ness. In the mid-term, technical enhancements can contribute significantly to a reduction in operational vulnerabilities. In the long term, naval forces should find themselves well prepared to cope with adversaries willing and able to exploit CW or BW in campaigns of asymmetric warfare aimed at gaining operational and strategic leverage.
In the short term and mid-term, the Navy and Marine Corps can make good progress but need to accelerate the improvement of their capability to successfully sustain operations—across the full spectrum of missions—in the face of robust adversary use of chemical or biological weapons. The current “business as usual” approach will not suffice.
There is critical need for increasing the priority that Navy and Marine Corps leadership assigns to protecting naval forces against CW and BW threats. The lessons from the post-Gulf War era, during which the Navy’s attention to CW and BW defense fell off dramatically, suggest a serious leadership challenge for the long term—namely, sustaining institutional commitment to improving the operational posture of naval forces with regard to defending against chemical and biological weapons as the threat evolves to ever more capable levels. Guided by sound risk management practices, naval forces can go far toward reducing the dangers—and therefore, the threat—of any chemical or biological attack.