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


| 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



Featuring Dallas Boyd, Regina Galer, and Michael Kaiser | April 7, 2021

Spotlight Webinar: Nuclear Terrorism

On 29 April, CSWMD hosted a virtual Spotlight featuring Dallas Boyd (National Nuclear Security Agency Office of Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation), Regina Galer (National Defense University), and Michael Kaiser (Department of Homeland Security Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office).



Featuring Dr. Julie Bentz | March 3, 2021

Spotlight Webinar: COVID-19 Insights for Nuclear and Radiological Preparedness

On 18 March, the NDU Center for the Study of WMD hosted a virtual Spotlight featuring Dr. Julie Bentz.



Featuring WMD Center Staff | Feb. 3, 2021

Special Edition Spotlight Webinar: CSWMD Perspectives for the New Administration

On February 24, the NDU Center for the Study of WMD presented a Special Edition Spotlight event showcasing new and relevant policy research by its staff. This two-hour online session featured two panels: “Present and Pressing WMD Challenges” and “Strategic Deterrence and Regional Security”.