The nexus of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and terrorism is the nightmare scenario of every intelligence and homeland security professional.
Introduction: CBRNE and HSINT
The nexus of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and terrorism is the nightmare scenario of every intelligence and homeland security professional. The use of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or highly explosive weapon against domestic targets within the homeland would be catastrophic and potentially destabilizing. Even the limited use of a WMD against civilian targets could cause widespread panic among our highly digitally connected citizenry. Therefore, this serves as a significant driver of homeland defense and homeland security planning, preparedness and intelligence support.
The CBRN Enterprise and Counter-WMD Intelligence
The CBRN enterprise is a recent term used to describe the response capabilities of the United States during a WMD event. There are many agencies with a role to play, and the military with USNORTHCOM specifically stood up Joint Task Force – Civil Support (JTF-CS) with CBRNE in mind. The mission of JTF-CS is: “JTF-CS anticipates, plans, and prepares for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense Support of Civil Authority (CBRN-DSCA) response operations. When directed, JTF-CS deploys within twenty-four hours of notification to command and control DOD forces and conducts CBRN response operations in support of civil authority response operations in order to save lives, prevent further injury, and provide temporary critical support to enable community recovery” (JTF-CS Factsheet).
There are many other federal agencies that have a role to play in response to a CBRN event. The FBI has the Hazardous Materials Response Unit; the Department of Energy has the Radiological Assessment Program; the Department of Health and Human Services has the Metropolitan Medical Response System, and the CDC has the Strategic National Stockpile (among other capabilities). These are just a very few of the many, many government agencies that would respond to a CBRN event and do not include the local and state responders who would be first on the scene. While the threat is real, the U.S. is not completely unprepared. However, the role of the intelligence community to collect on all threats to the nation and provide warning and intelligence assessments to head off threats before they manifest themselves here in the homeland. This is a challenging task, especially as some CNRNE threats can be manufactured here at home and not just smuggled in from abroad. Terrorist groups such as the so-called Islamic State have used WMDs against their enemies in the Middle East and would have no moral limitations in using them against our innocent civilians at home if given the opportunity.
Requirements: .doc file
Choose a topic of your choice that relates to the materials covered during the fourth and fifth weeks of the course and write a short research paper on it. If you would like to write a paper on a topic covered in the sixth week, you must contact me at least five days prior to the due date to gain my permission. This is your opportunity to explore in-depth a topic that you have a greater interest in than what we covered during the course.
- Your paper must be at a minimum of 5-7 pages (the Title and Reference pages do not count towards the minimum limit).
- Scholarly and credible references should be used. A good rule of thumb is at least 2 scholarly sources per page of content.
- Type in Times New Roman, 12 point and double space.
- Students will follow the current APA Style as the sole citation and reference style used in written work submitted as part of coursework.
- Points will be deducted for the use of Wikipedia or encyclopedic type sources. It is highly advised to utilize books, peer-reviewed journals, articles, archived documents, etc.
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