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Category: Occasional Papers

Feb. 1, 2021

The Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Update

In an update to their 2014 paper on the future of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), John P. Caves, Jr., and W. Seth Carus assess and offer policy considerations on the significant geopolitical and technological developments shaping the future of WMD since 2014.

Aug. 7, 2017

A Short History of Biological Warfare: From Pre-History to the 21st Century

This short monograph reviews the history of biological warfare (BW) from prehistory to the present. It covers what we know about the practice of BW and briefly describes the programs that developed BW weapons based on the best available research.

July 18, 2016

The Soviet Biological Weapons Program and Its Legacy in Today’s Russia

In its first Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Case Study, the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (CSWMD) at the National Defense University examined President Richard M. Nixon’s decision, on November 25, 1969, to terminate the U.S. offensive biological weapons program.1  This occasional paper seeks to explain why the Soviet

June 1, 2014

The Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Their Nature and Role in 2030

The longstanding efforts of the international community writ large to exclude weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from international competition and conflict could be undermined in 2030. The proliferation of these weapons is likely to be harder to prevent and thus potentially more prevalent. Nuclear weapons are likely to play a more significant role

June 1, 2012

Proliferation Security Initiative: Origins and Evolution

Failure as a Policy Catalyst On December 9, 2002, the United States and Spanish navies cooperated to interdict a North Korean vessel, the So San, in the Arabian Sea.1 The operation initially appeared to be an unqualified success, a textbook example of interdiction to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), related materials, or

Jan. 1, 2012

Defining "Weapons of Mass Destruction" (Revised)

This revised Occasional Paper explores the issue of defining weapons of mass destruction with a focus on summarizing how the term has been used in disarmament negotiations, U.S. national security policy, Soviet and Russian military doctrine, and American political discourse. The paper identifies alternative definitions for WMD, addresses some of the key policy issues associated with different definitions, and proposes a definition appropriate for the Department of Defense.

Oct. 1, 2009

Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

This Occasional Paper traces the general evolution of the countering WMD enterprise in the Clinton and Bush administrations and anticipates some of the major WMD challenges that lie ahead.

May 1, 2008

International Partnerships to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction

This Occasional Paper examines the role, manifestations, and challenges of international cooperation to combat the weapons of mass destruction threat and poses important questions for future leaders to address in moving international cooperation forward in this area.

April 1, 2007

The Future Nuclear Landscape

This Occasional Paper examines aspects of the contemporary and emerging international security environment that the authors believe will define the future nuclear landscape and identifies some associated priorities for policymakers.

July 1, 2005

Can al Qaeda Be Deterred from Using Nuclear Weapons?

This occasional paper pursues four different but complementary approaches to dissect the issue of whether acquisition of NBC/R weapons will mean employment for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.