Workshop Report/Summary

An All-of-Government Approach to Increase Resilience for International Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) Events (2014)

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high-yield Explosive (CBRNE) events have the potential to destabilize governments and create conditions that exacerbate violence or promote terrorism. Their occurrence and effects can trigger global repercussions, and they can quickly overwhelm the infrastructure and capability of the responders, especially in countries that do not have specialized resources for response. Effective response to CBRNE events is a U.S. national security priority as outlined in the National Security Strategy (White House, 2010) and National Strategy for Counterterrorism (White House, 2011). When a CBRNE incident occurs in a partner nation or other foreign country, the U.S. often is asked or offers to provide assistance. More effective CBRNE response could help save lives and alleviate suffering, and in terms of national security, better response and greater resilience to CBRNE events could also reduce the incentive for those who would perpetrate them.

At the request of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Research Council organized a workshop to discuss ways to strengthen the U.S. ability to prepare for and respond to CBRNE events that occur in U.S. partner nations. The workshop brought together diverse experts and stakeholders to identify capabilities that are necessary for response to an international CBRNE event; discuss best practices and resources needed for improved interoperability of the U.S. and partner nations during response to a CBRNE event; and identify key questions that would help to improve U.S. CBRNE response in partner nations.