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SPEECH | Aug. 11, 2022

2022 Space and Missile Defense Symposium

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                  

11 Aug 2022

Location: Huntsville, Alabama

Event:  Space and Missile Defense Symposium 2022          


Gen. Donahue (ret): Now we are honored to welcome a native son of Alabama Adm. Charles Richard Adm. Richard is actually really a local he's from Decatur and he graduated with honors from the University of Alabama 1982 Roll Tide. That was kinda weak, like I said he graduated from the University of Alabama.

Audience: Roll Tide

Gen. Donahue: He has an accomplished distinguished career in the U.S. Navy and is currently the commander U.S. Strategic Command, one of the 11 co united commands [unified commands] of the Department of Defense. Please join me in welcoming Adm. Richard to the stage.

Adm. Charles Richard, commander of U.S. Strategic Command:

it is always great to come back home, to Alabama. In particular, what's fun to go do is to go to Redstone. Not everybody here could work for Redstone or live on Redstone, so like, that's Redstone.

If you grew up here, and there's a lot of us who couldn't get on Redstone, right? We got to go two weeks at a time, but otherwise Redstone was forbidden. You had no idea what they were doing out there. You just knew that it was really worth it. You knew that it was classified. You knew it was dangerous. There's this mystery that sat out behind those fence posts that you couldn't go to. So every time I get to come back, I say, "Yeah, I get to go to Redstone now." That's pretty awesome.

Let me first say thank you to the Coastal Air Defense Artillery, The Air, Space and Missile Defense, National Defense Industrial Association for sponsoring these events. Thank you, General Formica and the SMDC Symposium Committee for organizing this event. You just heard they are fabulous, one of the best ones ever. It could not have come, in my opinion, at a more opportune time.

You may recall, right here in Huntsville, 364 days ago we discussed a number of potential challenges in the geopolitical environment, strategic deterrence is basic missile defense. Everything we discussed last year, everything is coming true.

Russia used the nuclear words. The People's Republic of China's accelerated strategic breakout, and the development and deployment of new weapon's systems. The aggregation of those threats and those actions is altering the strategic landscape. The global security environment is now, today, a three-party nuclear peer reality where the PRC and Russia are stressing and undermining the rules-based international order. This is real. We are witnessing conditions that my command, STRATCOM, and the nation haven't experienced in over 40 years.

So along with the other COCOMs and the rest of the Department, we're building an operational framework for integrated deterrence. We made some tremendous strides, but there's a lot more work we have to do. We need an integrated deterrence strategy that adapts our strategic capabilities, capacity, and posture to keep pace with the evolving global threats.

So I want to talk today about how we're going to do that. I'm going to address Russian nuclear coercion. An updated assessment on the PRC's strategic breakout. Some things that I think are missile defense imperatives and some stuff I'd like to ask y'all to do once we're finished.

Let's talk Russia for a second. Their unprovoked aggression has caused the largest war on the European continent since World War II. I will tell you at least my command was ready for that. We produced current, strategic assessments for the Chair and the Secretary of Defense, and we submitted the first ever, in my command's history, real-world commander's estimate of what it was going to take to maintain strategic deterrence over these crisis conditions. It's obvious that I can't discuss everything that we're doing, but we're working closely with the other COCOMs, understanding what posture and actions we may need to take. Even when they do standardize there are people and conditions to harden the NC3 enterprise [inaudible] cons, conditions, force protection condition, or DEFCON, or something like that.

And our Looking Glass airborne command post team [inaudible] extended period of continuous airborne operations. So, I'll say it another way. We have a plan.

The entire world is watching us. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has to be viewed in a global context. It has profound implications for deterrence, assurance and non-proliferation. Moscow is using both implicit and explicit nuclear coercion. Russia's invasion of Ukraine and nuclear threats to NATO have fundamentally altered the security environment.

We don't have the luxury or, certainly, I don't have luxury of assuming these threats are empty. That escalated rhetoric against NATO and the US is as if they're trying to exploit a perceived deterrence gap. A threshold below which they mistakenly believe they may be able to employ nuclear weapons, specifically around some of their 10,000-plus non-treaty accountable weapons. Without fear this would somehow escalate to a full-scale exchange. That's a very flawed idea. That's a very dangerous idea.

Think back, like, we should all recognize the vast majority of that guided ordnance that you have seen fired into Ukraine is dual-capable. It could be nuclear.

The deterrence gap that I'm referring to could a drive a wedge between us and one of our most important strategic assets, and vice versa. Our allies, by exploiting a perceived assurance gap. The assumption that the US may lack the capability, the capacity, and most importantly the will to fulfill our stated deterrence agreements. Russia now feels a lot like [inaudible]. Avangard Hypersonic Glide Vehicle, Kinzhal Air-Launched Ballistic Missile, and Tsirkon Land-Attack Cruise Missile. Their use of dual-capable and hypersonic weapons in the invasion of Ukraine highlights their novel, new stuff that they're developing. It is a signal to us, our allies, and our partners. Our observations of Russian actions over the last five months have allowed us to better posture forces for the future.

Remember, I'm skipping the fact that they're about 86 percent complete on modernizing their treaty-accountable systems. We remain at zero. We're getting there, right? Maybe by the end of the decade.

Make no mistake, today we're ready. And as our President said, "Any use of nuclear weapons in this conflict, at any scale, would be completely unacceptable to us, as well as the rest of the world, and would entail severe consequences." And every day STRATCOM and our forces in the field remain ready to do whatever the President orders us to do, while continuously reassessing the situation and adjusting as necessary.

China. The People's Republic of China. While Russia remains the acute threat, the near-term threat, the PRC remains our greatest long-term strategic competitor. They're continuing their [inaudible], working this pretty hard. Pursuit of a world-class military by 2030, and the military capabilities to seize Taiwan by force, if they choose to, by 2027. Five years from now.

Since we last spoke, PRC has accelerated that breathtaking expansion of their strategic and nuclear forces that I referred to previously. And, just as I spoke last year about the PRC's strategic breakout, since we've done that some, as y'all, I'm sure, have seen, commercial satellite imagery discovered a third intercontinental ballistic missile field, probably 120 silos. That's enough now total for 360 new missiles. And, remember, they're not treaty-constrained, so each of those could have up to 10 warheads on top of it. And that's just one piece. Every other thing they're doing is expanding at a similar pace.

But don't just look at the numbers. Investigate how many hypersonic weapons are their own. Their next-generation of land and road mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles. New ballistic missile submarine with new missiles to go on it.

Directed energy weapons, anti-satellite, anti-missile, anti-unmanned aircraft system capabilities. Now add that to their investments in nuclear command and control engagement of [inaudible] that previously only us and Russia had. Much improved readiness. Nascent launch under warning, launch under attack capabilities. It is clear to me at least they have moved a long way off the historic minimum-deterrence posture.

Now to go with all of this is an ongoing [inaudible] last year. I formally declared, the PRC's strategic breakout in a fully informed memo to the Secretary of Defense.

It's not just a talking point that I make in speeches. It is something that we documented in informing the Secretary.

Now let's by clear [inaudible] in my areas of responsibility. Everything I just talked about is additive. Everything else, they're doing in conventional modernization and expansion efforts. They have the world's largest navy right now. World leaders by hull and construction of new warships by tonnage. Air force devoted of over 2,800 aircraft and army of approximately one million. And their massive innovation apparatus. Couple private sector companies, academia and people [inaudible] have enabled them to leap over in space and cyber.

With those growing capabilities they're acting with growing assertiveness. And through that scope, they have made a record number of intrusions in Taiwan's air defense zone. On the same period of time their media mouthpieces have made nuclear threats to our Japanese and Australian allies. And as I think we've all been tracking, their destabilizing and irresponsible use of live-fire drills and ballistic missiles near Taiwan and Japan, that gives you a hint, I think, of how they intend to employ their military might.

Step back. Look at this as a whole. This is a military that is designed for coercion, and the PRC's leaders are watching and learning lessons from Russians invasion of Ukraine. Particularly how [inaudible] ambiguously [inaudible] threat. They realized you need to capability to pass [inaudible]. They recognized you can't coerce from minimal return posture. This required us to make immediate and significant planning and capability shifts. Some of those are done, others are underway. Again, there's still a lot more that has to be done.

Now, while nuclear weapons remain insensible, they are just part of a larger goal. That's why I applaud Secretary Austin's vision for integrated deterrence. You need to think about the problem holistically, and then integrate across functions, theaters, domains, and the spectrum of conflict. Long overdue. I'm the third STRATCOM Commander in a row that's been calling for that. And that's what our Secretary said. Integrated deterrence. It's backstopped by a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.

So, like nuclear, missile defense is part of a larger whole. We need new missile defenses, starting with missile warning. That's the number one thing I need is missile warning so I know what to do about my power, posturing, [inaudible] my forces. It's due to these rapidly expanding and evolving threats. Hypersonic weapons. Cruise missiles that eventually are within intercontinental range. Unmanned aerial systems. Proliferation of shorter-range ballistic missiles, and several novel weapons systems.

As I mentioned in my congressional testimony, the PRC's successful test of a fractional orbit bombardment hypersonic capability never before seen in the world. I am not convinced at all we've fully thought through the implications of what weapons system means.

Prime examples of this emerging capability. We're going to get increased warning timelines, difficulties in attribution and increased threat to our conditional space and missile defenses and forces. And the increasing use of missiles in conflict, in my opinion, highlights need for defense against proliferation of ordinary weapons.

What does he mean by ordinary weapons? All right, I mean we focus a lot of attention on the novel weapons systems, but a garden-variety cruise missile on a quiet submarine is actually a very underappreciated threat. So, all of these put together, simply put, have serious implications for continued deterrence. To deal with this challenge, I think we have to do three things, for missile defense as part of our overall integrative deterrent strategy.

First, we have to reevaluate and readjust our missile defense posture. We got to look harder at dispersal, hardening, redundancy, mobility. Complicate opponent attack plans. Reduce the confidence of attack success. Raise the threshold for potential conflict, and give our senior leaders more decision space by limiting damage from attacks.

Second, and this is not new, we already get after it. It's new capabilities left of launch. We must be able to detect and track cruise missile and hypersonic attacks on our homeland. Launch [inaudible]. Attribute. Defend. Respond appropriately. Early warning is essential. Or, if we conclude we're not going to get early warning then re-posture to account for that, right? Y'all got to remember [inaudible] we had no warning at all. We compensated by posture. There's your trade space. We got to remember what we did in the past.

We absolutely have to have responsive, persistent, resilient and cost-effective joint integrated missile defense sensor capabilities. Integrated command and control, new sensor architecture, launch to impact traffic on these threats. And we got to come up with ideas on passive defenses against regional hypersonics.

Third, finally, we have to integrate. The threat focused on missile that be, not just at the missile defense. Based on a top-down architecture that synchronizes US, ally, and partner contributions and capabilities. Get beyond platform-centric defenses to a more comprehensive approach where we can bring to bear all our capabilities. Passive, defense, offense, kinetic, non-kinetic, and mold it together into a joint, combined forced.

Got to stop stove piping things with service-specific capabilities, beta networks, things like that. And the acquisition could be, are you going to ask, We got to exploit some [inaudible] approaches to ensure timely and cost-effective development, we got to keep pace up here. Integrate our [inaudible] technical, programmatic, all across the department.

We should make it clear that homeland defense, regional defense, and strategic deterrence are all part of an integrated strategy we're thinking about together. I mentioned before, we need to take a hard look at the posturing for the future. [inaudible] assess the threat. Rapidly adjust capability, capacity and posture for the future. I'm doing that with Strategic Forces right now. We are never going back to the way we started our earlier in my tour in terms of what day-to-day looks like for strategic forces.

We need your help. We're in a decisive decade. Ten-year window that is our opportunity and necessity to tackle this era's defined challenges. Look, we have government here, civilian and military. We have think thanks. We have academia. We have business. We have industry. So here's what I'd like: ask respectfully, ask you to help us go do.

First, revise the theory of strategic deterrence. This is a long-term effort that is going to take the best minds across government, academia, and private industry. We have to grow the next generation of strategic deterrence thinkers to think about these problems. As Herman Kahn wrote 60 years ago, "We have a moral imperative to think about the unthinkable." You just can't dismiss nuclear until you add that. That will never happen.

Now, look, at STRATCOM, we think of ourselves as the keepers of the claim of the ability to do that. But, I got to confess to you, and be candid. Even our operational deterrence expertise is just not what it was at the end of the Cold War, so we have to reinvigorate this intellectual art, and we can start by rewriting deterrence theory.

I'll tell you we're universally doing that out at STRATCOM. We've got some better two-party stuff that's actually working quite well in the current crisis, that is radically different. Non-linearity, linkages, chaotic behavior, inability to predict. All attributes that just don't show up in classic deterrence theory. Non-linearity's one of the biggest ones, right?

I can't think of anything more linear than a lab, and that sort of thing does not describe the real world in terms of behavior we can expect. But that's a two-party version. We have to account for three-party. That is unprecedented in this nation's history. We have never faced two peer, nuclear-capable opponents at the same time who have to be deterred differently. And the theory just doesn't account for that very well.

We've at least gotten to the point where I can tell you what it's not. A three-party y problem does not devolve into two simultaneous two-party problems, right? That is the first step and that doesn't work. So maintaining stability, particularly in crisis, will be much more challenging than in a bi-polar world.

I like saying this, particularly in this space-heavy crowd: I'm not sure what strategic stability looks like in a three-party world, and a lot of terms have been kicked around. Oh, that's stabilizing, that's not stabilizing. That's de-stabilizing. That's based on a Cold War two-party problem, and I'm kind of reminded here.... I'm an engineer and I talk about dynamics, I'm talking about that status and dynamics class that probably half the room had when we were freshmen in college.

I do know that there are many passively stable two-body orbital regime that you can stick stuff in. There are exactly zero stable, passively stable three-body orbital regimes. They all [inaudible] stabilization, and I don't even know what that means. But, of course, we can't even describe it [inaudible]. We have got to think through this much harder than we have in the past.

When I say deterrence is dynamic, there's another aspect to that, it's not stagnant. It doesn't sit still. It is actively executed on a daily basis throughout a continuum of operational environments. Deterrence through the campaign in a day-to-day is different from deterrence in crisis. It's different from deterrence in conflict. It's different from deterrence after first nuclear use when you're attempting to restore deterrence. We don't really get those differences very well. We need to get after that.

We have to continuously see the position in continuing terms. Again, not linear. Not binary. And there's no finite end-state in space, or time. We got to remember that precedence you set in the short term in a crisis also impact long-term risk calculations going into the future, and we're not very good about looking across different time dimensions when we think through things. If we think the Department of Defense, alone, can affect our adversary's decision calculus, well we would be wrong. We need integration across multiple departments, allies, partners, and institutions.

Alliances and partnerships for many of our groups asked us if they're only as strong as the guarantee of extended deterrence and assurance backed by the credible US Forces. We are going to better integrate our allies. We are all going to bring everything we have together to better deter and defend in our collective self-interest.

But we have to ask ourselves, what are the things that the US uniquely provides to an alliance that is necessary for the alliance to function? And one of those is our extended deterrence and assurance guarantees. Only we can provide those.

Remember, nuclear is not off on a box, off to the side. It doesn't get its own separate rheostat over here. The risk we would take is somehow independent of everything else we're doing. We can't do it in pieces. We can't set nuclear aside from our other capabilities. In the end, it comes back to your opponents' perceptions and what you're doing to influence those, so that they can feel restraint is their best option. How we communicate stated and risk is vital.

We also have to start thinking globally again. I know a lot of people come up here and say that. We're moving very slowly in that direction. For the past 30 years we had a regional approach, which I would simplify and say, "Look, whatever your problem is, we put it in a region, we put JOA around it, a joint operating area. We put a commander in charge of that. We shovel resources into to it and everybody else is supporting that commander and that solves our problem." That doesn't work, anymore.

What [inaudible] in 30 years doesn't work anymore. In fact, it's insufficient to deal with the problems we now face. Russia and the PRC have the ability to unilaterally, whenever they decide they can escalate to any level of violence in any domain they can do it worldwide and they can do it with any instrument of national power. We're just not used to dealing with competitions and confrontations like that. We can't do that from a regional point, alone.

And, remember: absence of a provocation is not deterrence, and restraint alone in regional operations will not maintain strategic deterrence. You got to deter the possibility of vertical escalation. Stated simply, there has to be an, "Or else" involved here when you're talking about people with these types of capabilities and their judgements say, and their judgements will.

Think about it this way. All of this is great theory. In the end, you have to get into which commander is responsible for what. Who's going to get ordered to do what? This is a very practical thing. There is not [inaudible] got to have it. Got to be able to execute it. So, in any future confrontation, you will have at dealt three simultaneous supported commanders. First, NORAD NORTHCOM is always the supported commander for homeland defense.

STRATCOM is always the supported commander for strategic deterrence, and the geographic combat commander is always the supported commander for national objectives against that opponent. We have to do all of three of those things concurrently. I'm beginning to pity, though, who's going to prioritize what. It doesn't count if you only get two of the three done, all right? We have to get them all done and we have to have a military capability, capacity, command and control able to do that.

We also need to go faster. Our acquisition programs are candidly, they just move too slow. More than half of the US major defense programs are delayed. Some of these are stunting, 5 to 10 years. Unless we get after that, doesn't matter how good a commander I or anybody behind me is, we're not going to have the stuff to do it with.

So let's go back. We again have historic examples that I think are very telling here. Here's one, one of my favorites, in the '50s, rapid but [inaudible] Huntsville. But in the '50s, rapid development of air defenses was threatening our ability to get the bomber in to go accomplish the mission. Made us pretty vulnerable. Tactical that had strategic implications.

So, in 1956, the US government issues a requirement for a supersonic air to surface cruise missile with a nuclear payload that's going to be carried on a B-52. 17 months later, the Air Force evaluated proposals and awarded contract, and 14 months after that, Strategic Air Command. What we talking about here? We're talking 32 months, 31 months SAC took possession of the first production AGM-28 Hound Dog cruise missile. One of the first cruise missiles in the world.

Little bit of trivia for you, by the way. The Hound Dog is actually named after the hit Elvis song that some of you may remember, and I think it's kind of telling. When that missile got named Hound Dog, Elvis was actually serving in a tank battalion across the Fulda Gap, showing you everybody did their part.

Now, that Hound Dog? I can almost like to have the Hound Dog today. It is a Mach 2 capable, 800-mile range, one mega-ton nuclear warhead, and this was really good for the day. You could even, with your cruise missile, on your B-52, you turn its engines on to help you with takeoff, and then refuel the cruise missile from the B-52 to make sure you didn't compromise its range.

The warhead on that went from design to production in four years. We had that thing for 33 years. Right? It took 31 months to get it. We had it for 33 years. We did stuff like that in the Cold War. We could do stuff like that again. So finally, we got to work together.

PRC, actually does this a lot better than we do. They integrate government, military, academia, and industry in a way that we just don't anymore. Hey, STRATCOM has published our command's top 10 S&T objectives for it to show where we think we need to go. We got some really good stuff going on with AI in our Intelligence planning operational communities, and we have an academic alliance program. I think it's like 74 universities and colleges that we're partnered with to try to harness this second-to-none relationship with the national lab. We got a lot more to go.

Think about it this way. This nation invented the entire Rand Corporation to do nothing but think about strategic deterrence back in the Cold War. We're going to need an equivalent national level of effort to get after the challenges we have today.

Let me wrap this up. Thank you for what you do, in the defense of our country and the rules-based international order. The thing that we created after all the sacrifices of World War II, in an effort to make sure we would never have a great power war again. The free world is getting tested in ways right now, ways we haven't seen in decades. And that three-party nuclear-fueled world's just unprecedented.

Now, in both the second World War and Cold War, to be honest with you, sometimes we doubted ourselves. And so the beginning of the Cold War in 1947, one of our wise men, George Kennan, sought to explain the challenge and encourage the American people to meet it. So to prevail in this contest of will, this is what it always comes down to. Who [inaudible] today? Who had greater will?

He said the United States only needed to measure up to its own best predictions and prove itself worthy of preservation. In the Second World War and Cold War, we were worried that we could not compete against authoritarian regimes that seemed invincible and unconquerable. But in both contests, we prevailed. We're the ones that have true alliances and partnerships. We use the free society to innovate. We used our business leaders to create our [inaudible] democracy, and, most importantly, we have the moral high ground. We always rise to the challenge. We've done it before. We have to do it again.

Thank y'all.

All ahead flank. Roll Tide!

Moderator: Adm. Richard we do have a few questions that have come in, First of all, thank you so much for your comments this morning. The U.S. canceled two ICBM test in the past few months. Citing the desire not to appear to Russia and China that the U.S. is not taking escalatory actions. Has this cancellation of this of these ICBM tests had the desired effect on Russia and China. And how do we assess? I'm going to combine that with another question. Would you please speak to the delays in a Minuteman III program testing and the potential impacts to our national security?

Adm. Richard: Well, first, let's be accurate, we only canceled one Minuteman III test. The other one has been delayed [inaudible] short period of time. And remember, a Minuteman III test is like the other tests of our strategic systems, those are service weapons tests. That's an Air Force test.

But I do want to stress as the commander of our strategic forces, those tests are really important. We do them all the time. We agree for a year, we do it across all legs of the triad. We've been doing them for a long time, now. We've done like, 300 in just the last couple of decades, Minuteman III alone and we have done them routinely. We did one in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Those tests are really important to make sure that you understand the reliability of your weapons systems. Strategic deterrence hinges on credibility and you have to understand your reliability in order to be credible. And we're not the only nation that does that. I can't get into details, but Russia and China have done over a dozen of them this year, so far. We even talked about it when they did their most recent Sarmat, their new heavy ICBM test. Properly notified. Not threatening. You'll see another couple of them coming up here in the weeks ahead.

So, expect this most recent postponement to be short, and as long as we go get that test off, I don't expect it to have any impact to the missile. Simple way of proceeding [inaudible] today. It is important to remember the why we need service weapons tests, how important they are and the fact it is routine, normal, everybody understands them and that is stabilizing when it comes to strategic deterrence.

Moderator: Thank you sir. Please amplify on the aggregation of a PRC, Russia, North Korea, Iran in a coordinated or coincidental or cooperated scenarios of threat or attack. What steps can be taken to ensure that we can deter and if necessary if called upon to defeat not one but all?

Adm. Richard: Okay, so I'm fond of saying as the commander of STRATCOM, you don't the luxury of deterring folks one at a time. We have to love all the children. You have to pay attention to them all, all the time. And what I would stay is step one in the process, Joe, is we have to quit doing one-v-one comparisons. To be honest with you, I bristle sometimes when I say, "Well, if China has this, and if you have that, we have a lot more and we're good." That would be fine if China was the only folks that we had to be deterring. You have to look at them all together. You have to consider what could happen optimistically, you have to consider what could happen cooperatively, and that's what I mean when I say we have got to go look at our capability, capacity, and posturing.

We have a great strategy, the Nuclear Posture Review and National Defense Strategy, these are really good strategies, but you have to have the stuff to execute the strategy. That has to be tested against, "What does the threat look like?" Remember, we have no idea what China's got warmed up. Yes, Russia is treaty-constrained a little bit on a fraction of their capabilities, but their unconstrained, we don't know where that's going to wind up. North Korea, add that in. Do you have enough capability to capacity? Do you have it in the right places? The right readiness?

We have to do this more than every four to eight years. That's how we've been doing this since 1992 as part of the Nuclear Posture Review. Things are moving too fast right now. We have got to do his much more frequently than at just the right moment.

Moderator: Thank you, sir. I'm going to combine a couple of questions here. It should be quite interesting for both you and the audience, I believe. On the subject of deterrence uncertainty, continuous deterrence that you spoke of, speak to preemption. Left of launch, missile defense, is a necessity and an inherent risk. And I'm going to combine that with one here. It says, "To get really left of launch requires significant intelligence capabilities as well. What are your thoughts on the adequacy of our current capabilities there and immediate needs [inaudible]."

Adm. Richard: Well, I'll come back to... it's all about influencing the opponent's perceptions in a way that's beneficial our defense and deterrence. To our abilities, [inaudible] many of the things that you just talked about, are known by the opponent and that changes their decision calculus. And that's the whole name of the game when it comes to strategic deterrence. That's where I have gotten really excited about, can't go into a lot of details, but some of the artificial intelligence we're [inaudible] Space Command is doing some really good work in this area too. That gives us a much better understanding of what the opponent is doing, which gives us a wider window to influence it, reduce their confidence, and show that negotiation is the least bad option in a preferred path [inaudible].

Moderator: Thank you, sir. Well, enough of the easy questions Russia has clearly applied their deterrence theory against the U.S. and our allies and their invasion of Ukraine. They have arguably forced significant restraint in our response. As you mentioned, China has learned and will leverage their nuclear forces to deter our response. It appears it's going to come down to a credible capable strategic force and the willingness to employ it. How do we change the current trajectory that we're on for a conflict in Taiwan?

Adm. Richard: Well, one, I would think, is that we would need to be ready to confront, and have thought through ourselves, what is it we have to do or be able to show that we can do that changes their calculus and shows that resolving the issue without the use of violence is the correct way to go through that. I think I just outlined a number of things, in terms of [inaudible], but I would start with... man, I kind of want to [inaudible] on this. I think it's pretty prevalent and important. Is that restraint alone isn't going to answer the bell in terms of what we're going to have to do. You have to have thought through restraint. Simply being very careful about, "We're going to shoot this, but we're not going to shoot that." And if you just messaged a lot, everything would be good. We have to think through the 'or else' piece of this, and if we do that correctly, we reduce the chance that it comes down to violence to begin with.

Moderator: Thank you sir. I've got a good question here for you. What books would you recommend on nuclear weapons use and theory?

Adm. Richard: Oh, there are so many of those. If you have not, it's 700 pages, but I [inaudible] Herman Khan's "On Thermonuclear War." I would plow all the way through that. You would be surprised as to how much of the theoretical works are very valid today. It's a good starting point. There's a couple of Schilling books that I would put on that list. But I would put in there, go back to some of the very basic theory and start there. There's a number of things that you can add into that more recently, but I really.... It's 700 pages. It takes a while to get through it. You'll be surprised [inaudible]. That's where I'd start.

Moderator: Thank you sir that concludes our questions.

Adm. Richard: Thank you very much.