Barry McCaffrey, a retired four-star general, warned the Joint Staff Senior Leaders at Fort Leonard Wood that "if you can make good beer, you can make low stability, poorly weaponized nerve agent or mustard agent."
"The US will be attacked by a non-state actor employing radiological devices or biological agents in the coming decade," McCaffrey said.
McCaffrey's comments come on the heels of President Obama's recent nuclear security summit and detailed the breadth of weapons of mass destruction available. McCaffrey also offered a strategy to combat what he referred to as "Weapons of Mass Pandemonium."
Now an adjunct professor of international affairs at West Point and an expert in the media on national security issues, McCaffrey warned that potential attacks could range from "nukes at one extreme and WW1 vintage mustard at the other extreme."
He noted that there is enough civil plutonium - 250 tons - globally to create tens of thousands of nuclear weapons.
Approximately nine countries possess the 22,300 nuclear weapons currently listed by the world Nuclear Inventory.
To maintain "credible United States WMD deterrence," McCaffrey said, the U.S. must have "verifiable treaties with strong international support, monitoring and reporting" as well as "strong international law enforcement and intelligence cooperation."
McCaffrey also called for "a robust, modernized US strategic and tactical nuclear strike capability accompanied by the political will to employ a retaliatory response" and reinforcement for the U.S. National Guard's capability to respond to WMD attacks.