The 2023 Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) has been released by the US Department of Defense (DoD) in an unclassified version.
This strategy aims to address the current and emerging challenges and threats posed by weapons of mass destruction and provide specific methods to tackle them. The Department will take a holistic approach to account for these threats and work closely with allies and partners to prevent, mitigate, withstand, operate through, and recover from any WMD attacks.
“This Strategy lays the foundation for the Department to confront the complex and demanding challenges presented by WMD,” wrote Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in the Secretary’s Foreword.
The CWMD Strategy recognizes China as the pacing challenge, Russia as the acute threat, and DPRK, Iran, and violent extremist organizations as persistent threats, in line with the 2022 National Defense Strategy.
The strategy outlines a strategic approach that requires tailored investments and actions to address each challenge, recognizing that different actors and threat modalities pose distinct challenges.
“This Strategy reinforces other guidance provided in the Nuclear Posture Review, the Missile Defense Review, and the Biodefense Posture Review by clarifying the role of the CWMD mission within the Department’s overall approach to integrated deterrence and conflict,” said Secretary Lloyd Austin, “I am confident that the Department possesses the ingenuity and determination necessary to outpace current and future threats.”
The CWMD Strategy also explains how the Department will align authorities, operations, activities, and investments based on the unique current and emerging CWMD needs of the DoD. The 2023 CWMD Strategy is the third iteration and replaces the 2014 Strategy for CWMD.