Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High Yield Explosives Operational Headquarters   [open pdf - 3MB]

"When the United States (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 WMD program and capabilities. For decades, U.S. military forces have developed specialized forces and trained conventional forces to attack or seize high value targets, but the U.S. military had never trained, organized, or prepared to seize, exploit and eliminate a nation's WMD program. The WMD-E mission was, and remains, an entirely new operational demand imposed on U.S. military forces. OIF required the hasty fielding of new and largely untested WMD-E capabilities, and in a short period of just a few months, the U.S. Department of Defense organized, trained, and deployed two ad hoc organizations: the 75th Exploitation Task Force and the Iraq Survey Group. When integrated into other military units in support of major headquarters, they provided a rudimentary capability for WMD-E. Based on this experience, the Department of Defense (DOD) decided to activate a full time capability for integration into planning for future military operations against global adversaries who may possess WMD. In a speech at the National Defense University on 13 May 2003, the Undersecretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, announced, 'Since WMD in the hands of rogue states and terrorists is the greatest security threat we face in this decade, we will continue to have a requirement for a robust WMD-E capability…The elimination capability that we put together…before Operation Iraqi Freedom will need to be retained, enhanced and institutionalized.'"

Report Number:
FMI 3-90.10
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists (FAS): http://www.fas.org/main/home.jsp
Media Type:
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