The Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (CSWMD) is a recognized leader in formal and informal WMD education and is designated by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the focal point for WMD education in Joint Professional Military Education (JPME).  

CJCSI 1801.01E, 20 December 2019


Our Approach

CSWMD helps build and sustain a DoD community committed to improving WMD education. CSWMD experts bring to the education mission a broad and deep expertise obtained through decades of Federal, academic and private sector experience that allows them to deliver to students and future leaders topical and incisive instruction on WMD strategy, policy, operations and technology. 

The May 2020 Joint Chiefs of Staff PME Vision highlights the need to develop “strategically minded joint warfighters who think critically and can creatively apply military power to inform national strategy, conduct globally integrated operations, and fight under conditions of disruptive change.”  Programs of instruction designed to achieve this goal must take account of the ways in which WMD inform strategy and shape the character of competition and war.  It is for this reason that the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) declares as one of its objectives "Dissuading, preventing, or deterring state adversaries and non-state actors from acquiring, proliferating, or using weapons of mass destruction."

To advance these leadership objectives CSWMD works with DoD education institutions and programs to ensure that future leaders, staff officers and strategists: 

  • Develop basic and applied knowledge of WMD threats and responses to enable critical thinking and informed decisionmaking on strategy, policy and operations;  

  • Understand the strategic and operational impact of WMD in Great Power Competition, as well as at all levels of conflict, from regional to global; 

  • Apply deterrence and countering WMD strategies, concepts and capabilities in order to achieve military objectives and to provide the best risk-informed advice to senior leaders.

Recent Events & Publications


| Aug. 3, 2021

Spotlight Webinar: Red Teaming the Post-COVID-19 Biological Weapon Threat Landscape

Featuring Gary Ackerman and Ted Plasse

Join us on August 26 for a CSWMD Spotlight Webinar on “Red Teaming the Post-COVID-19 Biological Weapons Threat Landscape” with Gary Ackerman and Ted Plasse.



| July 22, 2021

Spotlight Webinar: Negotiating Next Steps on Arms Control with Putin’s Russia

Featuring Michael Albertson, Deputy Director, Center for Global Security Research (CGSR)

On 29 July, CSWMD hosted a Spotlight Webinar discussion on Negotiating Next Steps on Arms Control with Putin’s Russia with Deputy Director, Center for Global Security Research (CGSR), Michael Albertson.


SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich.-- Tech Sgt. William Kaufmann, from the 127th Civil Engineer Squadron's Emergency Management office, conducts training in chemical, biological, radiological, & nuclear safeguarding measures, here on June 9, 2021.

This hands-on training allows members to maintain readiness by learning ways to safely operate in contaminated environments. The ability to conduct war-fighting operations in threatening conditions gives Airmen a competitive edge in the fight. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Drew Schumann)

Real Clear Defense | June 28, 2021

Toward Nuclear and WMD Fluency in Professional Military Education

Amy J. Nelson & Paul I. Berstein

As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s designated focal point for WMD education in Joint Professional Military Education, CSWMD convened its first WMD Educators Forum in April 2021 to provide a venue for dialogue and serve as an accelerator for teaching methods and learning outcomes for WMD across the DoD.  This article is one of the first products of this effort.  I encourage you to read what Mr. Paul Bernstein and Dr. Amy Nelson have written on the Chairman’s latest PME guidance and the implications for developing curricula.  The article draws on recent experience in creating benchmarks for education on nuclear capabilities and concepts, and suggests how this can be done for other critical aspects of the WMD challenge.



| May 6, 2021

Spotlight Webinar: The Future of WMD

Featuring John P. Caves, Jr. and W. Seth Carus

Join us on May 20 for a CSWMD Spotlight Webinar discussion on the future of WMD with John Caves and Seth Carus.



Joint Force Development | April 7, 2021

Nuclear Posture Review Implementing Guidance Task 20 (Professional Military Education)

Joint Staff J-7

Task #20 of the implementing guidance for the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) directs the Chairman