On the Verge – Criteria for Weapons of Mass Effect (011)

In this episode, Dr. Natasha Bajema, Director of the Converging Risks Lab, hosts a follow-on discussion with Colonel (ret) Ron Fizer and the Honorable Andy Weber about the criteria for determining what belongs to the category of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or weapons of mass effects.

Ron Fizer is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and fellow at LMI. He served in the force for 30 years in various command, staff and leadership positions across the Army, Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Andy Weber is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Strategic Risks. He is the former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense programs and has spent decades working to reduce the risk of WMD.

For further reading, please check out a three-part briefer written by Dr. Bajema exploring whether we should move beyond the WMD paradigm:

BRIEFER: Beyond Weapons of Mass Destruction: Time for a New Paradigm?

BRIEFER – Definitions Matter: The Role of WMD in Shaping U.S. National Security Strategy

BRIEFER: Weapons of Mass Agility: A New Threat Framework for Mass Effects in the 21st Century

1 comment

  1. Great job by the entire team..

    I have to say two comments:

    General comment: We still do not have people at key leadership positions in DOD, thinking about this problem set. Ignoring the budget is the key indicator.

    1. Andy, Thanks for bringing the funding piece in. Without funding you solve very little with the budget DOD has. You can reprioritize the funding you do have, but when you look at the 30 to 40 billion to solve the medical piece of COVID and another 5 to 10 billion on protective equipment for COVID, 1.3B per year for everything the CBDP program does not make the cut. Solving the solution for these threats faster is where we need to be. Not waiting a career for each one to come about.
    2. Second, I agree with all your comments on list, but without some method for attacking these type threats, it is just chaos. We need to learn how to take the threat off the table and then the next one off the table. This is a way to ensure that a particular threat will not be used, because we made it almost harmless to our joint warfighters and allies.

    We have to prove that deterence is part of our strategies.

    Great narrating, and the answers were great to hear. Thanks to the three of you for doing this, and those behind the scenes.

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