The United States faces a highly competitive security environment characterized by diverse and dynamic weapons of mass destruction (WMD) risks across multiple domains. Moreover, the complexity of statebased chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats is increasing, compounded by advanced and emerging technologies which can provide adversary WMD programs greater speed, lethality, flexibility, accessibility, and deniability. China and Russia seek to degrade established international norms while rapidly expanding and modernizing their nuclear forces, diversifying advanced conventional systems, and developing CBRN capabilities designed to exploit U.S. and allied vulnerabilities—including within the gray zone short of direct military conflict.
While the threat posed by Russia is acute, China – through rapid strategic military expansion, pursuit of advanced technical capabilities, and an aggressive regional posture – is the pacing challenge. China will continue to use its asymmetric advantage and comparative freedom of maneuver in this operating environment to undertake activities they perceive to be difficult to attribute, low-risk, low-cost, and high-reward. Meeting these challenges requires a holistic response that includes integrated deterrence and a campaign-based approach focusing on countering China’s WMD activities.
As China continues to weaken the foundations of a stable and open international system, Iran and North Korea pursue advanced warfighting capabilities that undermine regional security and global stability in ways that pose considerable risk to U.S. strategy and priorities. Additionally, the potential for natural or accidental release of biological pathogens or chemical accidents contribute to an ever-evolving CBRN threat environment. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) provides unsurpassed counter WMD (CWMD) support to DoD, interagency and international partners, continuously adapting to evolving technical, operational, and geostrategic demands that determine current and future requirements.
Moving forward, DTRA will sustain focus on its vital support to the Joint Force and Combatant Commands while applying renewed energy toward its Defense Agency role in both traditional and new ways. Cross-agency integration, proactive posturing, and effective partnering within the framework of a campaign-based approach will enable DTRA to deliver solutions that build enduring advantages across the strategic deterrence and CWMD enterprises. The following guidance provides the strategic initiatives, core functions, and essential approaches necessary to shape Agency operations, activities, and investments.