THREAT AND NBC DEFENSE POLICY
1. Purpose. This chapter provides a discussion of the potential threat and threat doctrine that should be considered for the planning and conduct of joint nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) defense operations. This chapter also recaps the US national policy guidance and objectives for NBC defense that form the basis for NBC doctrinal precepts.
2. Overview. The threat of the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) occurs across the full range of military operations. NBC-capable nations, including developing nations, may use these weapons to achieve political or military objectives. WMD may be used in isolation or as an adjunct to conventional combat power. If used, they pose the problem to US forces of creating an asymmetrical battlefield.
3. Worldwide Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The number of nations capable of developing and possessing WMD is steadily increasing. Developing nations are receiving these weapons or means to develop them through technological transfer, overt or covert direct transfer, or support to belligerent groups or governments. The potential for their use can range from blackmail or acts of terrorism during peace to escalation during conflict or war.
b. Planning Considerations. The implications of proliferation of WMD on planning are significant. The proliferation of chemical and biological warfare (CBW) programs has been stimulated by perceptions of the political-military utility of CBW weapons. Chemical warfare (CW) and biological warfare (BW) are perceived as excellent force multipliers. Both are perceived as deterrents to regional aggression. It is projected that there will be an increase in the number of CBW capable countries, albeit at a slower rate than over the past 20 years, as well as an increase in the number and effectiveness of agents and improved delivery systems available.
a. Nuclear: Premise of First Use
(2) The operational and tactical use of nuclear weapons would be directed against friendly strong points, air and naval power, and critical centers of gravity. Subsequently, enemy doctrine envisions that large-scale conventional armored and mechanized forces in "nuclear dispersed" formations would strike deep into friendly defenses and pass through nuclear- created gaps to destroy friendly command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) facilities and other critical targets. Once within the friendly operational area, the threat objective would be to split, isolate, and destroy friendly forces.
(2) Certain factors may significantly increase the probability of use. Should a potential threat consider that initiating BW was worth the risk, the employment of biological agents may provide a way of causing asymmetry on the battlefield. Further, genetic engineering can selectively improve toxicity, lifespans, or dissemination efficiencies; defeat detection and warning systems; or make verification of use virtually impossible.
(2) Primary uses of chemical warfare are to achieve surprise and cause mass casualties, particularly against an unprepared adversary. Chemical weapons can be used to hinder the momentum of an opposing force, disrupting C4I, and degrading combat potential, to include the use of CW agents to restrict the use of terrain, facilities, and equipment.
6. National Military Strategic NBC Considerations. The national military strategy for NBC operations is based on defense and deterrence. Accordingly, this strategy demands an effective orchestration of US strategic and nonstrategic nuclear forces and conventional resources in providing direction, intelligence, and employment of US forces in countering enemy NBC war making capabilities. This strategy supplements the combatant commander's theater strategy in attaining campaign objectives.
b. Strategic Intelligence. Strategic intelligence on the NBC threat is required to enhance or modify policy and military planning at the national, international, and theater levels. This includes planning and coordinating strategic intelligence activities for assessing NBC threats; assessing enemy NBC capabilities and vulnerabilities; proliferation, intentions, and indications; and warning measures.
c. Employment of Military Forces. At the national military strategic level, the employment of military forces primarily connotes the forces' ability to conduct both strategic operations and protection of the strategic forces and delivery means against NBC attack. Strategic operations (firepower and forces) will be utilized against one or more of a selected series of enemy targets with the purpose of progressive destruction and disintegration of their strategic NBC force, national command and control (C2) facilities, strategic centers of gravity, NBC war making capacity, and the will to conduct NBC war. Protection for friendly strategic forces and means involves safeguarding US strategic centers of gravity and our strategic force potential. Measures include active security and defense, operations security (OPSEC) considerations, and the conduct of deception operations.
d. Other Strategic NBC Considerations
(2) Dissemination of Information. NBC defense, RCA, and herbicide operations are of significant national, international, and public interest.
(b) Planning should consider multilevel target groups. These range from the political level of both involved and noninvolved nations, to the affected civil populace, and to US forces engaged in the theater.
(c) Combatant commanders should ensure that an integrated effort is undertaken in the information gathering and dissemination process to provide an accurate and complete depiction of the NBC warfare situation. Such effort would include intelligence, public affairs, legal, medical, civil affairs, and psychological operations resources.
(d) Annex F to the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP) prescribes procedures for the release of all NBC defense, RCA, and herbicide information to the public. This policy does not apply to requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act. Release of information may be subject to OPSEC considerations and specified conditions as stipulated by the NCA.
b. Request authority to use nuclear weapons, RCAs, and herbicides as appropriate.
c. Route requests and authentication procedures for the use of nuclear weapons, RCAs, and herbicides as described in the JSCP.