Counterproliferation

Co-Chairs of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism U.S. meeting.

We cannot always be successful in preventing and containing the proliferation of WMD. Therefore, the United States 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. Counterproliferation includes:

Interdiction: 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.

Deterrence: A strong declaratory policy, political tools, and effective military forces, reinforced by effective intelligence, surveillance, interdiction, and domestic law enforcement capabilities, are essential elements of our contemporary deterrent posture. The United States reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force to the use of WMD against the United States, our forces abroad, and friends and allies.

Defense and Mitigation: U.S. military forces and appropriate civilian agencies must have the capability to defend against WMD-armed adversaries. 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. 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.