ABSTRACT

Fallacies Leading to the Marginalization of Future CBRN Capabilities   [open pdf - 845KB]

"In both the 2012 National Security Strategy (NSS) and the U.S. Army strategic planning guidance, combatting [sic] weapons of mass destruction (WMD) remains a priority. However, the need for fiscal restraint has led in recent years to assessments of acceptable reductions across the range of Department of Defense (DOD) capabilities, based largely on operational lessons learned during the past decade of combat. This has resulted in reduction of U.S. Army chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) forces, capabilities, and training, despite the national-level recognition of the continued threat of WMD attacks, because CBRN forces have not conducted their primary mission in recent conflicts. In particular, reduction of CBRN forces by 14% over the last five years highlights the U.S. Army's neglect of this critical capability, contrary to the requirements associated with implementing the NSS. Seven years of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) lessons learned have contributed to a flawed understanding of the WMD threat and a related willingness to accept excessive levels of risk through CBRN capability reductions. Analysis of these lessons learned in contrast to the WMD threat that America faces reveals the degree of risk involved. America's role as a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) also includes the responsibility to provide CBRN capability, such as in support of the ongoing Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The recent strategic shift toward the Asia-Pacific region requires a rebalancing of DOD military capabilities. The significant WMD risk resident in this region further highlights the risk involved in U.S. Army CBRN capability."

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Date:
2013-01
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/
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application/pdf
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