The admiral who heads the US Strategic Command — which is responsible for nuclear deterrence — is calling on the nation’s military and civilian leaders to seek new ways to face threats by Russia and China, including the “real possibility” of nuclear conflict.
Adm. Charles Richard warned that Moscow and Beijing have “begun to aggressively challenge international norms” in “ways not seen since the height of the Cold War.”
“There is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons, if they perceived a conventional loss would threaten the regime or state,” he wrote in the February issue of Proceedings, the US Naval Institute’s monthly magazine.
“Consequently, the U.S. military must shift its principal assumption from ‘nuclear employment is not possible’ to ‘nuclear employment is a very real possibility,’ and act to meet and deter that reality.”
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