At the intersection of emerging technologies and international affairs, one of the most provocative areas is the applications of advanced genetic engineering. The COVID-19 global pandemic and uncertainty about the origin of the causative virus illustrates both immediacy and the potential geopolitical implications of such technologies. These new gene editing techniques include one which has garnered a great deal of attention, the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) systems, as well as other, less well-known ones. CRISPR is not the first type of gene editing technology, but it is the most well-known within national and international security debates. Such advancements now allow for easier and more tunable manipulation of the genetic code of life with implications for governance of science and technology and with international security significance in the context of proliferation, deterrence, and unconventional weapons. Biosecurity and other emerging technologies require new models, not simple extrapolations of Cold War or more recent deterrence (or nonproliferation) paradigms.