Security (S&B/CBRNE) Magazine

SUM 2016

Security & Border Protection and CST & CBRNE Source Book, published jointly, concentrate on WMD response, NGB training, counterterrorism, and border security

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Page 28 of 35 S&BP and CST & CBRNE l Summer 2016 | 27 WMD Threat Reduction and Destruction previously by allowing multiple ambulatory or stretcher patients to be airlifted to safety all while keeping the aircrew and medical caregivers aboard the airplane safe from infection during transport. For Ebola response, we had been working the problem for several years so that we'd be prepared to protect the warfighter and the nation if Ebola was used as a biological threat. That preparation allowed us to provide critical humanitarian assistance for the Ebola outbreak. Perpetual Readiness Our phone is ringing more often and with greater consequence. This trend is likely to only increase in the coming years. Quite frankly, the countering of WMD threats mission has gotten harder. During the Cold War, most of our focus was on nation states. We were worried about huge stockpiles of nuclear weapons. While we remain concerned about the acquisition of nuclear weapons by State actors, an emerging concern is terrorist or violent extremist group acquisition of WMD materials that could be stolen, modified, or enhanced for use as a weapon. One factor is that the internet has opened the world's eyes with access to knowledge and changed the way in which people obtain information. As a result, open source expertise and journals now allow people anywhere to learn about and acquire dangerous materials from the comfort of their own homes and hidden behind powerful encryption. Terrorists no longer have to develop their own weapons through trial and error, they can now find simple and effective "recipes" with a few web searches or in chat rooms. Once developed, these weapons of mass destruction are difficult to detect and stop while in transit, leaving a limited window of opportunity to counter them. It is hard to get ahead of this type of threat. A second factor is that terrorist activity is on the rise. There are more of them and an ever expanding web of locations. Social media is allowing terrorists to spread their expertise more rapidly, and across various nationalities and ideologies. In addition, terrorist groups are no longer required to fund, train, and equip fighters; instead, they can merely inspire lonely but motivated individuals who will attack and declare their allegiance just prior to, or after an attack. And, of biggest concern, the terrorists that we are facing today have clearly demonstrated that they will use any weapons or materials at their disposal and for them, no targets are off-limits. Decontamination procedure as part of a recent Nuclear Weapons Accident/Incident Exercise (DTRA)

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