January 23, 2016

Commander in charge of US nuclear forces calls for modernization and buildup of US nuclear forces to counter strengthening China and Russia

Rick Fisher, a China military analyst at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said China appears to be seeking to “sprint to parity” with the United States in warhead numbers along with growing space warfare capabilities. Rick Fisher feels this poses “a much greater danger to U.S. strategic forces and should prompt a build up of U.S. nuclear forces.

Admiral Cecil D. Haney, the commander in charge of US nuclear forces, says a concern of US Strategic Command is China’s re-engineering of its long-range missile to carry multiple nuclear warheads.

U.S. intelligence agencies detected the test of a new DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile on Dec. 4 with two independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs.

Russia is continuing to modernize both its conventional and strategic forces and is stressing new strategic approaches and destabilizing activities in Syria and Ukraine, while developing space weapons and conducting cyber attacks, Haney said.

North Korea continues to threaten the Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asia region with strategic advancements, including claims of “miniaturized” nuclear warheads and recent claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test, the four-star admiral said.

Pyongyang also is developing road-mobile and submarine-launched ballistic missile technologies, he added.

To meet the challenges, Haney said U.S. nuclear forces need to be modernized with new missiles, submarines, and bombers.

“Without timely investment, we risk degrading the deterring and the stabilizing effect of a strong and credible nuclear deterrent force,” he said.

Haney also warned about the growing threat of space warfare capabilities.

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