US nuclear commander warns on Russia and China — Analysis

STRATCOM chief tells lawmakers that Washington has a ‘deterrence and assurance gap’ with rivals

The head of US nuclear forces has sounded an alarm in Congress, suggesting that Washington’s ability to deter attacks by rivals may be lacking amid threats from Russia and a rapid buildup of China’s strategic weaponry.

“We are facing crisis-deterrence dynamics right now that we have only seen a few times in our nation’s history,”In a Senate hearing, Chief Admiral Charles Richard of the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM), stated Wednesday that he was still concerned about US-related issues. He reiterated concerns over “three-party deterrence dynamics,”In March, he warned Congressmen about the Ukraine crisis.

“The nation and our allies have not faced a crisis like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in over 30 years,”Richard stated. “President [Vladimir] Putin simultaneously invaded a sovereign nation while using thinly veiled nuclear threats to deter US and NATO intervention.”

Meanwhile, Chinese leaders “watching the war in Ukraine closely and will likely use nuclear coercion to their advantage in the future,”The admiral spoke. “Their intent is to achieve the military capability to reunify Taiwan by 2027 if not sooner.”

Richard has repeatedly warned of the Chinese nuclear buildup and called for US President Joe Biden’s administration to reconsider funding development of a proposed low-yield, nuclear-capable cruise missile that could be launched from submarines. On Wednesday, he reiterated his request and stated that the Ukraine crisis increases the need to strengthen nuclear deterrence.

Putin promises ‘lightning’ response to strategic threats

“The war in Ukraine and China’s nuclear trajectory – their strategic breakout – demonstrates that we have a deterrence and assurance gap against the threat of limited nuclear employment,”Richard stated. He said that nuclear force is the “foundation”The US’s ability to repel attacks

Biden has proposed a $30-billion increase in US defense spending, to $813 billion, despite the fact that Washington already outspends the remainder of the world’s 10 largest military budgets combined. Biden proposes a 92% increase in funding for the European Deterrence initiative, which would bring it to $6.9 million.

STRATCOM commander stated that budget shortages and additional development delays could have been caused by STRATCOM. “operational consequences.”He said, “Weapons program delays have driven us past the point where it is possible to fully mitigate operational risk. In some cases, we’re just left to assess the damage to our deterrent.”



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