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security and defense officials as well as credible strategic thinkers from the public sector

and around the world. The two-day conference, which was broken down into six expert

panels, resulted in a number of findings regarding the WMD threat to the US. They

concluded in finding and recommendation number eight, “The enormous consequences

of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) incidents justify the increased effort and expense

to prepare for this looming threat. The United States must press ahead with

counterproliferation programs.”21 It goes on to read,

The primary threats to US interests will take two forms. First, North America is increasingly vulnerable both to missile attack and to terrorist action. While the probability of WMD strikes remains low, they directly threaten vital US interests- -the security of the United States itself. Second, WMD-equipped actors could target American forces or those of allies. The fear of such attacks could either deter US intervention or intimidate allies into opting out of future coalitions. More disturbing, accelerating technological change will contribute to the complexity of the future security environment. . . . Preparing to counter such asymmetric strategies is critical to US defense strategy in the twenty-first century. 22

The conclusions of this conference also reveal that the US must now face new

forms of warfare. Implied is the assumption that the US may not currently be set up to

defend against all or some of these new forms. “Future missions are not likely to

resemble those of the Cold War and new requirements such as missile defense, homeland

defense, and information operations must be central to the debate,” said the report.23

Finally, the gathering of congressmen, military leaders, and government and

nongovernment officials concluded that,

New threats, especially those categorized as threats to vital interests, but also the other types of contingencies for which military forces are deemed necessary, call for a reorganization of the Department of Defense. Such an undertaking would require a fundamental revision of the 1947 National Security Act, perhaps along functional lines. There are several areas that fall outside the existing DoD organizational hierarchy: asymmetric warfare, joint information technology development, joint procurement, homeland defense, and peace enforcement. 24


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