The Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Their Nature and Role in 2030
Occasonal paper no. 10
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV FORT MCNAIR DC CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
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In 2011, the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction launched a project to envision the future of weapons of mass destruction WMD. It chose the year 2030 as its time horizon. During the first year, we conducted a series of roundtable discussions with experts on global trends in political-military and technological developments. These discussions had a broad range and were not limited to WMD matters. During the second year, we established several working groups to focus on the WMD implications of future trends. Science and technology was the principal remit for the first group, geopolitics for the second, and military matters for the third, but all three groups concurrently considered the panoply of developments that could impact the future of WMD. While there was a great deal of commonality among each group s findings, differences also emerged. As there can be no one definitive forecast of the future, but at best only educated guesses, the WMD Center chose to publish more than one set of findings rather than to produce a single integrated report. The Center thus hopes to enrich the larger debate about the future of WMD and to afford U.S. policymakers multiple perspectives to consider as they decide where to steer U.S. efforts to counter tomorrow s WMD dangers. John Caves and Seth Carus authored one set of findings. Mr. Caves cochaired the project s working group whose principal remit was geopolitics, and Dr. Carus was the co-lead for the overall project. Their paper herein principally considers how the intersection of geopolitical and technological trends may shape the nature and role of WMD in 2030. Forrest Waller authored another set of findings. Mr. Waller led the project s working group whose principal remit was science and technology. Fittingly, Mr. Waller s forthcoming paper is first and foremost an examination of how science and technology trends may affect WMD by 2030.
- Nuclear Weapons