Leading Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Operations in the Land Domain

  • September 17, 2016
  • Colonel Brant D. Hoskins

Beginning in the late 1990s, the U.S. government began to demonstrate a growing appreciation for the threats posed by Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). In near continuous efforts since that time, strategic leaders have developed policy, multiple iterations of strategy, and Joint doctrine to counter WMD (CWMD). At the same time, various proponents throughout the Army developed or enhanced operational, tactical, and technical capabilities to CWMD. While these developments are encouraging, they do not address the Army’s most significant CWMD challenge which is the lack of an effective CWMD program. Specifically, the Army Staff is not optimally organized for this task, the Army lacks a unifying CWMD vision and strategy to guide and synchronize CWMD programs and, operational doctrine lacks the clarity required for the entire force to plan, prepare and execute CWMD. In order for the Army to, “lead CWMD in the land domain” as declared in the 2014 Army Strategic Planning Guidance, the Army should consider establishing the office of Chief, CWMD at the two star level on the Army staff and him/her with the authorities required to develop, unify and enable a new CWMD program for the Army.