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Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Preventing and Defending Against Clandestine Nuclear Attack

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The DSB addressed this threat in previous studies conducted in 1997 also chaired by Richard Wagner and 19992000 chaired by Roger Hagengruber. Much has changed since then. The 11 Sept. 2001 attacks demonstrated the intent of terrorists to inflict massive damage. Nuclear proliferation has proceeded apace, with North Korea and Iran achieving nuclear weapon capability or coming closer to it, and it could spread further. The United States is engaged in a war against terrorism, and DoD is beginning to devote significant effort to combating WMD. The Department of Homeland Security DHS has been established. Thinking about the threat of clandestine nuclear attack has changed, and some efforts to explore defenses have begun. However, one thing has not changed little has actually been done against the threat of clandestine nuclear attack. The DSB Summer Study on Transnational Threats 1997 first developed the ambitious idea of a very large, multi-element, global, layered civilmilitary system of systems of scope sufficient to have some prospect of effectively thwarting this threat. There was little resonance with this vision outside of the Task Forces in 1997 and 2000, but since then, and especially since the attacks of 11 Sept. 2001, it has begun to be discussed more widely. This report will revisit such a nationalglobal system, largely as context for the main focus of the Task Force DoDs roles and capabilities. Following briefings from many government agencies and subject matter experts, the Task Force arrived at its basic findings and recommendations in early 2003. Since then, those results have been discussed in over 40 meetings within DoD and elsewhere, leading to certain refinements. This report reflects the outcomes of that process and weaves together viewgraphs used in the discussions with elaborating text.

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  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare

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