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effectively integrating DoD’s operational and tactical capabilities? To help answer these

questions, this chapter will attempt to highlight selected DoD and non-DoD

organizations, discuss their contributions to staying in front of the threat, and determine

how they operate collectively in the defense of the US.

Threat

Much of the discussion of the current and future threat centers specifically on

WMD and the means to deliver it. Another conclusion of the Fletcher Conference, which

included several currently serving defense leaders summarized that the threat to US

interests will effectively take two forms. First, they determined that, “North America is

increasingly vulnerable both to missile attack and to terrorist action.” Although they

conclude that the likelihood of such attacks delivering WMD is currently low, they point

out that these attacks, “directly threaten vital U.S. interests--the security of the United

States itself.” The second form of threat this particular conference highlighted was,

“WMD-equipped actors could target American forces or those of allies.” After studying

this challenge the panel decided that the, “fear of such attacks could either deter US

intervention or intimidate allies into opting out of future coalitions.” It is the

“accelerating technological change” that adds to the “complexity of the future security

environment,” they argued. In the end, the conference’s final report determined that

preparing to defend against these two likely forms of threat to US interests are, “critical

to US defense strategy in the twenty-first century.”2

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