As the post-Cold-War period gives way to new challenges, the United States is confronting the prospect of biological and chemical weapons proliferation as the latest threat to prolonged peaceful international relations. In an effort to reprioritize its initiatives on the issue, the U.S. Defense Department has called on a smaller, more focused agency to help deal with the unrestricted development of weapons of mass destruction in areas that are important to U.S. national security.
As it empowers economies and societies worldwide, the technology revolution also is unwittingly empowering forces that could undo its gains and inflict considerable harm on its beneficiaries. New hardware and software capabilities are providing greater ammunition to information warriors, spies, criminals and digital vandals.
The defining force behind current and future threats is the technology-driven globalization that dominates societal trends. This worldwide sea change is both delineating and empowering various political and economic factions that, just a few years ago, would have had neither the desire nor the opportunity to act. Now, they are joining the ranks of known rogue nations that pose a significant threat to Western security and interests around the world.