forces, is not a good idea. It is expensive and you would probably lose.”14 He believes
that, in response, potential US adversaries will be more likely to look into other ways to
confront the US, such as development of WMD to influence world events in their favor.
They may also develop these weapons to lessen the probability of retribution following
aggressions against their neighbors.15 In this capacity, the value of a WMD capability is
increased and acts as a cheap tool to further causes or interests that may conflict with US
interests. Therefore, the likelihood of WMD development or use as a kind of regional
deterrent has increased. Ironically, it is America’s own conventional military strength
that is the partial cause.
All this results in something of a conundrum for the national security community.
Nuclear, biological and chemical weapons are smaller, have a reduced signature, and are
more easily concealed. It is comparatively more difficult to measure who specifically has
them, what types they have, and what their state of weaponization, deliverability, and
intent for use is. They cost less than a conventional force to produce the same effects in
terms of casualties. With the technological know-how, they can be delivered against US
interests more easily. They entail less warning time of attack than that afforded by
conventional attack. About the only thing that is known with any degree of certainty is
their effects; and those effects are somewhat daunting. The combined result is a
frightening realization that WMD is more difficult than conventional forces when
measuring the overall level of risk to the US and her interests.
Measurement of risk has always been the key to defense sizing and structure in a
resource constrained defense environment. The lesser degree of assurance that the WMD
risk is accurate because of its greater ability to conceal itself than conventional forces