biological attack would introduce also need to be considered. An outcome of such naval force–specific analyses might be an easing of the technical or operational requirements for naval passive–defense gear. Relaxing the current policy from full protection in all situations to lower levels of protection in defined situations could prove invaluable in avoiding the degradation of individual and unit performance.

Capabilities-based Planning

The three points discussed above for framing the solution, coupled with the inherent limitations on intelligence related to CW and BW threats, are consistent with a central theme of the 2001 QDR—a shift of emphasis to capabilities-based planning. This shift

…reflects the fact that the United States cannot predict with confidence what nation, combination of nations, or non-state actor will pose future threats to vital U.S. interests. A capabilities-based model broadens the strategic perspective. It requires identifying capabilities that U.S. military forces will need to deter and defeat adversaries who will rely on surprise, deception, and asymmetric warfare to achieve their objectives. It focuses more on how an adversary might fight than on who the adversary might be and where a war might occur. The shift is intended to refocus planners on the growing range of capabilities that adversaries might possess or could develop.24

Although addressing military capabilities in general, these statements regarding capabilities-based planning are particularly relevant to the approach and solutions for chemical and biological weapons defense—and should provide the basis for the path forward for the Navy.


Rumsfeld, Donald H., Secretary of Defense. 2001. Quadrennial Defense Review Report, Washington, D.C., September 30. Available online at <>.

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