Counterproliferation Program Review Committee
CPRC Annual Report To Congress 1997

4. Policy and Strategy Perspectives for Countering Proliferation
and NBC Terrorism

National policy objectives related to countering NBC/ M proliferation and NBC terrorism
threats are discussed in this section along with the policy and strategy perspectives of DoD, DOE, and U. S. Intelligence. Summaries of the roles and missions of interagency organizations responding to the counterproliferation challenge are also provided.

"The objective is to reduce the threat of nuclear war to the world in the future, and to reduce the threat of other weapons of mass destruction. There still is no more significant obligation I have to future generations . . ." (April 4, 1995)

William J. Clinton, President of the United States

Early in his administration, President Clinton issued guidance defining national nonproliferation policy objectives in Presidential Decision Directive- 13 (PDD- 13). This guidance has been effective in shaping a coherent and unified plan of action for DoD, DOE, and U. S. Intelligence to work together in an interorganizational effort to counter both the proliferation of NBC/ M and NBC terrorism. Figure 4.1 serves to summarize the key documents that define U. S. policy for countering NBC/ M proliferation and NBC terrorism, along with those that establish the policy and strategy objectives of the CPRC- represented organizations in furtherance of U. S. national policy.

4.1 National Perspectives

NBC weapons and their associated delivery systems, pose a major threat to the national security of the United States and that of our allies and other friendly nations. Thus, a key component of U. S. national strategy is to seek to stem the proliferation of such weapons and develop an effective capability to counter these threats when proliferation occurs. The U. S. is continuing to improve its capabilities to deter, defend against, and prevent the use of NBC weapons and protect against their effects should they be used. As an integral part of U. S. strategy to counter proliferation, the U. S. will continue to: i) maintain robust military capabilities, including nuclear forces, to deter NBC/ M use; ii) comply with existing arms control agreements; and iii) support new arms control treaties, agreements, and regimes associated with restricting NBC/ M.

Through a wide array of arms control and denuclearization treaties and initiatives, the U. S. has achieved considerable success in stemming the proliferation of NBC/ M. The Nunn- Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program, the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Biological Weapons Convention have all contributed to slowing, and in some cases, rolling back NBC/ M proliferation. The vigorous pursuit of these policies has raised the price of access to, and reduced the demand for, NBC/ M. The U. S. is attempting to devalue NBC/ M by providing regional security strategies, providing incentives for acquisition abstinence, fielding defensive capabilities to render these weapons militarily ineffective, and taking steps to ensure a credible risk of economic and military responses if proliferation occurs or if NBC weapons are used.

The U. S. also seeks to prevent additional countries from acquiring NBC/ M and will use the full range of its capabilities to detect and prevent such activities. However, should such efforts fail, U. S. military forces will be prepared to operate effectively in NBC contaminated environments. This requires improved defensive and offensive conventional military capabilities. To minimize the vulnerability of U. S. forces to NBC/ M, the U. S. is placing a high priority on improving its ability to locate, identify, and disable arsenals of NBC weapons, their delivery systems, their production and storage facilities, and other supporting infrastructure elements. The U. S. is vigorously pursuing theater and national missile defense development programs designed to be effective in protecting the U. S. homeland and its deployed forces against incoming ballistic missiles. The U. S. is also committed to improving passive defenses to protect its forces, including improved NBC agent detection and early warning systems, individual and collective protection ensembles, medical response and treatment capabilities, and decontamination capabilities. Most importantly, the U. S. will retain the capacity to respond effectively to those who might contemplate the use of NBC/ M so that the costs of such use will be seen as outweighing any perceived gains.

DoD is actively contributing to overall U. S. efforts to stem NBC/ M proliferation and maintain the credibility of U. S. security commitments to friends and allies, including those threatened by adversaries armed with NBC/ M. The U. S. national goal is to prevent proliferation, but, recognizing that such efforts have not always been successful and that some level of proliferation is likely to continue, NBC/ M will remain a military threat. DoD counterproliferation policy supports intensified U. S. efforts to prevent proliferation and ensure the operational effectiveness of U. S. forces to protect national interests and those of our allies against NBC/ M threats. It underlies the development of requisite U. S. military capabilities and requires that U. S. forces be prepared to execute offensive and defensive military operations to counter the deployment and employment of NBC weapons.

" I believe the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction presents the greatest threat that the world has ever known . . . perhaps the greatest threat that any of us will face in the coming years." (Confirmation Hearings, January 1997)

"The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the ballistic missiles that deliver them pose a major threat and must remain a major focus of U. S. defense policy and budget allocations." (February 1997)

William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense

DoD has made significant progress in adjusting to the challenges presented by the proliferation of NBC/ M. Responding to the policy objectives set by President Clinton in 1993, DoD launched its Counterproliferation Initiative. As part of this initiative, the Secretary of Defense directed the JCS, the CINCs, the Military Departments, and the Services to give greater consideration to addressing the threats posed by NBC/ M in their doctrine, planning, and training and exercise activities. While prevention of NBC/ M proliferation and roll back of existing NBC/ M programs remain the preeminent goal of U. S. policy, the principal objective of DoD's Counterproliferation Initiative is adapting U. S. military forces to operate effectively in the face of NBC/ M. The counterproliferation mission requires a broad range of military capabilities, including effective strategic and tactical intelligence; battlefield surveillance; counterforce; active defense; passive defense; and defense against paramilitary, covert delivery, and terrorist threats.

Counterproliferation requirements and capabilities are now routinely addressed in the Department's planning and programming processes, including prominent emphasis in the Defense Planning Guidance. Military planning, training, and exercises have begun to give more emphasis to NBC/ M threats. In today's world, counterproliferation considerations have ramifications for virtually every aspect of U. S. national defense. Therefore, they are being embedded in day- to- day military operations.

One of the core objectives of counterproliferation policy is to convince potential and actual proliferants that NBC weapons will be of limited value by ensuring that U. S. forces and its coalition partners have the capability to limit or deny the political and military utility of these weapons. Furthermore, U. S. forces will retain the capacity to ensure that the damage inflicted by the U. S. military response to NBC weapons use will definitively neutralize any perceived benefits. U. S. forces also maintain and are strengthening their defensive capabilities against such weapons and are prepared to operate effectively in environments marked by nuclear, biological, or chemical contamination.

"Indeed, the proliferation of WMD nuclear, chemical, and biological is one of the most troubling dangers we face." (1995)

General John Shalikashvili, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

4.3 DOE Perspectives

DOE actively contributes to national efforts to stem NBC/ M proliferation by pursuing several initiatives, focusing primarily on nuclear proliferation prevention. These include limiting weapons- usable fissile materials worldwide, strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime, controlling nuclear exports, establishing transparent and irreversible nuclear reductions worldwide, and securing nuclear materials in states of the FSU.

DOE is attempting to limit the amount of available weapons- usable fissile material by promoting alternatives to the civilian use of plutonium, eliminating the civilian use of highly enriched uranium (HEU), initiating regional fissile material control activities, and assisting in the shutdown of Russian plutonium production reactors. Full scale work on the development of advanced high density, low enriched uranium fuel for research reactor conversion is ongoing. DOE is also encouraging the conversion of additional HEU- fueled reactors to enable the utilization of low enriched uranium fuel.

Strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime is a key DOE nonproliferation initiative. DOE is working to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), facilitating IAEA inspections of excess fissile materials, preparing for implementation of the CTBT, and promoting regional nonproliferation measures. DOE is providing direct technical assistance to improve the safeguards effectiveness and efficiency of IAEA inspections in North Korea and Iraq.

DOE is assisting the international community in effectively controlling exports of nuclear materials and establishing responsible supplier policies, implementing U. S. statutory licensing requirements for nuclear or nuclear- related export controls, fostering transparency through automated information sharing and security initiatives, and enhancing export controls in FSU states. DOE is working with the FSU states, Eastern Europe, and with the United Nations (UN) Special Commission on Iraq to expand training in strategic material identification and prevention of illicit trafficking in nuclear weapon related materials and components. In hand with this initiative is DOE's effort to establish transparent and irreversible nuclear reductions worldwide. Working with the states of the FSU, DOE is exchanging and confirming data on weapons materials inventories and conducting reciprocal bilateral inspections of nuclear weapons- related materials and components. DOE is committed and determined to fully implement all transparency measures and U. S. rights at all Russian facilities engaged in activities covered under the U. S.- Russian HEU Purchase Agreement.

The joint effort by the U. S. and Russia to secure the nuclear materials of FSU states is an important initiative and high priority of U. S. nonproliferation policy. Working with Russia, states of the FSU, and the Baltic states, DOE is improving and expanding material protection, control and accounting (MPC& A) activities at every facility where weapons- usable nuclear materials are stored or transported. Assisting Russia and the FSU states in establishing strong and enduring national systems of MPC& A is a high national nonproliferation priority.

4.4 U. S. Intelligence Perspectives

U. S. Intelligence actively contributes to national efforts to stem proliferation by supporting policy makers in identifying, stopping, and rolling back NBC/ M proliferation where it has occurred. U. S. Intelligence assists in operations to slow proliferation activities and in developing countermeasures against NBC/ M threats. Most importantly, it collects information useful in stopping NBC/ M programs before they reach fruition or in rolling back existing programs. U. S. Intelligence assists DoD in adapting U. S. military forces and emergency assets to deal with these threats by: identifying capabilities, vulnerabilities, and performance characteristics of NBC/ M threats; establishing adversary use doctrine and operational strategy; and providing indications and warning of potential NBC/ M use. In supporting efforts to roll back NBC/ M proliferation, U. S. Intelligence continuously updates the status of foreign NBC/ M programs and identifies NBC/ M program incentives, disincentives, and vulnerabilities.

Key U. S. Intelligence initiatives for future improvement in capabilities to counter proliferation include:

  • Assisting in the development of innovative tools to influence rolling back existing capabilities and programs or deterring the use of NBC/ M;
  • Providing insight into the plans, intentions, and motivations of those who seek to develop, buy, sell, or use these weapons;
  • Acquiring information needed to counter the operational effectiveness of these weapons or reduce the collateral damage associated with their accidental or intentional use;
  • Providing timely and accurate assessments of worldwide efforts to develop, sell, transfer, stockpile, deploy, test, or use NBC/ M and destabilizing advanced conventional weapons; and
  • Providing information regarding compliance with nonproliferation regimes.

    4.5 Counterterrorism Response Perspectives

    The potential for terrorist use of NBC weapons is a growing concern to U. S. policy makers. It is U. S. policy to deter, defeat, and respond vigorously to terrorist attacks on U. S. territory, against U. S. citizens and their property, or against U. S. facilities, whether they occur domestically, in international waters or airspace, or on foreign territory. The U. S. regards terrorism as a potential threat to national security as well as a criminal act and will apply all appropriate means to combat it. The acquisition of NBC weapons by terrorist groups, through theft, manufacture, or other means, is unacceptable. There is no higher priority than preventing the acquisition of NBC weapons by terrorist organizations or removing such a capability once acquired. Developing effective means to detect, prevent, defeat, and manage the consequences of NBC weapons use by terrorists is also of the highest priority. Furthermore, the U. S. shall seek to identify groups or states that sponsor or support such terrorist activity, isolate them, and extract a heavy price for their actions. DoD, DOE, and U. S. Intelligence are actively engaged in supporting U. S. counterterrorism policy objectives.

    4.6 Interagency Organizations Responding to the Challenge of Countering Proliferation

    A key part of U. S. strategy to counter NBC/ M proliferation and NBC terrorist threats is the establishment of interagency organizations to address critical policy and strategy objectives. The CPRC concentrates on ensuring that interagency R& D and acquisition activities and programs of DoD, DOE, and U. S. Intelligence meet U. S. policy and strategy objectives for countering NBC/ M proliferation and NBC terrorism. Other interagency organizations address complementary aspects of national policy and strategy objectives associated with countering NBC/ M proliferation and NBC terrorist threats. Listed below are some of these interagency organizations for which DoD, DOE, and U. S. Intelligence play key roles.

    The Nonproliferation and Arms Control Technology Working Group. The President established the NPAC TWG in August 1994, pursuant to a comprehensive review of interagency arms control and nonproliferation R& D coordination. The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), DOE, and DoD were designated as co- chairs, with ACDA serving as Executive Secretary. The NPAC TWG was established to facilitate the coordination of arms control and nonproliferation R& D as well as helping to guard against redundant R& D and technology development programs within and among departments and agencies. As an integral component of the interagency process, the NPAC TWG reports to the relevant NSC policy Interagency Working Groups and, through the Committee for National Security (CNS), to the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The chartered NPAC TWG functions include: i) exchange information and coordinate arms control and nonproliferation R& D; ii) advise agencies on R& D priorities; iii) facilitate the conduct of cooperative interagency programs; iv) review R& D programs; v) identify overlaps and gaps; vi) frame interagency issues and differences for decisions by adjudicating bodies; vii) advise policy Interagency Working Groups on R& D capabilities and limitations; and viii) make recommendations, through the CNS, to the NSTC on coordination of all nonproliferation and arms control- related R& D programs in the President's budget. To ensure the comprehensiveness of its activities, the NPAC TWG's formal membership includes 27 departments, agencies, and organizations of the U. S. Government, with more than 87 organizations regularly participating in the NPAC TWG process.

    The Technical Support Working Group. The TSWG develops joint integrated counterterrorism R& D requirements across the interagency spectrum. It was established in 1986 in response to a finding by a vice- presidential task force that government- wide R& D activities were uncoordinated and unfocused. The TSWG is the technology development component of the NSC's Interagency Working Group on Counterterrorism, chaired by the Department of State as part of its responsibilities as lead department for combating international terrorism. It is primarily concerned with rapid prototype development of equipment to address critical multi- agency and future threat counter- and anti- terrorism requirements. Its multi- agency membership focuses on six areas of responsibility: conventional incident response, explosive ordnance disposal, chemical and biological incident response, intrusion detection and countermeasures, and surveillance and threat assessment. While its funds are derived principally from the DoD, the Departments of Energy and State and the FBI also contribute directly to project activities. The TSWG develops technologies for a variety of users including: DoD, DOE, U. S. Intelligence, Secret Service, U. S. Marshals Service, Federal Aviation Administration, U. S. Customs Service, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. DoD, under the direction of ASD( SO/ LIC), develops technology to meet these interagency requirements through the Counterterror Technical Support (CTTS) program. A significant portion of the TSWG/ CTTS technology development efforts are directly related to countering NBC weapon threats.

    The Community Nonproliferation Committee. This committee develops and coordinates joint integrated intelligence requirements across the interagency spectrum. The primary vehicles for coordination are biweekly video conferences involving intelligence and policy officials. The policy ramifications of changes in the threat are discussed, usually leading to a focused set of intelligence needs. In most cases, U. S. Intelligence is able to take immediate steps to address these needs.

    The MASINT BW Technology Steering Group. In February 1995, the Central Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) Office (CMO) organized a senior level MASINT BW Technology Steering Group consisting of the Director and Principal Deputy Director of the CMO; the Director of the Nonproliferation Center; ATSD( NCB) 's Deputy for Counterproliferation; ATSD( NCB) 's Deputy for Chemical and Biological Matters; the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Office of Research and Development; and the CIA's Director, Clandestine MASINT Operations Group, Office of Technical Collection. New members added in 1997 are the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Defense Science Office and DOE's Office of Nonproliferation and National Security. These organizations represent the majority of elements within the U. S. Government which fund BW defense- related R& D. The steering group is responsible for: i) identifying national BW MASINT needs and requirements within U. S. Intelligence and DoD; ii) identifying technologies and programs currently being developed and/ or applied; iii) identifying technology areas and programs outside U. S. Intelligence and DoD that could support national BW MASINT needs; and iv) identifying gaps and overlaps among programs. The group meets quarterly to review areas of common interest. In addition, the group sponsors one BW defense and one CW defense MASINT technology symposium annually. These fora, hosted by the CMO, provide an excellent opportunity to share technologies and ideas at the scientific level. Substantial cost savings have resulted from the cross-fertilization of ideas and technologies among the various technology group members.