Strategic Evolution of the Defense against Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • September 17, 2016
  • Lieutenant Colonel Sean Duvall

Defending the United States Homeland, allies, and interests against attacks of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is a vital national interest. As America wrestles with the best way to deter or respond to a WMD attack, the National policy and National strategy to counter WMD has undergone a subtle but significant evolution since the terrorist attacks in America on 9/11. Defending the U.S. from WMD attack evolution can be categorized into two frameworks: Combating WMD (2002-2009) and Countering WMD (2010-Present). These frameworks for national strategy and policy can be traced all of the way through multiple levels of national documents to Army doctrine. The change to countering WMD policy and strategic guidance is generally consistent from National and Department of Defense (DoD) documents. The Joint doctrine and service doctrine is also generally consistent with the National and DoD guidance. Army strategic guidance and doctrine does not reflect some of the changes from the combating to countering WMD framework and should be updated to avoid confusion in the Joint Force and Army leadership.