Department of Defense addresses current, emerging threats

The U.S. Department of Defense released a new "Strategy for Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities" last week to address current and emerging threats to the U.S. through 2020.

Two priority missions are identified in the strategy for the department - providing assistance to domestic civil authorities in the event of a natural or man-made disaster and defending U.S. territory from a direct attack by state and non-state actors, reports.

The strategy also holds a core objective of maintaining defense preparedness for domestic chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear events.

The strategy also delineates guidance for identifying threats posed to the U.S. by WMD proliferation. The Department of Defense has made threat identification capability a priority since 2005 as directed by the 2010 QDR and reinforced by the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance.

Specially trained and equipped response forces are required to detect, prevent, mitigate and respond to CBRN incidents rapidly. The Department of Defense, the strategy says, must preserve its response capabilities, including the ability to detect and identify agents and to be prepared for casualty extraction and mass decontamination capabilities, according to

The strategy also calls for the Department of Defense to maximize its anti-terrorism support through the expansion of its capability to support law enforcement and homeland security agencies in six defined areas - rapid and actionable intelligence on terrorist threats, capabilities to counter IEDs, capabilities to prevent the use of WMDs by terrorists in the U.S., rapid acquisition, analysis and dissemination of threat information, programs to counter insider threats, and dual-effect military training.

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U.S. Department of Defense

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