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.

4. Threat Employment Concepts. The political and military nature of the threat has changed with the end of the Cold War. Many of the former Soviet-influenced doctrinal precepts learned by potential enemies possessing NBC capabilities still remain.

a. Nuclear: Premise of First Use

b. Biological: Premise of Selective or Unpredictable Use

c. Chemical: Premise of Conventional Weapons

5. Asymmetrical Battlefield. Because of the proliferation of WMD, future campaigns may be fought on an asymmetric battlefield. Where the threat of enemy NBC attack exists, the constraint on the US retaliatory capability may increase the likelihood that an enemy NBC attack will take place. The enemy who can choose from various options and controls the timing enjoys strategic, operational, or tactical advantage in executing the war plan and achieving the desired end state. Joint force NBC defense readiness to fight a campaign in an NBC environment must not only be maintained to ensure force survival if attacked, but to serve as a major deterrence to any enemy perceiving an advantage by initiating NBC use.

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.

7. Command and Control. Combatant commanders, subordinate JFCs, and Services will implement CJCS procedures outlined in EAP, Volume V, to accomplish the following:

8. Basis for US National NBC Policy. Treaties, international agreements, laws, and statements provide a historical perspective and basis for the formulation of current US policy to curtail the proliferation of, and deter or ban the use of, NBC weapons. These are addressed in Annex A to Appendix A Treaty Obligations History.

07-09-1996; 16:35:54