:Speaking of real-life, actually-happened biological warfare development:
After deployment failed, killing only five hundred million individuals before the target population began developing immunity, development started on another attempt using a different disease. Loss of containment on that one killed ten million during testing, and let the unfinished virus into the wild.
(…The twist is it was the testing of RHD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbithaemorrhagicdisease) in Aussie attempts to control the rabbit population after myxy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myxomatosis) didn’t finish the job)
Exerpts from Report on the Efforts of Redesigning a Deathworld by Blixxo Maxx:
Having taken note of the mating habits of the resident mammals, we then concocted a virus that would attack their immune system and leave them vulnerable to the planet’s abundant diseases. The long incubation period was a deliberate design choice to remove the association of cause and effect, as well as to maximise spread.
Initial results seemed successful, tracking by infection rate, large portions of the population were infected within three decades. However, mutant strains arose, as did awareness of the virus.
Then those apes did something unprecedented. They tamed a virus designed to kill them and used it against something else that was killing them. Then they designed a drug to defend themselves against the initial virus.
In desperation, my learned colleague attempted to fan the fires of the native’s anti-vaccine movement. He reasoned that the elites and the believers in conspiracies would wipe out a majority of the population intelligent enough to insist on preventative measures.
Fear is an excellent motivator for these balding apes. They have and will willingly walk into peril in order to avoid an astronomically small chance of a feared outcome.
To that end, I am pondering the invention of a purely mythical disease. These apes will believe anything they find on their own entertainment networks. The prevention method, of course, will be something that kills them or at least renders them infertile.
We may yet rid ourselves of intelligent life on this planet, but I have my doubts. These are a resilient species. In the end, we may have to be satisfied with them wiping themselves out.