DoD releases strategy to counter WMDs

The DoD released its strategy for countering WMDs on Monday, which will direct the efforts of the department to prevent hostile actors from acquiring WMDs, reduce WMD threats and effectively respond to WMD crises.

The DoD said the evolution of WMD tactics, materials and technologies calls for flexible and innovative solutions from the full range of the department's tools and capabilities. The strategy employs cooperative efforts to prevent threats before they fully emerge.

"The pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and potential use by actors of concern pose a threat to U.S. national security and peace and stability around the world," U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said.

The strategy seeks to ensure that the U.S., its allies and its partners are neither attacked nor coerced by hostile entities with WMDs.

"This strategy provides foundational guidance for enacting the department's countering WMD policies, plans, and programs and advances a comprehensive response to existing and developing WMD threats," Hagel said. "(As we have seen in Syria), instability in states pursuing or possessing WMD or related capabilities could lead to dangerous WMD crises."

According to the strategy, the DoD must improve collaboration and cooperation to reduce and eliminate DoD threats. It also emphasizes the need to cooperate with other U.S. departments and agencies, as well as international bodies and partners, to achieve the goal of countering WMDs.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, endorsed the DoD's strategy.

"Our capability to defeat aggression will not be undermined by the threatened or actual use of WMD," Dempsey said.