America is falling behind China, warns US military nuclear chief

The US military’s top nuclear chief says the US needs to regain the dynamism and spirit it had in the 1950s and 1960s, calling the war in Ukraine a “warm-up”.

  • Navy Admiral Charles Richard (US DoD)
    Navy Admiral Charles Richard (US DoD)

The head of the US Strategic Command, which oversees the US nuclear weapons programme, has urged US forces to strengthen their defense capabilities as a precaution, saying China is accelerating its nuclear weapons development. “The great one is coming,” he said.

The Daily Mail. reported that Navy Admiral Charles A. Richard considered China’s nuclear threat a “near-term problem” and issued a rare stern warning on Wednesday.

“The way I see our level of deterrence against China is that the ship is slowly sinking,” Richard said, stating that “it’s sinking slowly, but it’s sinking because basically they’re bringing in capabilities faster than we are.”

He declared that the United States needed to regain the dynamism and spirit it had in the 1950s and 1960s: “As those curves continue, it doesn’t matter how well our [operating plan] or how good our commanders are, or how good our horses are, they won’t be enough for us,” he said, adding: “This Ukrainian crisis we’re in now is just a warm-up. ”

Addressing the annual meeting of the Navy Submarine League in Arlington, Virginia, Richard said: “The big one is coming. And before long we will be tested in ways we have never been tested before. long time.”

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Richard’s role, as described by the DoD, includes providing guidance and advice to the President and the Secretary of Defense on critical military capabilities to ensure the security of the United States and to achieve its strategic objectives.

Richard expressed concern by pointing out that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear developments mean the situation is dire for the US, which needs to urgently reassess its military forces. “We must quickly and fundamentally change the way we approach the defense of this nation.”

“I’ll tell you, the current situation shines a bright light on what nuclear coercion looks like and how you, or how you don’t, stand up to it,” he said.

Back in May, US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday said the US Navy’s fleet was too small to handle more than one conflict. According to Gilday, the Navy would try to meet its operational requirements in the European theater if it retained forces in the Pacific theater to deter Chinese activity.

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However, the admiral highlighted the US’s submarine capabilities and submarine fleet as the country’s strength. The note also highlights Richard’s experience serving on several submarines before taking command of the submarine NR-1, the US Navy’s only nuclear-powered submarine, before being named the Pentagon’s Director of Undersea Warfare.

“Submarine capabilities remain the only … perhaps the only real asymmetric advantage we still have over our adversaries,” Richard said. “But if we don’t pick up the pace to fix maintenance issues, start new construction … if we can’t figure it out, we’re not going to be in a good position to maintain strategic deterrence and national impact.” defense,” he added.

The US, according to Richard, has “lost the art” of responding promptly to threats, noting that 60 years ago the US military used to be resourceful and innovative. “We knew how to move fast and we lost the art of that,” he said, referring to the invention of the AGM-28 Hound Dog cruise missile in the 1960s.

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“The Air Force demanded it almost on a napkin,” he said. “They realized in the late 1950s that the Soviet integrated air defense systems had gotten to the point where the B-52 just couldn’t get in, and we needed a thing called a cruise missile,” he added.

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“So they imagined what a counterweapon looked like,” he said.

“We had two squadrons of B-52s equipped with this 800-nautical-mile Mach two-plus-one-megaton nuclear warhead, which was really good for its day and hung off the wings of B-52s in less than three years. “- he conveyed.

“This weapon was so cool that you could actually turn on the engines, its cruise missiles on your wings to give you extra thrust during takeoff,” he continued, saying, “We have to get back to the point of not talking about how we’re going to mitigate our perceived potential failure “.

He also urged lawmakers to “change the way we’ve come to ask questions in this country, which is: What is it going to take? Is it money? Is it people? Do you need government? What’s the risk?”

“That’s how we got to the moon by 1969. We have to get some of that back,” he said, adding, “Otherwise China will just outcompete us and Russia is not going anywhere anytime soon.”

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