The US Department of Defense has issued an unclassified paper incorporating critical approaches to mitigate weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The strategic report outlines known WMD threats and offers “tailored” solutions with associated authorities, allies, and operations to counter them and recover from their effects.
Under the plan, the US will focus on specific priorities to guarantee the security of the homeland from such attacks, deter WMD use against the US and its partners, enhance the Joint Force to manage chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) environments, and prevent new WMD threats.
The documentation is the third iteration of the department’s counter-WMD strategy and replaces the 2014 update.
In response to growing WMD risks globally, the new strategy includes planning recommendations for contingencies, frameworks, campaigns, and CBRN defense requirements.
These steps are expected to “increase barriers” between adversaries and WMD-related acquisition, capability advancement, and expansion.
The corresponding solutions will also address the “pacing challenge” exhibited by actors potentially interested or engaged with WMD activities, such as China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and violent extremist organizations.
Opposing ‘Real, Urgent’ Threats
US Defense Secretary Llyod Austin explained in the paper’s foreword that the plans would integrate, complement, and enhance related guidance stipulated in other guidelines advancing the government’s national security, including the Missile Defense Review, Nuclear Posture Review, and the Biodefense Posture Review.
“The risks to the Department and the nation are real and urgent. Addressing them requires the Defense Department to account for WMD across the spectrum of conflict and in concert with our Allies and partners,” Austin stated.
“This Strategy lays the foundation for the Department to confront the complex and demanding challenges presented by WMD.”
“I am confident that the Department possesses the ingenuity and determination necessary to outpace current and future threats.”