to be the same," he says.

Likewise, David says, the recent wars between the United States and its allies have been relatively easy affairs, with relatively light casualties. With Iraq, "We don't know if they'll fight. We don't know if they'll use weapons of mass destruction. It might not be the cake walk that is promised. It might be-and I hope that it is-but it might not be."
Contact: Steven David at 410-516-6056 or sdavid@jhu.edu

War in Iraq, United Nations, Weapons Inspections, National Security, International Law, Terrorism, Persian Gulf, Military Power, Peacekeeping, Middle East, Iran, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Oil Politics, South Asia, Pakistan, India, NATO, U.S.-European Relations, Tracking Terrorist Assets, Islamic Culture, Korea
The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

For leading experts in the above fields and many others, consider the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. The faculty includes:

Eliot A. Cohen, professor and director of the Strategic Studies Program and author of the recent book, Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen and Wartime Leadership; Thomas Keaney, SAIS Foreign Policy Institute executive director and professor of strategic studies; Ruth Wedgwood, a professor of international law and director of the International Law and Organization Program; Fouad Ajami, director of the Middle East Studies Program; Michael Mandelbaum, director of the American Foreign Policy Program; Frederick Starr, research professor and chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute; Daniel Hamilton, director of the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations; and Azar Nafisi, Foreign Policy Institute visiting fellow and professorial lecturer.
Contact: Felisa Neuringer Klubes at 202-663-5626 or fklubes@jhu.edu.

Invading Iraq Won't Help the War on Terrorism or Help the Region
Scott Hibbard

Having recently returned to the United States after five months in the Middle East studying religious nationalism, Hibbard, a political science Ph.D. candidate and former program officer of the U.S. Institute of Peace, believes an invasion of Iraq is ill-advised and will only destabilize the region further. Because of U.S. government support for Saddam Hussein in the past, the United States has little credibility among Arab populations when painting Hussein as the region's most dangerous threat, says Hibbard.

For the average Arab person, the more pressing problem in the region is continued occupation and oppression of Palestinian people, and until the United States is seen as caring about that, selling the war against Iraq as a move to save the oppressed peoples of Iraq against their dictator doesn't hold up among Arab people, says Hibbard. "In short, the invasion of Iraq will win us few friends in the region, undermine our ability to prosecute the war on terror and perpetuate a debilitating status quo," says Hibbard.
Contact: Scott Hibbard at 202-966-6065 or by e-mail at shibbard@jhu.edu

Preparing nurses for war
Laura Talbot, PhD, RN

Providing nursing care during a time of war or disaster requires special training and education. Laura Talbot, assistant professor of nursing and a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, can speak about how Air Force Reserve nurses learn to give care under trying circumstances, for instance, while wearing gas masks. She can also discuss the need to educate nurses on specific issues, such as smallpox vaccination.

In addition, Talbot is involved in reviewing the School of Nursing curriculum to identify emergency preparedness objectives and content, and to make recommendations on how the curriculum should be modified to prepare nursing students to respond to mass casualty incidents.
Contact: Ming Tai at 410-614-5317

Treating Children Exposed to Biological or Chemical Warfare
Allen Walker, M.D.

The nation's emergency departments will be the front line in receiving any patients who have been exposed to biological or chemical agents. Walker, director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, can address these issues as they pertain to children. The task for physicians is an especially difficult one during cold and flu season, when there is an influx of patients with symptoms similar to those resulting from exposure to certain chemical agents.
Contact: Holly Hamilton (410-516-4934) or Jessica Collins (410-516-4570).

Foreign Students on American college campuses
Nicholas Arrindell

Nicholas Arrindell director of International Student and Scholar Services on the university's Homewood campus, works closely with international students who must now deal with increased scrutiny concerning the student visas that allow them to study in the United States. Arrindell can address a broad range of issues with a direct impact on the lives of foreign students.
Contact: Nicholas Arrindell at 410-516-1013 or Amy Cowles at 410-516-7160.

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