JTF - WMD Elimination: An Operational Architecture for Future Contingencies   [open pdf - 249KB]

"When the U.S. military initiated the attack into Iraq to begin OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF) in the spring of 2003, one of the main objectives was to find, exploit and eliminate Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) program and capabilities. However, as forces sped north across the Kuwaiti border, they did so with an ad hoc organization that was hastily assembled and marginally trained to accomplish this task. Despite having approximately 1.5 million men and women on active duty, the U.S. military does not have a standing force trained and prepared to execute the WMD exploitation and elimination mission. The purpose of this paper is to review the organizations that were developed and assigned this mission for OIF, and determine how the Department of Defense should organize to accomplish this task in future operations. Based upon lessons learned from OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM and the ongoing threat of WMD proliferation among state and non-state actors, the author proposes that a standing Joint Task Force is needed to execute this mission to provide for U.S national security and strategic interests. A recommended organizational structure, operational concept, employment scenarios and required resources are provided."

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