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Pentagon Poised to Revamp Counter-WMD Strategy

By Diane Barnes

Global Security Newswire

Response personnel help a mock victim during a 2012 biological preparedness drill in New York. The U.S. Defense Department has nearly completed a new military strategy for combating unconventional threats, Pentagon officials said on Tuesday. Response personnel help a mock victim during a 2012 biological preparedness drill in New York. The U.S. Defense Department has nearly completed a new military strategy for combating unconventional threats, Pentagon officials said on Tuesday. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

The U.S. Defense Department may be "weeks" from updating an 8-year-old strategy for countering weapons of mass destruction, a senior official says.

The new armed forces plan for fighting unconventional threats is in its "final stages of the approval and signature process," Rebecca Hersman, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for countering weapons of mass destruction, said on Tuesday.

The plan would replace a 2006 version as soon as it receives the final clearances, Hersman said at a hearing of the House Armed Services Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.

"We would expect in a matter of weeks to a month or two for signature," she added in an answer to a question from Representative James Langevin (D-R.I.), the subcommittee's ranking member.

Andrew Weber -- the Pentagon's assistant secretary for nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs -- added that the new strategy would include changes to address "the global nature of these threats."

The revised plan would account for "the increasing ability and proliferation of dual-use technologies around the world and an increased emphasis on prevention," Weber said.

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