12 December 2002
Source: http://usinfo.state.gov/cgi-bin/washfile/display.pl?p=/products/washfile/latest&f=02121101.plt&t=/products/washfile/newsitem.shtml

US Department of State
International Information Programs

Washington File

11 December 2002

Bush Administration Releases New WMD Strategic Plan

(Plan uses counterproliferation, nonproliferation and forceful
response) (3420)

If weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear, biological or chemical --
are used against the United States, its military forces abroad, or its
allies and friends, the United States will respond with overwhelming
force and "resort to all of our options," the Bush administration says
in a newly published strategic plan.

"Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) -- nuclear, biological, and
chemical -- in the possession of hostile states and terrorists
represent one of the greatest security challenges facing the United
States," President Bush says in his "National Strategy to Combat
Weapons of Mass Destruction" released December 11 by the White House.
"We must pursue a comprehensive strategy to counter this threat in all
of its dimensions."

In the six-page, unclassified version of the new presidential
strategy, the Bush administration said that in addition to a
conventional and nuclear response and other defense capabilities, the
United States will bring to bear effective intelligence, surveillance,
interdiction, and domestic law enforcement capabilities to deter any
threat from the use of WMD.

The strategy is built on three seamless components that include a
reliance on enhanced counterproliferation measures, strengthened
nonproliferation efforts to combat WMD proliferation, and consequence
management to respond if WMD are used.

"An effective strategy for countering WMD, including their use and
further proliferation, is an integral component" of the new national
security strategy, the Bush administration said in the plan. "As with
the war on terrorism, our strategy for homeland security, and our new
concept of deterrence, the U.S. approach to combat WMD represents a
fundamental change from the past."

Counterproliferation efforts will include interdiction, deterrence,
defense and mitigation measures. Nonproliferation will include active
nonproliferation diplomacy, reliance on multilateral regimes such as
the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and other agreements and
international organizations, threat reduction cooperation, controls on
nuclear materials, U.S. export controls, and nonproliferation

WMD consequence management calls for the United States to be prepared
to respond effectively to any use of WMD in the United States, and to
any attacks on U.S. military forces abroad, or against its allies and
friends, the strategy said.

"What's new here is that we have a comprehensive strategy," a senior
administration official said during a White House background briefing.
"Every administration comes under criticism for not having an
integrated strategy on issues like this. We do."

Following is the complete text of the unclassified version of the
National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction:

(begin text)


"The gravest danger our Nation faces lies at the crossroads of
radicalism and technology. Our enemies have openly declared that they
are seeking weapons of mass destruction, and evidence indicates that
they are doing so with determination. The United States will not allow
these efforts to succeed. ... History will judge harshly those who saw
this coming danger but failed to act. In the new world we have
entered, the only path to peace and security is the path of action."

President Bush
The National Security Strategy of the United States of America
September 17, 2002


Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) -- nuclear, biological, and chemical
-- in the possession of hostile states and terrorists represent one of
the greatest security challenges facing the United States. We must
pursue a comprehensive strategy to counter this threat in all of its

An effective strategy for countering WMD, including their use and
further proliferation, is an integral component of the National
Security Strategy of the United States of America. As with the war on
terrorism, our strategy for homeland security, and our new concept of
deterrence, the U.S. approach to combat WMD represents a fundamental
change from the past. To succeed, we must take full advantage of
today's opportunities, including the application of new technologies,
increased emphasis on intelligence collection and analysis, the
strengthening of alliance relationships, and the establishment of new
partnerships with former adversaries.

Weapons of mass destruction could enable adversaries to inflict
massive harm on the United States, our military forces at home and
abroad, and our friends and allies. Some states, including several
that have supported and continue to support terrorism, already possess
WMD and are seeking even greater capabilities, as tools of coercion
and intimidation. For them, these are not weapons of last resort, but
militarily useful weapons of choice intended to overcome our nation's
advantages in conventional forces and to deter us from responding to
aggression against our friends and allies in regions of vital
interest. In addition, terrorist groups are seeking to acquire WMD
with the stated purpose of killing large numbers of our people and
those of friends and allies -- without compunction and without

We will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes and terrorists
to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons. We must
accord the highest priority to the protection of the United States,
our forces, and our friends and allies from the existing and growing
WMD threat.


Our National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction has three
principal pillars:

Counterproliferation to Combat WMD Use

The possession and increased likelihood of use of WMD by hostile
states and terrorists are realities of the contemporary security
environment. It is therefore critical that the U. S. military and
appropriate civilian agencies be prepared to deter and defend against
the full range of possible WMD employment scenarios. We will ensure
that all needed capabilities to combat WMD are fully integrated into
the emerging defense transformation plan and into our homeland
security posture. Counterproliferation will also be fully integrated
into the basic doctrine, training, and equipping of all forces, in
order to ensure that they can sustain operations to decisively defeat
WMD-armed adversaries.

Strengthened Nonproliferation to Combat WMD Proliferation

The United States, our friends and allies, and the broader
international community must undertake every effort to prevent states
and terrorists from acquiring WMD and missiles. We must enhance
traditional measures -- diplomacy, arms control, multilateral
agreements, threat reduction assistance, and export controls -- that
seek to dissuade or impede proliferant states and terrorist networks,
as well as to slow and make more costly their access to sensitive
technologies, material, and expertise. We must ensure compliance with
relevant international agreements, including the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC),
and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The United States will
continue to work with other states to improve their capability to
prevent unauthorized transfers of WMD and missile technology,
expertise, and material. We will identify and pursue new methods of
prevention, such as national criminalization of proliferation
activities and expanded safety and security measures.

Consequence Management to Respond to WMD Use

Finally, the United States must be prepared to respond to the use of
WMD against our citizens, our military forces, and those of friends
and allies. We will develop and maintain the capability to reduce to
the extent possible the potentially horrific consequences of WMD
attacks at home and abroad.

The three pillars of the U.S. national strategy to combat WMD are
seamless elements of a comprehensive approach. Serving to integrate
the pillars are four cross-cutting enabling functions that need to be
pursued on a priority basis: intelligence collection and analysis on
WMD, delivery systems, and related technologies; research and
development to improve our ability to respond to evolving threats;
bilateral and multilateral cooperation; and targeted strategies
against hostile states and terrorists.


We know from experience that we cannot always be successful in
preventing and containing the proliferation of WMD to hostile states
and terrorists. Therefore, U.S. military and appropriate civilian
agencies must possess the full range of operational capabilities to
counter the threat and use of WMD by states and terrorists against the
United States, our military forces, and friends and allies.


Effective interdiction is a critical part of the U.S. strategy to
combat WMD and their delivery means. We must enhance the capabilities
of our military, intelligence, technical, and law enforcement
communities to prevent the movement of WMD materials, technology, and
expertise to hostile states and terrorist organizations.


Today's threats are far more diverse and less predictable than those
of the past. States hostile to the United States and to our friends
and allies have demonstrated their willingness to take high risks to
achieve their goals, and are aggressively pursuing WMD and their means
of delivery as critical tools in this effort. As a consequence, we
require new methods of deterrence. A strong declaratory policy and
effective military forces are essential elements of our contemporary
deterrent posture, along with the full range of political tools to
persuade potential adversaries not to seek or use WMD. The United
States will continue to make clear that it reserves the right to
respond with overwhelming force -- including through resort to all of
our options -- to the use of WMD against the United States, our forces
abroad, and friends and allies.

In addition to our conventional and nuclear response and defense
capabilities, our overall deterrent posture against WMD threats is
reinforced by effective intelligence, surveillance, interdiction, and
domestic law enforcement capabilities. Such combined capabilities
enhance deterrence both by devaluing an adversary's WMD and missiles,
and by posing the prospect of an overwhelming response to any use of
such weapons.

Defense and Mitigation

Because deterrence may not succeed, and because of the potentially
devastating consequences of WMD use against our forces and civilian
population, U.S. military forces and appropriate civilian agencies
must have the capability to defend against WMD-armed adversaries,
including in appropriate cases through preemptive measures. This
requires capabilities to detect and destroy an adversary's WMD assets
before these weapons are used. In addition, robust active and passive
defenses and mitigation measures must be in place to enable U.S.
military forces and appropriate civilian agencies to accomplish their
missions, and to assist friends and allies when WMD are used.

Active defenses disrupt, disable, or destroy WMD en route to their
targets. Active defenses include vigorous air defense and effective
missile defenses against today's threats. Passive defenses must be
tailored to the unique characteristics of the various forms of WMD.
The United States must also have the ability rapidly and effectively
to mitigate the effects of a WMD attack against our deployed forces.

Our approach to defend against biological threats has long been based
on our approach to chemical threats, despite the fundamental
differences between these weapons. The United States is developing a
new approach to provide us and our friends and allies with an
effective defense against biological weapons.

Finally, U.S. military forces and domestic law enforcement agencies as
appropriate must stand ready to respond against the source of any WMD
attack. The primary objective of a response is to disrupt an imminent
attack or an attack in progress, and eliminate the threat of future
attacks. As with deterrence and prevention, an effective response
requires rapid attribution and robust strike capability. We must
accelerate efforts to field new capabilities to defeat WMD-related
assets. The United States needs to be prepared to conduct
post-conflict operations to destroy or dismantle any residual WMD
capabilities of the hostile state or terrorist network. An effective
U.S. response not only will eliminate the source of a WMD attack but
will also have a powerful deterrent effect upon other adversaries that
possess or seek WMD or missiles.


Active Nonproliferation Diplomacy

The United States will actively employ diplomatic approaches in
bilateral and multilateral settings in pursuit of our nonproliferation
goals. We must dissuade supplier states from cooperating with
proliferant states and induce proliferant states to end their WMD and
missile programs. We will hold countries responsible for complying
with their commitments. In addition, we will continue to build
coalitions to support our efforts, as well as to seek their increased
support for nonproliferation and threat reduction cooperation
programs. However, should our wide-ranging nonproliferation efforts
fail, we must have available the full range of operational
capabilities necessary to defend against the possible employment of

Multilateral Regimes

Existing nonproliferation and arms control regimes play an important
role in our overall strategy. The United States will support those
regimes that are currently in force, and work to improve the
effectiveness of, and compliance with, those regimes. Consistent with
other policy priorities, we will also promote new agreements and
arrangements that serve our nonproliferation goals. Overall, we seek
to cultivate an international environment that is more conducive to
nonproliferation. Our efforts will include:


-- Strengthening of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including through
ratification of an IAEA Additional Protocol by all NPT states parties,
assurances that all states put in place full-scope IAEA safeguards
agreements, and appropriate increases in funding for the Agency;

-- Negotiating a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty that advances U.S.
security interests; and

-- Strengthening the Nuclear Suppliers Group and Zangger Committee.

  Chemical and Biological

-- Effective functioning of the Organization for the Prohibition of
Chemical Weapons;

-- Identification and promotion of constructive and realistic measures
to strengthen the BWC and thereby to help meet the biological weapons
threat; and

   -- Strengthening of the Australia Group.


-- Strengthening the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR),
including through support for universal adherence to the International
Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation.

Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Cooperation

The United States pursues a wide range of programs, including the
Nunn-Lugar program, designed to address the proliferation threat
stemming from the large quantities of Soviet-legacy WMD and
missile-related expertise and materials. Maintaining an extensive and
efficient set of nonproliferation and threat reduction assistance
programs to Russia and other former Soviet states is a high priority.
We will also continue to encourage friends and allies to increase
their contributions to these programs, particularly through the G-8
Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass
Destruction. In addition, we will work with other states to improve
the security of their WMD-related materials.

Controls on Nuclear Materials

In addition to programs with former Soviet states to reduce fissile
material and improve the security of that which remains, the United
States will continue to discourage the worldwide accumulation of
separated plutonium and to minimize the use of highly-enriched
uranium. As outlined in the National Energy Policy, the United States
will work in collaboration with international partners to develop
recycle and fuel treatment technologies that are cleaner, more
efficient, less waste-intensive, and more proliferation-resistant.

U.S. Export Controls

We must ensure that the implementation of U.S. export controls
furthers our nonproliferation and other national security goals, while
recognizing the realities that American businesses face in the
increasingly globalized marketplace.

We will work to update and strengthen export controls using existing
authorities. We also seek new legislation to improve the ability of
our export control system to give full weight to both nonproliferation
objectives and commercial interests. Our overall goal is to focus our
resources on truly sensitive exports to hostile states or those that
engage in onward proliferation, while removing unnecessary barriers in
the global marketplace.

Nonproliferation Sanctions

Sanctions can be a valuable component of our overall strategy against
WMD proliferation. At times, however, sanctions have proven inflexible
and ineffective. We will develop a comprehensive sanctions policy to
better integrate sanctions into our overall strategy and work with
Congress to consolidate and modify existing sanctions legislation.


Defending the American homeland is the most basic responsibility of
our government. As part of our defense, the United States must be
fully prepared to respond to the consequences of WMD use on our soil,
whether by hostile states or by terrorists. We must also be prepared
to respond to the effects of WMD use against our forces deployed
abroad, and to assist friends and allies.

The National Strategy for Homeland Security discusses U.S. Government
programs to deal with the consequences of the use of a chemical,
biological, radiological, or nuclear weapon in the United States. A
number of these programs offer training, planning, and assistance to
state and local governments. To maximize their effectiveness, these
efforts need to be integrated and comprehensive. Our first responders
must have the full range of protective, medical, and remediation tools
to identify, assess, and respond rapidly to a WMD event on our

The White House Office of Homeland Security will coordinate all
federal efforts to prepare for and mitigate the consequences of
terrorist attacks within the United States, including those involving
WMD. The Office of Homeland Security will also work closely with state
and local governments to ensure their planning, training, and
equipment requirements are addressed. These issues, including the
roles of the Department of Homeland Security, are addressed in detail
in the National Strategy for Homeland Security.

The National Security Council's Office of Combating Terrorism
coordinates and helps improve U. S. efforts to respond to and manage
the recovery from terrorist attacks outside the United States. In
cooperation with the Office of Combating Terrorism, the Department of
State coordinates interagency efforts to work with our friends and
allies to develop their own emergency preparedness and consequence
management capabilities.


Several critical enabling functions serve to integrate the three
pillars -- counterproliferation, nonproliferation, and consequence
management -- of the U.S. National Strategy to Combat WMD.

Improved Intelligence Collection and Analysis

A more accurate and complete understanding of the full range of WMD
threats is, and will remain, among the highest U. S. intelligence
priorities, to enable us to prevent proliferation, and to deter or
defend against those who would use those capabilities against us.
Improving our ability to obtain timely and accurate knowledge of
adversaries' offensive and defensive capabilities, plans, and
intentions is key to developing effective counter-and nonproliferation
policies and capabilities. Particular emphasis must be accorded to
improving: intelligence regarding WMD-related facilities and
activities; interaction among U.S. intelligence, law enforcement, and
military agencies; and intelligence cooperation with friends and

Research and Development

The United States has a critical need for cutting-edge technology that
can quickly and effectively detect, analyze, facilitate interdiction
of, defend against, defeat, and mitigate the consequences of WMD.
Numerous U.S. Government departments and agencies are currently
engaged in the essential research and development to support our
overall strategy against WMD proliferation.

The new Counterproliferation Technology Coordination Committee,
consisting of senior representatives from all concerned agencies, will
act to improve interagency coordination of U.S. Government
counterproliferation research and development efforts. The Committee
will assist in identifying priorities, gaps, and overlaps in existing
programs and in examining options for future investment strategies.

Strengthened International Cooperation

WMD represent a threat not just to the United States, but also to our
friends and allies and the broader international community. For this
reason, it is vital that we work closely with like-minded countries on
all elements of our comprehensive proliferation strategy.

Targeted Strategies Against Proliferants

All elements of the overall U. S. strategy to combat WMD must be
brought to bear in targeted strategies against supplier and recipient
states of WMD proliferation concern, as well as against terrorist
groups which seek to acquire WMD.

A few states are dedicated proliferators, whose leaders are determined
to develop, maintain, and improve their WMD and delivery capabilities,
which directly threaten the United States, U.S. forces overseas,
and/or our friends and allies. Because each of these regimes is
different, we will pursue country-specific strategies that best enable
us and our friends and allies to prevent, deter, and defend against
WMD and missile threats from each of them. These strategies must also
take into account the growing cooperation among proliferant states --
so-called secondary proliferation -- which challenges us to think in
new ways about specific country strategies.

One of the most difficult challenges we face is to prevent, deter, and
defend against the acquisition and use of WMD by terrorist groups. The
current and potential future linkages between terrorist groups and
state sponsors of terrorism are particularly dangerous and require
priority attention. The full range of counterproliferation,
nonproliferation, and consequence management measures must be brought
to bear against the WMD terrorist threat, just as they are against
states of greatest proliferation concern.


Our National Strategy to Combat WMD requires much of all of us -- the
Executive Branch, the Congress, state and local governments, the
American people, and our friends and allies. The requirements to
prevent, deter, defend against, and respond to today's WMD threats are
complex and challenging. But they are not daunting. We can and will
succeed in the tasks laid out in this strategy; we have no other

[The National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction can be
obtained directly from the White House on the Internet at

(end text)

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