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Strategy-Policy Mismatch: How the U.S. Army Can Help Close Gaps in Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction

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Two successive presidents have determined that weapons of mass destruction WMD particularly nuclear weapons in the hands of violent extremists pose the greatest of threats to the American people. Accordingly, the Department of Defense DoD has named countering WMD as a primary mission of the U.S. military. However, DoD does not consider the counter-WMD mission important enough to drive military capacity and capability in this regard i.e., force size and structure. It permits a potentially critical gap to exist between the importance of countering WMD, as expressed in national strategy, and the actual policy for resources, which dictates force size and structure, as prioritized in the Defense Strategic Guidance. The research reported here addresses the following questions How can this national strategy resource policy gap be closed How much ground force capacity, as well as what joint capabilities, will be needed to achieve gap closure, at least to greater degrees than at present In particular, how can the U.S. Army help especially, with one critical counter-WMD mission, namely, WMD-elimination WMD-E To address these questions, this report provides a parametric analysis of several illustrative scenarios using publicly available sources and methods to assess the magnitude of any required changes to force size and structure. As for specific examples, two especially salient cases are analyzed 1 operations to secure loose WMD in the event that the Democratic People s Republic of Korea DPRK collapses, and 2 a counterfactual scenario in which U.S. operations were ordered to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons program in the wake of a Syrian regime collapse. The analyses contained within this report were completed in 2013.

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  • Nuclear Weapons

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