The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) continues to be a serious threat to the security of the US. Proliferation of chemical and biological (CB) weapons is particularly disturbing, and the threats posed can be devastating. Critical elements of the US efforts to reduce and counter WMD proliferation include: (1) the location and characterization of WMD facilities and capabilities worldwide; (2) the ability to rapidly detect and identify the use of CB weapons for expeditious warning and reporting on the battlefield; and (3) the capability to mitigate deleterious consequences of a CB incident through effective protective and medical treatment measures. Remote sensing has been touted as a key technology in these efforts. Historically, the role of remote sensing in CB defense has been to provide early warning of an attack from an extended distance. However, additional roles for remote sensing in CB defense, as well as applications in related missions, are possible and should be pursued. This paper examines what has been happening in remote sensing over the past decade to address needs in this area. Accomplishments, emerging technologies, programmatic issues, and opportunities for the future are covered. The Department of Defence chemical- biological, the Department of Energy's Chemical Analysis by Laser Interrogation of Proliferation Effluents, and other agency related programs are examined. Also, the status of remote sensing in the commercial market arena for environmental monitoring, its relevance to the WMD counterproliferation program, and opportunities for technology transfer are discussed. A course of action for the future is recommended.