Today, the Department of Defense released the unclassified version of its 2023 Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD). 

The 2023 DOD CWMD Strategy seeks to account for current and emerging WMD challenges and threats, and provide tailored methods to address them. The Department will account for WMD threats holistically to prevent, mitigate, withstand, operate through, and recover from WMD attacks in close consultation with Allies and partners.

“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.  

In line with the 2022 National Defense Strategy, the CWMD Strategy recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the pacing challenge, Russia as the acute threat, and the DPRK, Iran, and violent extremist organizations as persistent threats.

Recognizing that different actors and threat modalities pose distinct challenges, the CWMD Strategy outlines a strategic approach that requires tailored investments and actions to address each challenge. The CWMD Strategy explains how the Department will align authorities, operations, activities, and investments based on the DoD’s unique current and emerging CWMD needs.

“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 2023 CWMD Strategy is the third iteration for the Department, and replaces the 2014 Strategy for CWMD. 

The unclassified 2023 Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction can be found here.

The Fact Sheet for the 2023 Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction can be found here.