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News | Aug. 2, 2019

10th Annual USSTRATCOM Deterrence Symposium Focuses on Great Power Competition

By U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs

More than 650 deterrence experts from 13 countries around the globe gathered at La Vista Conference Center in Omaha, Nebraska, July 31 – Aug. 1, during U.S. Strategic Command’s (USSTRATCOM) 10th Annual Deterrence Symposium to discuss deterrence and assurance in an era of great competition.

The USSTRATCOM Deterrence Symposium is a catalyst to advance dialogue and promote collaboration on 21st century strategic deterrence among Department of Defense, government agencies, industry members, academic institutions, international organizations, allies and partners.

“We spend a lot of time and energy across the department thinking about what deterrence and assurance means in today’s environment,” said Vice Adm. David Kriete, deputy commander of USSTRATCOM. “To respond to the changing nature to both threats and deterrence, and to effectively deter and respond in this multi-polar, all-domain world that is our reality, we must be able to out-think, out-innovate, out-partner our competitors and our adversaries.”

The two-day event featured a series of panels, where international deterrence experts discussed a wide array of topics, such as how economic entanglement can effect deterrence, strategies for handling multi-polar competition, and new perspectives of what deterrence means.

U.S. Rep Don Bacon, Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district, provided his view on deterrence during the event. He highlighted changes in industry and the importance of maintaining a competitive edge.

“The world always changes and that’s why it’s really incumbent upon those of us who want to see continued peace and prosperity in the world, to think about deterrence changing as well … why you’re here … why you’ve done this for 10 years,” Bacon said. “To focus on how we have to evolve in a changing world, where we can deter the people who want to disturb the peace.”

Additional keynote speakers from the event included Gen. Timothy Ray, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command; Mr. Angus Lapsley, Director General Strategy and International, Ministry of Defence, United Kingdom; and the Honorable Piotr Wilczek, Polish Ambassador to the United States.

During Wilczek’s speech, he shared the Polish perspective on deterrence and highlighted the importance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

“We must make sure that our competitors know, we are not afraid to take action if they refuse to change their behavior,” he stated. “Our rivals should know that we are serious about deterrence and we are ready to respond to their moves.

“There is nothing they do that we can’t counter and we have a major advantage that they don’t,” he continued. “Our own playbook for how to build and maintain strong and positive alliances. The ability to build free alliances of sovereign countries, like NATO, is something that distinguishes us from our competitors. It’s very tangible proof that the values we share differs from theirs and that’s something that can’t be overestimated when it comes to deterrence.”

Following the final panel, Kriete closed the symposium by presenting an overview of how the event has grown throughout the last 10 years, and shared how excited he was to see people collaborate throughout the last few days.

“We have young professionals working in the deterrence and national security areas talking with some of the folks who have been doing this for decades,” Kriete said. “Just to watch that transfer of knowledge, experience and excitement, it may help some of these young folks accelerate their careers and choose this as life-long work.”

For more information about the symposium, visit

For more information about U.S. Strategic Command, visit

For those unable to attend the event, view all the photographs and videos on DVIDS.

USSTRATCOM has global responsibilities assigned through the Unified Command Plan that include strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, space operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, and analysis and targeting.

For more information, contact the USSTRATCOM Public Affairs Office at 402-294-4130 or or visit