technology program in the context of the threat and of the program’s stated mission and priorities. This report contains the committee’s findings and recommendations. It is intended to assist the DASD(CBD) in determining the best strategy for acquiring, developing, and/or maintaining the needed capabilities.

Because science and technology development is a long process, the products and materials from the CBDP must not only respond to the needs of the Services today, but also anticipate those of the future. Since the United States cancelled its offensive program for biological weapons in 1969 and for chemical weapons a decade later,2 DoD must rely on analysis and simulations to understand how these agents might be used. Offensive programs are being conducted by adversaries where understanding of their intentions and capabilities is uncertain; at least some of the technology developed by nation states has escaped, and capability in all parts of the world in civilian uses of biotechnology and medicinal chemistry is rising rapidly. Because of uncertainty about how much protection current materiel and procedures will provide, there is potential for a gap between needs and deployable capabilities. For example,

  • Do we need new, more effective vaccines?
  • Does the current protective gear adequately protect, and against what agents?
  • Would warfighters be able to “fight through” operations that use conventional agents (for example, persistent nerve agents) deployed in conventional ways? In innovative ways (for example, on suicide bombers)? With unconventional agents?
  • How much would operational tempo be slowed by attacks on logistics and supply chains using chemical or biological weapons, and what would be the influence of successful attacks on operational tempo?

Many of the questions related to the capabilities that warfighters and combatant commands have at their disposal could be answered, but the current technical and organizational structure is not designed to answer them. Instead, the process for prioritizing research efforts and allocating resources is based on a requirements-driven process that promotes a focus on the development of technical solutions without adequately considering the range of contexts in which they may be used. This focus carries over into the approaches taken in evaluating the efficacy of the products. Although a device or material meets its threshold and objective bench-


2 In 1969, the United States renounced first use of chemical weapons, and in 1991 renounced retaliatory use as well; the United States ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993.

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