Tags: stratcom | john hyten | warns | nuclear | modernization

Stratcom Commander Warns Against Slow US Nuclear Modernization

Image: Stratcom Commander Warns Against Slow US Nuclear Modernization
In this image taken with a slow shutter speed and provided by the U.S. Air Force, an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test just after midnight, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (2nd Lt. William Collette/U.S. Air Force via AP)

By    |   Monday, 31 Jul 2017 09:11 AM

Stratcom commander Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten told The Washington Free Beacon on Monday that he's concerned by how slowly the U.S. is modernizing its nuclear arsenal.

According to Hyten, the country's current nuclear weapons and forces are not up to date, making them insufficient as a deterrent.

"My biggest concern is the ability to go fast enough," he said.

The congressional Government Accountability Office estimates that in the next 10 years, over $340 billion will be spent on nuclear modernization. According to Hyten, Russia, China and North Korea are all modernizing their nuclear capabilities faster than America.

"We can go fast in this country. So somehow we need to get that focus on the need to go fast. And the other thing is when you go fast, you end up being a little more efficient with the taxpayers' dollars too, which is a good thing," Hyten continued.

He points out that Russia announced plans to upgrade its own nuclear arsenal, saying that 70 percent of it will be upgraded by 2020, at a cost of $560 billion.

"Whether they get there or not, I won't comment on, but that was a stated objective, and I'll just point out that in 2020, we'll be zero percent modernized," Hyten said.

"So you have Russia going fast, North Korea is going extremely fast, China is going fast across a number of things, not just the nuclear capabilities, but in space where they are aggressively pursuing counterspace capabilities; in cyberspace, where they are aggressively pursuing very modern cyber capabilities," he added.

"The threats are right there and that's why we have a Strategic Command to respond to those strategic threats, and that's why modernization is important, not just the triad, but the nuclear weapons, the nuclear command and control, space, cyber."

Hyten also said that the military is still adjusting to the idea that cyberspace and outer space are potential battlegrounds.

"Space has been around for 35 years now, I mean there's been an Air Force Space Command for 35 years, and we have not fully integrated space as a war fighting domain that we operate in," he said.

"We don't like to think of cyber as a war fighting domain, and therefore we have all kinds of special rules that we put into it. We have to start treating them as war fighting domains and operating in them as war fighting domains."

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Stratcom commander Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten told The Washington Free Beacon on Monday that he's concerned by how slowly the U.S. is modernizing its nuclear arsenal.
stratcom, john hyten, warns, nuclear, modernization
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2017-11-31
Monday, 31 Jul 2017 09:11 AM
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