TO: President of the United States
SUBJECT: Re-strategizing the Government’s plan in fight against WMD
Countries and terrorist groups that cannot match the power of the United States in terms of security defense often opt to use other means for challenging the country’s status. Countries such as North Korea, Syria, Japan and Iraq have chosen to use weapons of mass destruction (WMD) such as nuclear bombs to acquire international authority and to develop as much influence as the United States has over other countries. This is done with the objective of undermining the massive security defense of the U.S. Most of the countries mentioned posses a wide range of WMD which include nuclear, chemical and biological weapons which are a serious threat not only to the United States but also to the entire world population (Kassirer 183). With these types of weapons the future US’s security is under serious threat. Although fight against WMD proliferation is fundamentally a government obligation, current national security structure has led to a series of poorly coordinated strategies. As such, the security structure has not been able to utilize crucial synergies available in the fight against terror and WMD. Re-strategizing the plan for combating the spread of WMD should involve some reforms that will reinforce the government management of the WMD anti-proliferation programs (Kassirer 184). Expanding interagency non-proliferation capacities and improving the intelligence sector related to WDM control are other areas that should be strengthened in fight against WMD propagation.
Reinforce the US Government Management of the Programs against WMD Proliferation
Several government departments such as Department of Energy, Defense (DOD), and Homeland Security (DHS) individually and in coordination play a crucial role in ensuring US efforts to combat WMD menace are not in vain. However, they receive insufficient support from the central government both in terms of funds and information. For instance, Department of Energy was not aware of the decision by Libyan government to stop its nuclear program until it was first broadcasted on television (Croddy 33). Furthermore, the Department of Energy had no strategy to counteract Libya’s imminent nuclear attacks despite its principal role in conducting such activities. In addition, the projects of uncovering WMD proliferation are presently supervised by the community of end users whose needs are overlapping but seldom communicate with each other (Croddy 33).
To prevent the impending breakdowns of interagency collaboration, the central government should create a position of senior level director in Nonproliferation Policy and Program who should be in charge of all the anti-proliferation programs in United States. The director will steer a new committee known as Policy Coordinating Committee (PCC) which will formulate comprehensive anti-proliferation objectives and priorities, create an interagency strategy to accomplish such objectives and priorities, identify and allocate the responsibilities and missions to the respective agencies as well as coordinating the execution of the programs. To enhance the detection of proliferation PCC work in collaboration with NPD to develop an interagency technology with the capacity to integrate and consider the needs of end users such as top universities, private industries and laboratory systems. PCC and NPD will work together with Office of Management (OMB) and Budget to create annual interagency ant-proliferation program budget. OMB will also use performance measures to monitor the management as well as implementation of the program.
Even though both the PCC and NPD will just need little extra financing care should be taken because in the past the White House provided little effort in supporting such policies. For instance, programs such as DHS have sunk into insignificance due to little support from White House. To avoid encountering similar challenges, the PCC and NPD should have a clearly defined authority and strong backing from the government (Croddy 33). The NPD, in particular must have full control over anti-proliferation policy as well as program budget. Nonetheless, the most important thing is that PCC and NPD agencies receive constant and sufficient support from the president of United States.
Expanding Interagency Anti-Proliferation Capabilities.
The homeland Security agencies and United States army should be in a position to respond promptly to WMD proliferation emergencies. This ability is however limited in the present day operations of the DHS. To develop this ability, the U.S government must form and train a special team to participate in mitigation of risk of proliferation. In other words, the team should be equivalent to DHS and comprise of specialists from different departments such as DOE technical experts, DOD and CIA operatives. Together these operatives will have the capability to secure a nuclear plant and any other dangerous infrastructure during war operations or in case the central governments in the countries possessing nuclear weapons collapse as such an occurrence could give the terrorists an opportunity to steal the nuclear assets. Expansion may also involve offering a “Global cleanout” program in Department of Energy operational and logistical support. The program would be devoted to returning stockpiles of weapons rich in uranium to the US and Russia. Hence this combination of specialists would be of great importance in this operation. Finally, they will participate in comprehensive red-teaming simulations designed to substitute batter situation preparedness and awareness. The interaction between different agencies is bound to bring about greater strength in the prevention of WMD proliferation.
Nevertheless, the risk mitigation team may encounter some challenges. For instance, Congress may refuse to put the teams under the control of CIA as a result of past misuse of this agency. Besides, Department of Defense may also refuse to donate SOF experts to the teams if they receive orders from different agency. Depending on the type of the task to be assigned to the teams, command from DOD would hence seem the most suitable. About $500 million would be used per year to train and fully equip the teams. To raise this amount, government should eradicate less significant programs such as Airborne Laser, a program from Missile defense Agency which has experienced serious cost overruns.
Improving the Intelligence Sector Related to WDM Control
The efficacy of efforts to prevent proliferation of WMD ultimately depends on the WMD intelligence quality. Unluckily, the United States intelligence agency’s record on detecting the WMD proliferation at state and sub-state levels are still wanting. For example, the intelligence unit failed to foresee the nuclear test conducted in India in 1998, produced a faulty evaluation of threat posed by Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and only discovered about a nuclear black market in Pakistan orchestrated by scientist A.Q. khan when it was too late (Hummel 20). Further, the intelligence still cannot deliver reliable information about the nuclear programs in countries such as Iran and North Korea.
In conclusion, the government has to take drastic measures in enhancing the protection of natural resources against WMD proliferation. To improve the collection and analysis of information by WMD intelligence, US government must establish a new agency, National Counter Proliferation Center (NCPC). This agency would directly report to the new National Intelligence director and formulate laws to govern the collection of the information regarding WMD. The agency would also have an analytical unit in charge of providing intelligence analyses of high qualities to clients across the government of the US including the new specialists in under NPD.
Croddy, Eric A., and J. J. Wirtz. “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Phron. org (http://phron. org/Reference/Encyclopedias/Encyclopedia% 20of% 20Weapons% 20of% 20Mass% 20Destructio n. pdf) 33 (2005).
Hummel, Stephen. “The Islamic State and WMD: assessing the future threat.” CTC Sentinel 9 (2016): 18-21.
Kassirer, Jerome P. “Weapons of mass destruction.” JAMA Internal Medicine 173.3 (2013): 182-183.