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SPEECH | Aug. 23, 2021

2021 Space and Missile Defense Symposium

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                 12 Aug 2021 

Venue: Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.

Event: Space and Missile Defense Symposium                   

Adm. Charles Richard, commander of USSTRATCOM: Thank you Ronnie for the introduction.  It is a pleasure to be back in Huntsville and a pleasure to speak to y’all about some fundamental issues facing this nation.  First, let me say thank you to the Huntsville Air Defense Artillery, the Air, Space, and Missile Defense, and the National Defense Industrial Associations for sponsoring this event.  Thank you Lieutenant General Retired Formica and the entire SMD Symposium Committee for organizing this event.  It is truly commendable to bring together an event of this size in light of the challenges COVID presents.

Not only is it great to be home in North Alabama, but it’s good to be just down the road from Redstone Arsenal.  You’ll have to bear with me for a moment.  If you know me, you know I love telling sea stories.  I think many of you know I’m from Decatur.  When I was young my dad was in the Guard.  So every summer while he was on AT duty, we would spend two weeks at Redstone.  During this annual event we would go to the commissary.  Now let me tell you, you didn’t want to be the one stuck in the checkout line behind the Richards.  I’m talking about four carts piled high with food, five kids running around, and my poor mother doing her best amidst the chaos.  While I love being back in the Redstone AO, I can confidently say…you will not see me at the commissary this trip.  Mom…am I right?

Let me start with this assertion.  Every operational plan in the DoD and every other capability we have, has an implicit assumption that strategic deterrence will hold.  None of our plans and no other capability will work as designed if strategic deterrence fails.  This is not well understood and is often taken for granted.  Folks, I’m not talking solely about the nuclear piece, although that’s the most obvious part and important.  I’m talking about the larger whole.  The Department of Defense, following Secretary Austin’s vision, is pursuing this larger whole through development of integrated deterrence.  To achieve integration every capability and every domain must be considered.

Some people like to think about nuclear in particular, as if it exists in its own separate box.  With its own distinct risk rheostat.  They separate the conventional fight from the potential use of a nuclear weapon.  Somehow thinking that a geographic commander will throw their hands up and say, well Chas you got it and good luck.  That’s flawed.  If I can’t set the conditions in which strategic deterrence holds, then no other commander’s plans will work as designed.  Integrated deterrence includes nuclear.  It includes space.  It includes cyber.  It includes information operations.  It includes our allies and partners.  And it includes missile defense.  We have to maintain strategic deterrence in all domains utilizing all of the elements of our national power.  This is the reality we must contend with.  We need to define the larger whole of integrated deterrence and how each of our parts fit into it.  Then USSTRATCOM will have the overall Unified Campaign Plan responsibility to operationally execute it.    

This morning, I’m going to start with the threat from an operator’s perspective.  Then I’ll discuss the national need to rebuild our intellectual capacity to address the strategic environment and operational deterrence theory. Finally I’ll close with missile defense imperatives.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are witnessing a strategic breakout by China. China’s explosive growth and modernization of its nuclear and conventional forces can only be what I describe as breathtaking.  And that word, breathtaking, may not be enough.  I know there’s been a lot of discussion on why they are doing this.  Let me just say right now, it doesn’t matter why China is and continues to grow and modernize.  What matters is that they are building the capability to execute any plausible nuclear employment strategy, the last brick in the wall of a military capable of coercion.  And keep in mind, China is treaty unconstrained and can field whatever they want.  Now, you’re not going to find the definition of strategic breakout in any doctrine or manual.

It doesn’t exist…yet.  But it is significant and I don’t use the term lightly.  Business as usual will not work.

Let me quickly recap what I said in my April Congressional testimony.  China is rapidly improving its strategic nuclear capability and capacity.  It is growing and enhancing its missile force with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles.  It is developing and fielding precision strike capability such as the DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile and road-mobile ICBMs.  Its JIN-Class ballistic submarines are capable of firing JL-3 submarine launched ballistic missiles.  It is moving a large portion of its nuclear forces to higher readiness, including Launch on Warning and Launch Under attack statuses.  And it is developing its NC3 capability, pursuing an explosive growth of ICBMs, and creating an anti-access and area denial network.

Since that time, which was only four months ago, commercial satellite imagery discovered what is assessed as two nuclear missile fields in western China.  Each with nearly one hundred and twenty ICBM silos.  These silos complement the CSS-4 Mod 2 and Mod 3 silo-based missiles with ranges up to 13,000 kilometers.  It is worth noting that in 2019, the PRC test launched more ballistic missiles than the rest of the world combined.

Just thirteen days ago, commercial satellite imagery revealed a tunnel under construction in the region that China historically used as a nuclear weapons testing ground.  This serves as a reminder that China has an active nuclear testing program.  And if you enjoy looking at commercial satellite imagery, can you keep looking?  Normally we pay people to do it. 

The continued development and deployment of road-mobile ICBM capability, solid-fueled ICBM silos, H-6N ALBM nuclear-capable aircraft, and six second-generation JIN-class ballistic missile submarines with JL-3 SLBMs is inconsistent with a minimum deterrence posture.  Their actions have long belied a posture more aggressive than their official policy.  Their actions are now speaking louder than their words.  You can’t coerce a peer, i.e. us, from a minimum deterrence posture.  The breathtaking growth in strategic nuclear capability enables China to change their posture and strategy. 

I caution against the simple comparison of stockpile sizes.  A nation’s nuclear stockpile is a crude measure of its overall capability.  We must consider the delivery system, accuracy, range, readiness, training, CONOPs, and many other things to fully understand what a nation is capable of doing.  Yes…we have a larger stockpile than China does right now.  But two-thirds of what we have is operationally unavailable to me due to treaty constraints.  And I have to deter Russia and others, including outliers like North Korea, with what we have, all at the same time.

But when we talk about China’s rapid expansion, we can’t isolate it to nuclear.  And we can’t isolate it to the traditional domains.  China’s missile defense system is now undergoing tremendous capability and capacity improvements.  China continues its pursuit of advanced weapons systems with novel attributes and capabilities.  Hypersonic weapons technology with dual-use capability transcends formal or normative delineations between domains.  This technology, harkening back to Soviet-era concepts, is designed to evade detection through atypical trajectory geometries and changes the traditional ballistic missile warning timelines.  It creates challenges that permeate every responsibility of STRATCOM, SPACECOM, NORTHCOM, and every other combatant command.  And because of these challenges, current U.S. terrestrial and space-based sensor architecture may not be sufficient to detect and track these hypersonic missiles.

We should also consider China’s conventional threat aimed at dominating in a primarily air and sea domain of the Indo-Pacific region.  China has the largest navy in the world and the third largest air force.  The PLAN has roughly 350 ships and submarines with operations spanning from the South China Sea to more distant areas in the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Europe. Economically, China is the top ship-building tonnage producing nation in the world.  Adding to naval expansion, the PLA Air Force, when combined with PLAN aviation, is estimated to be 2,500 aircraft.  The capacity exists for more growth.  The modernization of its fleet, air forces, and economic capacity to produce presents enormous challenges for the U.S., our allies, and our partners in the Western Pacific.   

China is no longer the lesser included case, they are additive to other threats, across all domains and functions.  And will soon, if not already, be the pacing threat in most categories in all domains.  Space.  Cyber.  Nuclear.  Missile defense.  But the threat is larger than China.  It includes Russia. 

Russia continues to undermine U.S. relationships and influence using a wide range of capabilities below the threshold of conflict seeking to solidify its great power status.  They actively leverage ambiguous actions through the use of state actors and unattributed individuals and groups in domains with ill-defined boundaries, such as cyber.  These active measures are designed to coerce states on its periphery and expand beyond the near-abroad to interfere with the defenders of international norms, such as the United States and our allies.  To bolster these actions, Russia has pursued modernization of its conventional and strategic nuclear forces.

Nuclear weapons remain a foundational aspect to Russia’s strategy, and it has recapitalized over 80 percent of its strategic nuclear forces.  This includes increased warhead delivery capacity.  Modernization efforts of its Strategic Rocket Forces are focused on replacing aging Soviet era road-mobile and silo-based missile systems with modern ICBMs.  Russia, as the leading nation in the world in hypersonic technology, for the moment, continues to heavily invest in and develop hypersonic glide vehicles.  On the 19th of July, Russia successfully tested the ship-launched Zircon hypersonic cruise missile.  They are quite proud of it and publicize it widely.  Dual-use capable weapons systems, like the Zircon, raise the level of ambiguity and complicate deterrence efforts across the continuum of conflict.  Russia proclaims that the modernized land-based hypersonic glide vehicle, the Avangard, is already “on-duty”.

Hypersonics are in addition to other novel modernization efforts, such as the Poseidon long-range torpedo and the Skyfall cruise missile.  Both are nuclear-powered nuclear-armed weapons which are designed to give Russia asymmetric advantages.  These measures present new challenges for our strategic deterrence.

Russia has over 2,000 non-treaty accountable nuclear weapons employable by ships, aircraft, and ground forces.  The use of these nuclear weapons is a critical element to Russia’s security strategy and its willingness to contemplate first-use is a core consideration.  Russia declared that it may use nuclear weapons in response to conventional attacks if that state’s existence is threatened.  Russia has the capacity to drastically increase its production of nuclear weapons and missiles through facilities and Civil-Military efforts in the design and manufacture of nuclear weapons.  Russia has more strategic missile defense than we do, they are nuclear-tipped, and they are improving it.             

There is no doubt that Russia’s military and nuclear modernization efforts present significant challenges.  But we can’t ignore the threat that Russia’s malicious cyber activity poses to the NC3 and our nation, and it’s not just confined to Russia it also includes China.

The NC3 Enterprise must have cyber resiliency to thwart and continue to operate through advanced cyberattacks.  Cybersecurity must be a prioritized investment and integral to all developments, advancements, research, and implementation across the NC3.  We must remember that cyber threats are not constrained to one actor.  Unattributed cyber-attacks add a level of uncertainty.  Cyber-attacks are now a reality that confronts every combatant commander, every Service, U.S. industry, and all critical infrastructure.  Our integrated deterrence efforts must span all coercive tools available to our potential adversaries.

For the first time in history, the nation is facing two potential strategic peer, nuclear-capable adversaries at the same time, who must be deterred differently. Here’s the challenge.  I don’t have the luxury of deterring potential adversaries one at a time.  Gen. Karbler doesn’t have the luxury of deterring one at a time.  And General Dickinson doesn’t have the luxury of deterring one at a time.  We have to deter all, all of the time.

Until recently, this Nation has not had to seriously consider the implications of competition through crisis and possible conflict with potential nuclear adversaries in 30 years.  We are not about to enter uncharted waters…we are already there.  And we are not thinking about it enough.

Today’s strategic environment is vastly different from the last era of competition, the Cold War.  Bipolar competition for spheres of influence around the globe defined the Cold War.  Both the United States and the Soviet Union utilized threat-based approaches.  In rapid succession, the collapse of the Soviet Union and overwhelming conventional military success in Desert Storm created the ultimate permissive environment in favor of the United States.  We created an environment where the chance of strategic deterrence failure was virtually non-existent and we let the weapons systems and operational deterrence expertise that led us there atrophy.

We forgot how we got there.  Instead the nation focused, rightly so, on the pursuit of Terrorist and Violent Extremist Organizations.  We focused on capabilities, instead of the existential threat.  Meanwhile, Russia and China watched and waited.  Studying our tactics and operational procedures in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the globe while quietly rebuilding, investing in, and developing their arsenals.

Today’s strategic environment is characterized by two nuclear capable peers who wish to change the world order and one, the U.S., with our allies, that wants to defend that world order.  Both China and Russia have the ability to unilaterally escalate a conflict to any level of violence, in any domain, in any geographic location, and at any time.  However, it is a mistake to think about these adversaries in isolation of each other.  In December of 2020, China and Russia conducted a joint strategic air patrol mission over the East China and Japan Seas.  And within the last month, China and Russia cooperated in theater-level large-scale conventional exercises.  The continued defense relationship should not be underestimated or ignored.  Our national intellectual capacity hasn’t been sufficiently engaged to consider this.  I go back to the Cold War.  The entire RAND Corporation was created to think about the two-party problem and explore the details of deterrence theory.  Some of our nation’s greatest minds, such as Thomas Schelling and Herman Kahn, broke the moratorium of government knowledge on the use of nuclear weapons to create dominant theories during the Cold War.  Because we invested in the intellectual capacity. 

At STRATCOM we are re-writing operational deterrence theory and asking the hard questions.  But we can’t do this alone.  This will take a national and academic undertaking.  Only when we gain a fundamental understanding of how deterrence theory is applicable in today’s strategic environment, can we inform strategy, create a mutual understanding of that strategy and threat, and then execute plans in support of our national defense.

I’d like to call on the only historical example of nuclear armed crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis.  President Kennedy had a range of capabilities that exceeded that of Khrushchev’s options.  Kennedy had the capability to edge closer to the brink.  The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was left with options that included a great deal of risk.  Risks that the Soviet Union was not willing to take.  Put another way, the many options at Kennedy’s disposal allowed incremental risk as opposed to the Soviet Union’s actions close to all or nothing.  It was the capability, capacity, and willingness to take incremental risk that made the U.S. successful.  We need to remember that lesson.

Deterring in today’s strategic environment, across all domains and geographic locations, requires the integration of capabilities throughout the entire Joint Force, to include missile defense.  As the lead for coordinating global missile defense planning and operations support, it is my responsibility to advocate for capabilities and enhancements.  Although current U.S. capabilities provide missile defense for both regional and the homeland, our adversaries continue to develop enhanced capabilities that defy traditional domains and regional boundaries, and in numbers that will tax our capacity.  It is imperative that missile defense initiatives are integrated with nuclear, conventional, cyber, and space capabilities.

It is only when we integrate across domains that we will achieve integrated deterrence at its highest level.  Only then can we ensure that the right systems are positioned to provide the Combatant Commanders with a range of options while denying our potential adversaries the benefit of the attack while threatening cost imposition.  Integration of missile defense planning and operations helps establish a credible deterrence.  Missile defenses contribute to all three elements of current deterrence theory.  It imposes cost on potential adversaries by forcing them to spend more energy and resources on their missile arsenals.  When our missile defenses are deployed and employed wisely they deny benefits of the adversary’s use of missiles.  It even forces him to use more to achieve his aims.  The first two elements encourage restraint on our adversary’s part.

I commend Congress for its continued support of the Next-Generation Interceptor and the due-outs from the 2019 Missile Defense Review.  And for its continued support of research and development efforts on the hypersonic glide interceptor, high energy laser, and other directed energy technology complement the existing Ground-Based Interceptor capabilities to counter missile threats.  The recapitalization of existing technology, such as the recent intercept of an ICBM by the SM-3 Block IIA missile from an Aegis ship, highlights our ability to achieve cost effective initiatives while expanding the potential for integration of existing sensor architecture.  As directed by the findings from the 2019 MDR, USSTRATCOM re-wrote the Warfighter Involvement Process.  This revised process maximizes warfighter inputs within the DoD’s budget process.  It is designed to put operational risk back on par with programmatic and technological risk to make better decisions.  These are only two examples of cost effective measures and improvements to existing doctrinal framework to achieve viable missile defense. 

Early warning of advanced missile threats of all types and integrated global planning are two essential elements of strategic deterrence.  Our current and planned terrestrial-based radar architecture limits our capacity to fully achieve early warning.  As I discussed previously, advanced Chinese and Russian platforms, such as the dual-use Zircon and Chinese hypersonic glide vehicles are designed without regard for boundaries between combatant commands, geographic or global.  The Joint Force, including USSTRATCOM, needs twenty-first century warning or we need a different posture to account for a lack of warning.  We did it previously in our history when warning timelines remained consistent and the nation invested at great cost in equipment, infrastructure, and personnel during the Cold War. 

Our ability to command and control our missile defense forces underpins strategic deterrence.  NC3 and Joint All-Domain Command and Control systems are key parts of integrating missile defense.  JADC2 will provide a means of sharing information across the Joint Force and ensuring the best shooter and the best sensor are available to counter threats to both our nuclear and conventional forces.  We shouldn’t stop with U.S.-only measures.  Our allies and partners around the globe are a vital element to increasing our regional missile defenses capability and capacity.  Allied and partner interoperability preserves freedom of action and enables effective coalition and alliance cooperative defense.  USSTRATCOM will continue its efforts to bolster allied and partner relationships through war-games like NIMBLE TITAN.  Twenty-four countries and three international organizations participate in this war-game.  It is a war-game which focuses on the hard work of multinational collaboration and integration aimed at enhancing deterrence and defense concepts.  The scale and intensity of the strategic environment is changing.  Integration will help us in this complex multi-domain environment.  Everything we do is for our national security and that of our allies and partners.

As I close, I want you to remember that the threats we are facing today are truly extraordinary.  And as our Commander in Chief stated in his Interim National Security Strategic Guidance, “It is our solemn obligation to protect the security of the American people.”  I, and the entirety of USSTRATCOM…150,000 Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers, Marines, Guardians, and Civil Servants strong…applaud the SECDEF and Chairman for innovative thinking and leading the effort to define and achieve integrated deterrence across the Joint Force to protect the American people and our allies.  Defining the larger whole of integrated deterrence and each of our parts is an imperative.

Make no mistake; China’s strategic breakout is cause for action.  The ongoing National Defense Strategy, Nuclear Posture Review, and the MDR are the ideal opportunity to address this radically changed operational environment.  Clear-eyed, threat-informed decision making will avoid unintentional and premature policy and programmatic changes that affect U.S. strategy.  This is a strategy that must remain resistant to adversarial coercion.  The three-party dynamic that confronts us is unprecedented.  We need a national undertaking to think through this.  Missile defense is, and will remain, an imperative to our nation’s defense. 

If we choose to life-extend, divest, or not invest in a certain capability we must consider the risk that we are inherently accepting in today’s security environment.  Take the Minuteman three as an example.  It can’t match the threat environment forever.  If we don’t replace it with new, modern ICBM systems, we will significantly increase our strategic risk.  Our capabilities must be able to pace the threat environment they will operate in.  Our legacy systems have no margin for this.

We need to innovate. 

We need to go faster.

We need to understand what we are up against. 

We have done it before, and we can do it again. 

All ahead flank.  And Roll Tide.

Questions & Answers:

Q: When Secretary Austin talks about integrated deterrence, he ties it in with taking action in the gray zones and leveraging the competition space. This room is the target audience for that. How do we compete with a highly-centralized adversary like China that is very good at leveraging their industry and avoid losing our technological edge?

A: I think the first part, and again I applaud everything that Secretary Austin is doing, where he’s going with integrated deterrence. And a key piece of what I was trying to describe here is it’s all linked together and it goes all the way down into the gray zone. These are the actions below the traditional level of armed conflict. And we need to be taking better actions. There’s a number of dimensions, right. One is how fast you can produce capability. And we are on the wrong side of that curve in the terms of how fast we can produce capability. The second is demonstrations of capabilities in a constant running … if you come to my office, there’s a big sign there with some pictures underneath and it says, “not today”. Our whole goal is to make sure that no one makes a decision to conduct aggression today. If you inserted enough doubt in their mind that this is not the day – maybe tomorrow. That’s how you go after that.

Q: Analysis of Chinese and Russian strategic modernization generally (sic) as the US as their main adversary or target. Do you think they are also responding to India as ascendant power?

A: I think, in general, what you will find that any nation does is it considers the entirety of its security environment and makes decisions based on what it thinks is in its own best interest. So, yes, I think that the totality is considered by Russia, China, us, pretty much everybody.

Q: Sir, do you believe that there will be adequate resources to support integrated deterrence? Current plan is to retire ships with 800-plus vertical launch system tubes, just as one example for the reason for this question.

A: Oh, I absolutely think that there are adequate resources available to do integrated deterrence. This nation has always made wise decisions when it understands the threat that is posed against it and what it will take to counter that threat. I’m often reminded that I think former Secretary of Defense Mattis had it right, we can afford survival.

Q: Sir, you mentioned alliances and partners, however, engagement and dependence on critical partners, such as NATO and in the Pacific, Japan and Korea, sometimes come off as an afterthought. Are we giving them enough due attention and engagement?

A: The secretary of defense couldn’t have made it more clear--It’s one of his top priorities. Yes. I think the piece there: continue the engagement. Let’s make sure we all have a shared understanding of the threat and potential consequences from that. But, yes, I think the secretary’s leading us in the right direction on that.

Q: Sir, how are the activities of STRATCOM, SPACECOM and CYBERCOM integrated to achieve strategic deterrence?

A: In any number of ways. Again, I applaud where the chairman – you had Vice Chairman Hyten in here yesterday. He gave you some of the specific programmatic things that are going to drive integration. There are parallel efforts – improving the way our planning operates. There are efforts underway to better integrate our operations. So there’s a multi-faceted approach to better pull us together.

Q: During the Cold War, we were not economically entangled with the USSR. Does the current economic entanglement with China create a de facto deterrence for both parties?

A: Deterrence involves all elements of national power, right. It’s all the things that go into the strategic decisions that a nation chooses to make. So, yes, the economic entanglement does provide a deterrent effect. In fact, I particularly applaud Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Kahl’s formulation. When I say we need a definition of integrated deterrence, it’s not like nobody’s working on it, right? OSD policy is leading us. We have the beginnings of that. We have a definition. We’re working with the other combatant commands. This is all converging. We just have to get there. In particular, what Secretary Kahl talks about is the idea of entanglement as a specific attribute inside deterrence theory. That’s relatively novel and I think he’s on target with that. And entanglement involves the political relations between nations, economic, information. There’s great potential in exploiting that in our defense. Remember, at STRATCOM, for us, victory looks like nothing happened. It is a very non-military concept. So, that’s our goal. This entanglement concept that Dr. Kahl is pushing I think helps us achieve that vision.

Q: Based on your assessment of China, does the United States need more than the force posture outlined by the new START that we are currently modernizing?

A: See, I think that is an excellent – in fact, that will be looked at as a part of the nuclear posture review. I like the way Gen. Hyten formulated it yesterday, right. That really this drives off what is your national defense strategy and then what is the nuclear piece, what is the missile defense piece. These all have to be looked at together. We’re doing it in the right order. What is the threat? What is our strategy to defend the nation against that threat? What are our policies? What are our postures? And only then do you get to the capabilities.

It is, I think, important to note, the nation has had a very consistent strategic and nuclear deterrent strategy that I can trace its lineage back to the Kennedy Administration. In fact there’s an interesting historic example of the one time we chose something different it was New Look maximum or massive response in the Eisenhower Administration, and that’s a good historic example. It was the type of minimum deterrence strategy that we relatively quickly abandoned because it’s not flexible enough. If you want be providing extended deterrence assurance and taking the role in the world that the United States has done. So, we have always had about the same strategy, flexible, tailored. It’s at the mid-point between some of your other choices. And it comes with a very carefully thought-out policy, posture capability group designed to execute that strategy. I’m confident that we’re going down the right path to think through this in the right way in the Nuclear Posture Review.

Q: In March, the Biden Administration initiated work on the next generation interceptor to keep pace with rogue threats. How might our integrated deterrence be degraded or made worse if for some reason NGI was not completed? Can you elaborate from STRATCOM’s perspective why NGI is important?

A: Fundamentally, NGI is a great specific example of the broader thing that I was saying. You have to be able to pace the threat, right. You have to be able to keep up with the technological advancements that you’re trying to counter. NGI is just a specific example of us being able to do that. I will say that I’m kind of expecting the question I think I heard yesterday ‘what do you want industry to do’ right. What I want industry to do is to deliver on time and on budget. If we can’t deliver our capabilities in the way we said we could, we are not going to be able to pace threats. You want to a specific example going back to Nuclear Command and Control, I was supposed to get seven new systems at IOC this year, initial operational capability. I’m actually going to get two. Each of them has got their own little tale of woe, but the bottom line is I don’t have them. And if I don’t have them, I’ve got nothing to operate and I can’t keep up with the threat. We don’t figure that out, then all of this clever strategy stuff is not going to come too much.

Q: On the subject of capability versus capacity gap, can we agree that capability alone cannot satisfy the capacity gap, and please comment on mass matters on quantity has a quality of its own?

A: I was just going to say ‘quantity has a quality of its own,’ right. That was one of the points, it was in the speech and I actually took it out. You have to have – the mass you’re facing. It doesn’t matter if individually your stuff is better, if you don’t have enough of them, you still lose.

Q: How will economic entanglement that includes excessive economic dependency put stress against our current strategy?

A: Again, that’s a specific example. And, again, I think this is often overlooked about nuclear. It drives back to decisions and the ways that threats of things can constrain your decision space in ways that may not be favorable to you. We do a lot of work at STRATCOM to be ready, but about 70 or 80% of what we do out there is not to respond to nuclear use. It’s to prevent nuclear use. And we forget that nuclear weapons systems are the only weapons systems ever invented that you don’t have to pull the trigger on them for them to work. Their mere existence changes decision calculous, and that’s what we mean when we say we use them every day.

Narrator: Sir that concludes our questions. Your final comments:

Adm. Richard: I just – it’s great to be back home. I hope you take away a sense of urgency. I just don’t think we have wrapped our heads around the environment that we’re in. We need to do so quickly – make good decisions if we expect to continue to enjoy the level of security that we have today.