desired detect-to-warn capability throughout the force is still mostly in development and
relying on further technological advances in the field.11
Additional WMD threat research indicated that our potential adversaries are
assessed to be more likely to develop and use WMD now than ever before. There are a
number of logical reasons for this conclusion. They are summarized below:
1. The financial cost of developing NBC weapons is considerably less than
building a conventional military force. According to one United Nations expert the
overall cost may be as much as 2,000 times cheaper for the same effects. The bar charts
in figure 1 depict his estimates by category of weapon.
Biological Chemical (Nerve) Nuclear Conventional
$600 $800 $2,000
Figure 1. Estimated Cost to Produce Mass Casualties Per Square Kilometer
Much of the threat literature suggests that cost is a significant factor for America’s
potential adversaries when determining which offensive capability to develop.
2. In addition to the lower costs associated with NBC weapons, they are also
considerably easier to conceal during the development, acquisition, and even employment