Conflict 21 emblem

current national threat level - click to go to Dept of Homeland Security


This glossary is not to duplicate the DoD dictionary or other listings. It is to serve as a quick reference for terms which are key to homeland security, proliferation, asymmetrical warfare, and other Conflict 21 topic areas -- especially if used in briefings or documents.

Also, definitions listed here include unofficial definitions, which sometimes prove more useful when looking at future needs and concepts.

Definitions from the DoD dictionary have (DOD) at the start.


..a..| ..b..| ..c..| ..d..| ..e..| ..f..| ..g..| ..h..| ..i..| ..j..| ..k..| ..l..| ..m..

..n..| ..o..| ..p..| ..q..| ..r..| ..s..| ..t..| ..u..| ..v..| ..w..| ..x..| ..y..| ..z..



    ACTD - Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration

    AFDC - Air Force Doctrine Center

    Air Force National Security Emergency Preparedness Agency (AFNSEP)

      oversees, and assists commanders in implementing the Air Force's NSEP Program to include Domestic Support Operations (DSO) and Continuity of Government (COG) programs. (from Air Force Mission Directive 57)

    Asymmetrical warfare - "In the realm of military affairs and national security, asymmetry is acting, organizing, and thinking differently than opponents in order to maximize one’s own advantages, exploit an opponent’s weaknesses, attain the initiative, or gain greater freedom of action. It can be political-strategic, military-strategic, operational, or a combination of these. It can entail different methods, technologies, values, organizations, time perspectives, or some combination of these. It can be short-term or long-term. It can be deliberate or by default. It can be discrete or pursued in conjunction with symmetric approaches. It can have both psychological and physical dimensions." -- from Asymmetry and U.S. Military Strategy: Definition, Background, and Strategic Concepts, by Metz and Johnson


    biological threat - (DOD) A threat that consists of biological material planned to be deployed to produce casualties in personnel or animals or damage plants. See also biological agent; biological ammunition; biological defense; biological environment; chemical, biological, and radiological operation; contamination; contamination control.

    branch - (DOD) The contingency options built into the basic plan. A branch is used for changing the mission, orientation, or direction of movement of a force to aid success of the operation based on anticipated events, opportunities, or disruptions caused by enemy actions and reactions. See also sequel.


    CBRNE - Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives
    note: some sources use the phrase "High Yield" in front of Explosives

    CERT - (DOD) computer emergency response team - see DoD-CERT Online

    CERT - (FEMA) Community Emergency Response Team - see CERT training info

    Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF), 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Anti-Terrorism)

      "When directed, to forward-deploy and/or respond to a credible chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) terrorist incident in order to assist local, state or federal agencies and designated Commander's in Chief (CINCs) in the conduct of consequence management operations by providing capabilities for agent detection and identification; casualty search, rescue and personnel decontamination; and emergency medial care and stabilization of contaminated personnel"
      (from USMC CBIRF home page)

    Civil Support (CS) - DoD support to US civil authorities for domestic emergencies, and for designated law enforcement and other activities. (from AF/XOH briefing, August 2002)

    concept of operations (CONOPS) - (DOD) A verbal or graphic statement, in broad outline, of a commander's assumptions or intent in regard to an operation or series of operations. The concept of operations frequently is embodied in campaign plans and operation plans; in the latter case, particularly when the plans cover a series of connected operations to be carried out simultaneously or in succession. The concept is designed to give an overall picture of the operation. It is included primarily for additional clarity of purpose. Also called commander's concept or CONOPS.
    note: CONOPS is also used by some parties to mean Continental US Operations, Contingency Operations, Continuity of Operations, Continuous Operations, and Control Operations.

    consequence management - (DOD) Those measures taken to protect public health and safety, restore essential government services, and provide emergency relief to governments, businesses, and individuals affected by the consequences of a chemical, biological, nuclear, and/or high-yield explosive situation. For domestic consequence management, the primary authority rests with the States to respond and the Federal Government to provide assistance as required. Also called CM. See also nuclear, biological, and chemical defense.

    contingency operation - (DOD) A military operation that is either designated by the Secretary of Defense as a contingency operation or becomes a contingency operation as a matter of law (10 United States code (USC) 101[a][13]). It is a military operation that: a. is designated by the Secretary of Defense as an operation in which members of the Armed Forces are or may become involved in military actions, operations, or hostilities against an enemy of the United States or against an opposing force; or b. is created by definition of law. Under 10 USC 101 (a)(13)(B), a contingency operation exists if a military operation results in the (1) callup to (or retention on) active duty of members of the uniformed Services under certain enumerated statutes (10 USC Sections 688, 12301(a), 12302, 12304, 12305, 12406, or 331-335); and (2) the callup to (or retention on) active duty of members of the uniformed Services under other (non-enumerated) statutes during war or national emergency declared by the President or Congress. See also contingency; operation.

    counterdrug - (DOD) Those active measures taken to detect, monitor, and counter the production, trafficking, and use of illegal drugs. Also called CD.

    counterdrug operations - (DOD) Civil or military actions taken to reduce or eliminate illicit drug trafficking. See also counterdrug; counterdrug nonoperational support; counterdrug operational support.

    counterdrug support office - (DOD) In counterdrug operations, offices under the office of the Department of Defense Coordinator for Drug Enforcement Policy and Support, responsible for processing, tracking, and coordinating all nonoperational support requests from drug law enforcement officials. Also called CDSO. See also counterdrug; counterdrug operations.

    continuity of operations (COOP) - (DOD) The degree or state of being continuous in the conduct of functions, tasks, or duties necessary to accomplish a military action or mission in carrying out the national military strategy. It includes the functions and duties of the commander, as well as the supporting functions and duties performed by the staff and others acting under the authority and direction of the commander.
    [See DoD Directive 3020.26, "Defense Continuity Program (DCP)"]

    critical infrastructure - systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters. (from the USA Patriot Act)

    CST - see WMD-CST - Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams


    Dark Winter - June 2002 biodefense exercise at Andrews Air Force Base

    DIRLAUTH - Direct Liaison Authorized - is that authority granted by a commander (any level) to a subordinate to directly consult or coordinate an action with a command or agency within or outside of the granting command.

    DMAT - Disaster Medical Assistance Team - is a group of medical and support personnel designed to provide emergency medical care during a disaster or other unusual even. DMATs deploy to disaster sites with adequate supplies and equipment to support themselves for a period of 72 hours while providing medical care at a fixed or temporary medical site.

    DIRMOBFOR - (DOD) director of mobility forces - See Understanding the Director of Mobility Forces (DIRMOBFOR) by the Air Force Doctrine Center


    Emergency Information Infrastructure Partnership (EIIP) "A voluntary association of organizations and individuals, seeking to enhance their effectiveness in coping with disasters and emergency situations, by exploring the opportunity for sharing information and ideas made possible by electronic technology."


    Federal Response Plan (FRP)

    Future Total Force project - "was designed to explore potential solutions to some of the Air Force’s most pressing recruiting, retention, manning and budgetary problems. The people assigned to the project have been given the freedom to “think way outside the box” to come up with concepts that might strengthen the rapidly evolving Air Force of the 21st century ... Among other concepts, Future Total Force experts are looking at how the Air Force can offer more flexible career alternatives that would enable airmen to move seamlessly between the active-duty, Reserve, National Guard and civilian programs." (from Citizen Airman article)

    Future Total Force wing - active duty and Reserve Component airmen work side-by-side in a single unit. First one formed on 1 Oct 2002, when Air National Guard's 116th Bomb Wing and Air Combat Command's 93rd Air Control Wing merged to form the 116th Air Control Wing. (from an ACC news release)


    Gilmore Commission aka Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction


    hazard - (DOD) A condition with the potential to cause injury, illness, or death of personnel; damage to or loss of equipment or property; or mission degradation. See also injury; risk.

    Homeland Defense (HLD) - The protection of US territory, sovereignty, domestic population, and critical infrastructure against external threats and aggression. (from AF/XOH briefing, August 2002)

    Homeland Security (HLS) - The preparation for, prevention of, deterrence of, preemption of, defense against and response to threats and aggressions directed towards US territory, sovereignty, domestic population, infrastructure; as well as crisis management, consequence management, and other domestic civil support. (from AF/XOH briefing, August 2002)

    Homeland Security is a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur. (from The National Strategy for Homeland Security, July 2002)

    Preparing the U.S. Army for Homeland Security: Concepts, Issues, and Options, a RAND report - says

      "Homeland security encompasses five distinct missions:
      domestic preparedness and civil support in case of attacks on civilians,
      continuity of government,
      continuity of military operations,
      border and coastal defense, and
      national missile defense."
      The report addresses all of them except missile defense.


    Incident Command System (ICS) - a part of the National Interagency Incident Management System (NIIMS), ICS provides a comprehensive framework for managing emergency and non-emergency events. Originally created to coordinate firefighting efforts at forest fires, it has been expanded to an all-hazard, all-risk management system.

    Integrated Contingency Plan Guidance (One Plan) - from National Response Team (NRT) - "This guidance is intended to be used by facilities to prepare emergency response plans. The intent of the NRT is to provide a mechanism for consolidating multiple plans that facilities may have prepared to comply with various regulations into one functional emergency response plan or integrated contingency plan (ICP). This notice contains the suggested ICP outline as well as guidance on how to develop an ICP and demonstrate compliance with various regulatory requirements. The policies set out in this notice are intended solely as guidance."

    Intel Fusion - intelligence systems based on Warfighter requirements that conform to the Joint Technical Architecture.


    JC6 Joint Staff Support Center Site-R - "functions as the disaster recovery and contingency relocation site for Joint Staff Support Center (JSSC) - Pentagon"

    JEEP - (DOD) joint emergency evacuation plan


    key position - (DOD) A civilian position, public or private (designated by the employer and approved by the Secretary concerned), that cannot be vacated during war or national emergency.

    key assets — individual targets whose destruction would not endanger vital systems, but could create local disaster or profoundly damage our Nation’s morale or confidence. Key assets include symbols or historical attractions, such as prominent national, state, or local monuments and icons. In some cases, these include quasi-public symbol that are identified strongly with the United States as a Nation, and fall completely under the jurisdiction of state and local officials or even private foundations. Key assets also include individual or localized facilities that deserve special protection because of their destructive potential or their value to the local community. (from The National Strategy for Homeland Security)


    Lead Federal Agency (LFA) - is determined by the type of emergency. In general, an LFA establishes operational structures and procedures to assemble and work with agencies providing direct support to the LFA in order to obtain an initial assessment of the situation, develop an action plan, and monitor and update operational priorities. The LFA ensures that each agency exercises its concurrent and distinct authorities and supports the LFA in carrying out relevant policy. Specific responsibilities of an LFA vary according to the agency's unique statutory authorities. (from the Federal Response Plan)


    MACA - Military Assistance to Civil Authorities - See also some of the U.S. Code and DoD Directives on the subject [Note: neither list is exhaustive, merely a starting point]


    National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) - is an asset sharing partnership designed to provide emergency medical assistance to States following a catastrophic disaster or other major emergency. See NDMS home page

    National Interagency Incident Management System (NIIMS) - is a system for responding to a wide range of emergencies, including fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, tidal waves, riots, spilling of hazardous materials, and other natural or human-caused incidents. See Forest Service description, and also see Incident Command System (ICS) above

    National Special Security Event (NSSE) - When an event is designated a National Special Security Event, the Secret Service assumes its mandated role as the lead agency for the design and implementation of the operational security plan. See Secret Service description

    NBCC - Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Conventional




    Posse Comitatus Act - (DOD) Prohibits search, seizure, or arrest powers to US military personnel. Amended in 1981 under Public Law 97-86 to permit increased Department of Defense support of drug interdiction and other law enforcement activities. (Title 18, "Use of Army and Air Force as Posse Comitatus" - United States Code, Section 1385)
    [See also MACA above.]

    preemptive attack - (DOD) An attack initiated on the basis of incontrovertible evidence that an enemy attack is imminent.

    preventive war - (DOD) A war initiated in the belief that military conflict, while not imminent, is inevitable, and that to delay would involve greater risk.






    sequel - (DOD) A major operation that follows the current major operation. Plans for a sequel are based on the possible outcomes (success, stalemate, or defeat) associated with the current operation. See also branch.


    Terrorism - any premeditated, unlawful act dangerous to human life or public welfare that is intended to intimidate or coerce civilian populations or governments. (from The National Strategy for Homeland Security, July 2002)

    International Terrorism - activities that - involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any State; appear to be intended - to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping; and occur totally outside the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to coerce or intimidate, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum. (from U.S. Code Title 50, Chapter 36, Subchapter 1, Sec. 1801 - Definitions)

    Combating terrorism activities within the Department are divided into four components: antiterrorism, counterterrorism, terrorism consequence management, and intelligence support to combating terrorism. Antiterrorism involves all defensive measures employed to protect personnel and facilities against a terrorist incident. Conversely, counterterrorism refers to offensive response measures to deter, preempt and resolve a terrorist act. Terrorism consequence management includes a range of activities required to provide emergency assistance to mitigate the effects of an act in order to alleviate damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused by terrorist attacks and to protect the public health and safety and restore essential government services. The accumulation and dissemination of intelligence is critical to our success across all these components.
    ---- from "DoD and Combating Terrorism" testimony of ASD Brian Sheridan, before Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities of the Committee on Armed Services, US Senate, 24 Mar 2000


    unconventional warfare - (DOD) A broad spectrum of military and paramilitary operations, normally of long duration, predominantly conducted by indigenous or surrogate forces who are organized, trained, equipped, supported, and directed in varying degrees by an external source. It includes guerrilla warfare and other direct offensive, low visibility, covert, or clandestine operations, as well as the indirect activities of subversion, sabotage, intelligence activities, and evasion and escape. Also called UW.




    CST or WMD-CST - Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams

    weapons of mass destruction (wmd) - (DOD) Weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people. Weapons of mass destruction can be high explosives or nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons, but exclude the means of transporting or propelling the weapon where such means is a separable and divisible part of the weapon. Also called WMD. See also destruction; special operations.

    weapons of mass destruction (wmd) - Title 18, U.S.Code 2332a, defines a weapon of mass destruction as (1) any destructive device as defined in section 921 of this title, [which reads] any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas, bomb, grenade, rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, mine or device similar to the above; (2) poison gas; (3) any weapon involving a disease organism; or (4) any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life. (For definition of "destructive device," see Title 18, U.S.C. 921)

    -- RETURN TO TOP --


    -- RETURN TO TOP --


    -- RETURN TO TOP --


    -- RETURN TO TOP --

    Page updated 13 Mar 06
    Please read this Privacy and Security Notice