A Nuclear Weapon Detonation in the Homeland
Prof James O Kievit, LTC Jeffery A Mcnary
Issue Paper by the US Army War College, Center for Strategic Leadership
"Every day an already challenging security environment grows even more daunting with the continued proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) capabilities throughout the world. Each can create clandestine devices for delivery by state-sponsored or non state terrorists. Thus, in the future, perhaps the not so distant future, American political and military leadership actually may have to respond to “the unthinkable”: a successful weapon of mass destruction (WMD) attack by terrorists within the borders of the nation. With that possibility in mind, the United States Army War College (USAWC) recently conducted a focused workshop bringing together over 100 participants from local, regional, state and federal entities at the Center for Strategic Leadership on Carlisle Barracks to review contemporary plans, policies and procedures and discuss developing programs to incorporate military, and especially reserve component (RC) forces into the responses to a hypothetical CBRNE attack within the borders of the United States. Three different attack scenarios were presented – one biological, one radiological, and one nuclear. This paper addresses the workshop’s findings related to response to a nuclear weapon attack. "