Until recently, chemical and biological weapons have not been the focus
of domestic planning, unlike our long-standing preparedness for a nuclear
attack. Today, however, these weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) are readily
available to many countries, including so-called rogue states. Even more alarming,
WMDs are a viable alternative to conventional weapons for terrorist groups
and disgruntled individuals. This availability, coupled with terrorists' willingness
to use these deadly agents, has created a credible and serious threat to the
nation's security. The probability of a WMD incident is greater than ever
and threatens the United States and other countries with potentially devastating
consequences, including widespread death and disease and destruction of societal
infrastructure and possibly society itself.1,2
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