Charles A. Richard, Chief of the United States Strategic Command and the head of the US nuclear arsenal, said it loud and clear during an appearance in the Senate: your country should prepare for a nuclear war since current conflicts could escalate “very rapidly”, in reference to clashes with China and Russia and its advances in nuclear weapons. If the US does not start investing more in nuclear defense and infrastructure, it will be “at risk of losing credibility in the eyes of our adversaries ”, he added.
“For the first time in our history, our country is moving towards confrontation with two strategic adversaries that at the same time have nuclear capabilities, but must be deterred in a different way,” said the military high command, who leads the Strategic Command in charge of managing the United States nuclear triad: strategic bombers, submarines and ICBMs.
China, according to Richard, will double its arsenal of nuclear weapons by the end of this decade And you can mount your ICBMs on trucks to hide your location. In his opinion, one of the objectives of the Chinese strategy is to subdue the United States in the Indo-Pacific and isolate Washington by attracting the regional partners of the United States in Asia under theto orbit of Beijing. “China is already capable of executing any strategy in the use of nuclear weapons within its region and will soon be able to do so with intercontinental reachRichard added.
Although the China’s nuclear capacity is more limited than that of the US and Russia in number of atomic warheads, according to the military high command these two countries are experiencing an “unprecedented expansion”. Not a week goes by without us discovering new advances from China in this area, he added. According to the START Treaty, Russia and the United States cannot add more than 1,550 nuclear warheads in deployed ICBMs, ballistic missiles launched from submarines and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear weapons. For its part, China would have 320 warheads, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Regarding the Russian threat, the head of the United States Strategic Command explained to the Senate that Moscow is dedicating great efforts to modernize its conventional and nuclear capacity. “Our nuclear forces must include a sufficient range of capabilities so that Russia never misperceives any benefit from the use of nuclear weapons in any scenario of violence.”
Russian advances include nuclear-powered cruise missile Petrel, which has a practically unlimited scope. It also highlights the changes of the massive nuclear torpedo Poseidon, which can carry a nuclear warhead with a yield of up to 100 megatons at most.
Before such a threat, Admiral Richard considers that “the maintenance and modernization of our nuclear forces, NC3’s weapons complex and capabilities have gone from being something we should do to something we must do. ” The military expert considers that the distinctive feature of the current conflict is “that it is not linear or predictable”, therefore, he added, “we must take into account the possibility that this conflict creates conditions that could very quickly lead an adversary to conflict. consider the use of nuclear weapons as the least bad option ”.
The United States under the administration of Joe Biden has announced that it wants to modernize its nuclear arsenal, but for this it needs a “Consensus process” between the Democratic and Republican Parties, given that the budget figure amounts to 1.7 trillion dollars in 30 years. During the term of former President Donald Trump, the Pentagon recommended spending more than 6% of its budget on the so-called Nuclear Triad.
For his part, the army general James Dickinson, commander of the United States Space Command, spoke before the Senate about the space companies of the two countries, asserting that the armies of China and Russia “actively integrate advanced space and counterspace technologies into multidomain warfare strategies to challenge the regional superiority of the United States, position themselves as space powers, and create an improved balance of power dynamics in the near abroad. ”.