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DoD Priorities

As stated previously, the executive branch, and DoD specifically, have not been

completely blind to these threats. To counter them DoD, as it does with many other

initiatives, establishes requirements, programs, and systems to allow its warfighting

Commanders-in-Chief (CINC) to meet the threat.

The National Security Strategy (NSS), published annually by the White House,

and National Military Strategy (NMS), last published in 1997 by the Joint Chiefs of Staff

(JCS), are the baseline documents that identify the general requirements for the defense

of the United States and her interests. These broad policy documents make several

references to the WMD threat and the defense community’s need to address it adequately.

As the NMS points out,

The continued proliferation of WMD, particularly chemical and biological weapons (CBW), has made their employment by an adversary increasingly likely in both major theater wars and smaller-scale contingencies. U.S. forces must have a counterproliferation capability balanced among the requirements to prevent the spread of WMD through engagement activities; detect an adversary’s possession and intention to use WMD; destroy WMD before they can be used; deter or counter WMD; protect the force from the effects of WMD through training, detection, equipment, and immunization; and restore areas affected by the employment of WMD through containment, neutralization, and decontamination. 3

What the NSS and the NMS do not cover are the specific priorities of effort against the

WMD threat. These priorities are both generated within each of the services and various

defense agencies as well as each of the Unified Commands. To counter the WMD threat

the CINCs submit their counterproliferation priorities to the Joint Staff. Those priorities

are then integrated at the Joint Staff level to complete an overall priority list of required


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