Director's Message

The threat posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD) remains an inescapable national security challenge. The 2018 National Defense Strategy highlights the “reemergence of long-term, strategic competition,” and includes as a Defense objective, “Dissuading, preventing, or deterring state adversaries and non-state actors from acquiring, proliferating, or using weapons of mass destruction.” Other national strategies and guidance reinforce this priority. Several scenarios against which the Joint Force plans involve an adversary armed with or seeking nuclear, biological, and/or chemical weapons. Competitors are improving their strategic and conventional military capabilities, and along with other potential adversaries, are pursuing and employing unconventional and asymmetric means to threaten U.S. interests and challenge America’s strengths. The potentially disruptive, devastating, and high-consequence effects of these weapons creates the urgent and enduring obligation to prevent WMD use against the United States and its interests, Allies and partners. A vibrant community of education and scholarship is essential to understand the role of these weapons in the emerging security environment and the tools available to counter them.

The Center for the Study of WMD (CSWMD) is the nation’s premier institution for education, research and policy support regarding the national security challenges presented by these weapons. Our experts have a wealth of relevant policy, operational, and technical expertise gained at the highest levels of government, to include the White House; the Departments of Defense, State, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security; the Intelligence Community; and with Allies.  We also have worked in related industry, academic, and national and international non-governmental organizations that contribute to understanding and responding to these challenges. The Center serves as a vital hub in the “whole of government” network dedicated to reducing and eventually eliminating the dangers posed by the existence of WMD.

I welcome you to our web portal. I invite you to browse our publications, sign up to our mailing list, attend our events, and confer with our experts.  Finally, I look forward to your comments on how we can improve our site and the content that we provide to you.

Brendan G. Melley
Director, Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction
Institute for National Strategic Studies
National Defense University