Deterrence and Defense in a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Environment
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR COUNTERPROLIFERATION RESEARCH
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It is a paradox of the present security environment that at a time when the United States has renounced the possession of offensive biological and chemical weapons and is reducing fundamentally the role of nuclear weapons in its defense posture a number of actors are actively pursuing such weapons. These include not only rogue states such as North Korea and Iran, but also nonstate actors such as the Aum Shinrikyo cult that employed sarin gas in the Tokyo subway. Moreover, as the May 1998 nuclear tests in India and Pakistan demonstrated, the value ascribed to these weapons in some regions of the world is actually increasing. In fact, as evidenced by the use of chemical weapons in recent conflicts despite the strengthening of international legal norms against the possession of NBC weapons, barriers to possession and use may actually be eroding. For these reasons, NBC proliferation represents a growing and direct threat to U.S. security strategy and to the ability of the United States to use military force as an instrument of that strategy. The intelligence community has published various assessments of more than two dozen countries that are actively pursuing NBC weapons programs and has identified many of these states as currently possessing or seeking ballistic missiles with ever longer ranges. The Department of Defense report, Proliferation Threat and Response, presents an equally troubling vision of the proliferation threat. Congressional publications, including The Proliferation Primer released by the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, make clear that the profound security implications stemming from NBC and missile proliferation are shared by both the executive and legislative branches.
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare
- Guided Missiles