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According to three notable experts, “The danger of weapons of mass destruction

being used against America and its allies is greater now than at any time since the Cuban

missile crisis of 1962.”2 Simply put, while these weapons are not necessarily new to

mankind, the threat of their use against unconventional targets in unexpected ways has

grown. This growth now has many prominent officials emphasizing that it is now not a

question of “if,” but one of “when.”

This thesis will attempt to combine the most pertinent and current information in

the area of WMD defense, discuss the organizations charged with addressing the WMD

threat, develop logical conclusions based on this information, and then culminate with

suggestions of additional areas where further research may be required. Ultimately, this

thesis will examine whether DoD has or has not kept pace with the WMD threat by way

of its strategic organizational structure.

Problem Statement

To date, DoD has addressed the NBC and WMD threat by imbedding its NBC

defense capabilities within each of the organizational levels of command. The Army,

DoD’s traditional and congressionally mandated leader in NBC defense preparedness,

maintains an NBC special staff or its equivalent in virtually all commands from company

to service level. These experts are charged to provide expert advice and

recommendations to their commanders on all NBC defense matters.3

Additionally, DoD (and specifically the Army) maintains NBC defense related

organizations at the tactical and operational levels of war. These organizations range

from NBC detection and reconnaissance sections to chemical defense brigades.

However, with the exception of the newly formed Joint Task Force for Civil Support 2

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