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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


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