Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Defense Programs

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The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Defense Programs, or ASD(NCB), is the principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics for all matters concerning the formulation of policy and plans for nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs. The ASD(NCB) develops policies, provides advice, and makes recommendations on nuclear weapons; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) medical and non-medical defense; safety, surety, security, and safe destruction of the current chemical weapons stockpile; NCB arms control activities; and related plans and programs. The ASD(NCB) also exercises oversight of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (CTR) executed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). In addition, the Director of DTRA reports directly to the ASD(NCB).[1]

Prior to the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 on January 7, 2011, the ASD(NCB) was known as the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear & Chemical & Biological Defense Programs.[2]

History[edit]

The ASD(NCB) can trace its roots back to the beginning of the Cold War, when the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 (P.L. 79-585) established an Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to replace the Manhattan Project. The Act also created the DoD Military Liaison Committee (MLC) to coordinate military requirements with the AEC. According to an official history, "The MLC functioned as the authorized channel of communication between the DoD and the DOE on all atomic energy matters relating to the military applications of atomic weapons or atomic energy. It addressed matters of policy, programming, and commitment of funds to the military application of atomic energy." [3]

Amendments to the Atomic Energy Act of 1949 (P.L. 81-347) provided that the president appoint the chairman of the committee, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and that the Secretary of Defense choose the committee members.[4]

In 1951, the Secretary of Defense moved the MLC to the Pentagon and designated its chairman as the Deputy to the Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy Matters. In 1953, this position was re-designated under DoD Directive 5130.2 as the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy.[3]

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1987 (P.L. 99-661, passed in November 1986) abolished the Military Liaison Committee and replaced it with the Nuclear Weapons Council. A little over a year later, in December 1987, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1988-1989 (P.L. 100-180), established the statutory position of Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Atomic Energy).[4]

In 1994, the ATSD(AE) was given control over the Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA), now known as DTRA.[3] In February 1996, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996 (P.L. 104-106) officially redesignated ATSD(AE) the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear & Chemical & Biological Defense Programs, or ASTD (NCB).[4]

Between 1997 and 2001, the Clinton administration declined to nominate anyone to serve as the ATSD(NCB), having determined, as part of the Defense Reform Initiative, that the position should be eliminated. Congress, however, insisted that the Pentagon maintain the office, arguing it was necessary to ensure appropriate senior-level policy oversight and implementation guidance within the DoD.[3]

In January 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2011, renaming the ATSD(NCB) the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Defense Programs.[2]

Office Holders[edit]

The table below includes both the various titles of this post over time, as well as all the holders of those offices.

Assistants to the Secretary of Defense (Nuclear & Chemical & Biological Defense Programs)[4]
Name Tenure SecDef(s) Served Under President(s) Served Under
Chairman, Military Liaison Committee
Lt. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton (USA) July 17, 1947 – March 30, 1948 James V. Forrestal Harry Truman
Donald F. Carpenter April 8, 1948 - September 21, 1948 James V. Forrestal Harry Truman
William Webster September 22, 1948 - September 30, 1949 Louis A. Johnson Harry Truman
Robert LeBaron October 1, 1949 - April 12, 1953 Louis A. Johnson
George C. Marshall, Jr.
Robert A. Lovett
Charles E. Wilson
Harry Truman
Dwight Eisenhower
Chairman, Military Liaison Committee/Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Atomic Energy)
Robert LeBaron April 13, 1953 - August 1, 1954 Charles E. Wilson Dwight Eisenhower
Maj. Gen. Herbert B. Loper (USAF) August 9, 1954 - July 14, 1961 Charles E. Wilson
Neil H. McElroy
Thomas S. Gates
Robert S. McNamara
Dwight Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Dr. Gerald W. Johnson August 11, 1961 - September 15, 1963 Robert S. McNamara John F. Kennedy
William J. Howard January 2, 1964 - June 15, 1966 Robert S. McNamara Lyndon Johnson
Dr. Carl Walske October 3, 1966 - April 15, 1973 Robert S. McNamara
Clark M. Clifford
Melvin R. Laird
Elliot L. Richardson
Lyndon Johnson
Richard Nixon
Donald R. Cotter October 16, 1973 - March 17, 1978 James R. Schlesinger
Donald H. Rumsfeld
Harold Brown
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Dr. James P. Wade, Jr. August 8, 1978 - June 14, 1981
June 15, 1981 - June 5, 1982 (Acting)
Harold Brown
Caspar W. Weinberger
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
Dr. Richard Wagner June 6, 1982 - April 1, 1986 Caspar W. Weinberger Ronald Reagan
Dr. Robert B. Barker October 18, 1986 - November 14, 1986 Caspar W. Weinberger Ronald Reagan
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Atomic Energy)
Dr. Robert B. Barker November 14, 1986 - March 3, 1988 (non-statutory)
March 4, 1988 - May 29, 1992 (statutory)
Caspar W. Weinberger
Frank C. Carlucci III
William H. Taft IV (Acting)
Richard B. Cheney
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Dr. John Birely (Acting) May 29, 1992 - May 6, 1993 Richard B. Cheney
Leslie Aspin, Jr.
George H. W. Bush
William Clinton
Dr. Harold P. Smith, Jr. June 1, 1993 - March 10, 1996 William J. Perry William Clinton
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Nuclear & Chemical & Biological Defense Programs)
Dr. Harold P. Smith, Jr. March 11, 1996 - January 31, 1998 William J. Perry
William S. Cohen
William Clinton
Position Vacant 1998–2001 William S. Cohen William Clinton
George W. Bush
Dr. Dale Klein[3] November 15, 2001 - June 30, 2006 Donald H. Rumsfeld George W. Bush
Dr. A. Thomas Hopkins (Acting)[3] January 31, 2006 - August 2008 Donald H. Rumsfeld
Robert M. Gates
George W. Bush
Fred Celec[3] August 2008 - May 2009 Robert M. Gates George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Andrew C. Weber[1] May 18, 2009 - January 7, 2011 Robert M. Gates Barack Obama
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Defense Programs)
Andrew C. Weber January 7, 2011 - Robert M. Gates
Leon Panetta
Chuck Hagel
Barack Obama

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.defense.gov/bios/biographydetail.aspx?biographyid=232
  2. ^ a b H.R. 6523, Title IX, Subtitle A, 5 January 2011, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr6523enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr6523enr.pdf
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Office of the Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters, "NM History" http://www.acq.osd.mil/ncbdp/nm/nmhistory.html
  4. ^ a b c d "Department of Defense Key Officials" (PDF). Historical Office, OSD. 2004. Retrieved 2011-02-01.