Weapons of Mass Destruction: Theater Strategic Deterrence
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The United States has entered the twenty-first century as the preeminent world power and possesses an unparalleled capability to influence the international community. With this power comes the responsibility to equitably establish an environment of international cooperation and freedom. Unfortunately, there are nations and organizations that view the efforts of the United States negatively, and are willing to actively oppose them. Since these nations and organizations are unable to confront the United States on a peer competitor basis, they may turn to asymmetric means to leverage their position. As the proliferation of key technologies and resources continues, it is likely that these nations and organizations will gain access to weapons of mass destruction WMD and may employ them to achieve their objectives. Within this new environment, it is imperative that the United States empower Combatant Commanders of unified geographic commands with the tools necessary to deter the use of WMD in their areas of responsibility. Although the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan JSCP offers examples of Flexible Deterrent Options FDOs, some related to WMD, these FDOs do not provide a viable planning construct to prevent the use of WMD. A customized planning construct should be developed within a simple framework to address the WMD threat so that Combatant Commanders can develop early responses to prevent the use of WMD within their geographic theaters. Due to the increasing number of nations that have the ability to employ WMD, it is essential that this framework be adaptable to specific areas of responsibility and their associated threats. An analysis of the Iraqi threat within the Central Command CENTCOM area of responsibility will be used to illustrate the utility of a versatile WMD deterrence framework. The appendix provides examples of military, diplomatic, economic, and information FDOs for WPD deterrence. 29 refs.
- Government and Political Science
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare
- Nuclear Warfare
- Unconventional Warfare