Analysis of NATO Doctrine for Biosurveillance

October, 2015
IDA document: D-5224
FFRDC: Systems and Analyses Center
Type: Documents
Division: Strategy, Forces and Resources Division
Carl A. Curling, Michael S. Finnin See more authors
The United States is devel oping an “all-of-Nation” appr oach to a biosurveillance enterprise that will allow the US to quickly detect an incident of national significance that affects human, animal, or plant health. The White House has issued a “National Strategy for Biosurveillance” to guide this initia tive. While no formal all-of-government biosurveillance implementati on doctrine exists, the Depa rtment of Defense (DOD) already contributes to this notional enterprise with existing capabilities that are distributed across the department. The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) was asked to report on the feasibility of the application of NATO doctrine to the development and implementation of biosurveillance concepts and doctrine. Additionally, the sponsor asked whether U.S. biosurveillance practices can co ntinue to be implemented while engaged in NATO joint operations. IDA’s initial approach to answer this question was to gather DOD and NATO biosurveillance doctrine and co mpare the two concepts to determine if NATO policies can be applied to the DOD concept. An initial search re vealed that neither NATO nor DOD had formal doctrine on bi osurveillance. Therefore, NATO biosurveillance doctrine could not contribu te to a developing DOD biosurveillance doctrine. IDA then proposed to identify and outline biosurveillance- like capabilities of DOD and NATO and compare these activities.

A search of the literature revealed a study by the RAND Corporation Arroyo Center 1 which attempted to list the DOD biosurveil lance-relevant syst ems and assets, the policy and doctrine that supported those a ssets, and the funding mechanisms for the assets within the developing DOD biosurve illance enterprise. Details of the DOD biosurveillance capabilities can be found in that document. IDA reasoned that this study would provide a reasonable assumption of what the eventual DOD biosurveillance implementation would be and leveraged the findings to compare with NATO doctrine. IDA also referenced appropriate DOD and NATO doctrine to support the comparison.