In most of these regions, the United States and other western interests are involved.
PART A: WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION (WMD)
NBC Threat is the weapons of mass destruction capability of those nations who refuse to abide by
international rules and who have generally been hostile to the U.S. and the West. These states
acquire WMD for regional dominance, for prestige abroad and at home, to compensate for an inferior
conventional force, to deter a rival's WMD capability, or, for their own survival. The targets of regional
threats will usually be their neighbors.
When WMD is threatened or used, commanders must consider the likelihood of increased casualties,
the psychological effect on their troops, and the decreased effectiveness imposed by taking protective
1. The Nuclear Threat.
The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty did not stop the spread of nuclear weapons technology to the
Third World. South Africa declared that it has developed nuclear weapons. India, Israel, Pakistan, and
North Korea are nuclear weapons states. When UN inspections cease, Iraq's nuclear weapons
program could resume.
Third World Nuclear States now have a few low-yield weapons. This means that the threat of massive
retaliation, such as existed between the U.S. and the former Soviets, is missing. Their nuclear
employment doctrine is not so well defined in relation to conventional operations, and the criteria for
use are less clear. Their leaders may have reasoning processes which differ from those of Western
negotiators. Nuclear weapons deliverable by aircraft, missile or unconventional means, such as trucks
or ships, may not be deterrable.
2. Nuclear Weapon Effects.
The immediate effects of a nuclear detonation are blast, heat, radiation, and electromagnetic pulse
(EMP), Figure 2-1. EMP damages unshielded electronic equipment and degrades command and
control. These effects can cause significant personnel and materiel losses. Exposed soldiers become
immediate casualties out to 790 meters, and those in foxholes become immediate casualties out to 590
meters. Soldiers in tanks become casualties out to 660 meters. Secondary effects include: urban
devastation, such as bridges and roads severely damaged out to 420 meters; wood structures severely