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STRATCOM’s Sense of Urgency: Nuclear Posture Review

Published by RealClearDefense

By Peter Huessy

It has been only a few weeks since the Pentagon launched a review of the U.S. nuclear posture — an examination of programs and policies that will guide the Trump administration’s strategy and budget proposals.

“It is not a moment too soon,” said Vice Admiral Charles Richard, deputy commander of U.S. Strategic Command.
Speaking May 2 at a forum hosted by the Mitchell Institute on Capitol Hill, Richard issued a stark warning: The United States for years has de-emphasized the role of nuclear weapons in its national security strategy, whereas “our adversaries have done exactly the opposite.”

STRATCOM officials have been staunch proponents of the modernization of the U.S. nuclear triad of Air Force Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, strategic bombers and Ohio-class submarines armed with ballistic missiles. Richard said he expects the nuclear posture review to call for a full recapitalization of the nation’s aging nuclear forces. It is imperative to modernize, Richard said, because Russia and China are not sitting still.

Roadblocks do lie ahead, however.

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