Defense Science Board 1997 Summer Study Task Force on DoD Responses to Transnational Threats, Volume II: Force Protection Report [open pdf - 6MB]
Transnational actors have three advantages: 1) they can have ready access to weapons of mass destruction; 2) we cannot easily deter them because they have no homeland; and 3) they respect no boundaries, whether political, organizational, legal or moral. Further, warning may be short and attribution may be slow or ambiguous. Since the United States is now the dominant military force in the world, potential adversaries will be driven to asymmetric strategies to meet their objectives. As such, transnational threats represent an important national security problem. Notably, the Department of Defense has the capacity to mitigate these threats with its extensive capabilities, training and experience. In the attached report, the Task Force suggests a multi-faceted strategy for the DoD to address this increasingly important class of threats. This strategy involves the development of an end-to-end systems concept, investment in critical technology areas, and the leveraging of similarities between civil protection and force protection. The Task Force concludes that the Department also needs to increase its emphasis on responding to this threat by more clearly assigning responsibilities and by providing mechanisms for measuring its readiness to respond.