Synchronizing Army CWMD Efforts: A Way Forward

  • September 17, 2016
  • Lieutenant Colonel Christopher W. Hoffman

The Army's approach to Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) is not properly synchronized to adequately support National and Defense security objectives. The Army stakeholder groups and processes for CWMD are varied, complex, and not properly nested. There are three non-medical proponents that provide the bulk of the expertise for CWMD efforts; this, combined with the Army Medical Department's efforts, the responsibilities the Army holds in the Chemical Biological Defense Program, and its associated RDT&E infrastructure, challenge the Army's ability to produce a coherent and consistent CWMD strategy that can be understood by all stakeholders and leveraged in pursuit of resources in defense processes. The absence of one single synchronized Army CMWD strategy prevents the development of appropriate capability and capacity in ground forces to achieve strategic CWMD goals. Proper designation of a general/flag officer on staff as the CWMD synchronizer, appropriately enabled with existing staff, combined with streamlining of non-medical proponency under one authority, would go a long way to correcting this shortcoming and deliver ground forces capable of countering dynamic threats.