Top official tells lawmakers that Washington has a ‘deterrence and assurance gap’ with rivals
The head of America’s nuclear forces has sounded an alarm in Congress, suggesting that Washington’s ability to deter attacks by rivals may be lacking amid threats from Russia and a rapid buildup of China’s strategic weaponry.
“We are facing crisis-deterrence dynamics right now that we have only seen a few times in our nation’s history,” US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) chief Admiral Charles Richard said on Wednesday in a Senate hearing. He reiterated concerns over “three-party deterrence dynamics,” of which he warned lawmakers in March, citing the Ukraine crisis.
“The nation and our allies have not faced a crisis like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in over 30 years,” Richard said. “President [Vladimir] Putin simultaneously invaded a sovereign nation while using thinly veiled nuclear threats to deter US and NATO intervention.”
Meanwhile, Chinese leaders are “watching the war in Ukraine closely and will likely use nuclear coercion to their advantage in the future,” the admiral said. “Their intent is to achieve the military capability to reunify Taiwan by 2027 if not sooner.”…read more RT
Pentagon Official Says U.S. Sees No Threat of Russia Using Nuclear Weapons
A senior Pentagon official told reporters on Friday (April 29) that the US does not believe there is a threat of Russia using nuclear weapons.
“We continue to monitor their nuclear capabilities every day the best we can and we do not assess that there is a threat of the use of nuclear weapons and no threat to NATO territory,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that NATO was engaged in a proxy against Russia by pouring weapons into Ukraine and warned of the danger of nuclear war. “The danger is serious, real, and we must not underestimate it,” he said.
While Lavrov’s warning was focused on the danger of the US and NATO pouring weapons into Ukraine, US officials took it as a threat. “Rattling of sabers and dangerous rhetoric is clearly unhelpful and something that we won’t engage in,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in response.
“Any bluster about the possible use of nuclear weapons is dangerous and unhelpful,” Austin said. “Nobody wants to see a nuclear war, and nobody can win that.”