Stratcom Chief Talks Nuclear Deterrence
Stratcom Chief Talks Nuclear
By Cheryl Pellerin, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. — (DoD
News) — January 22, 2016 — The global security environment calls for a
continued strong nuclear deterrent along with modernization for elements of the
nuclear triad and advanced training for U.S. Strategic Command’s workforce, the
Stratcom commander said here today.
Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney addressed an audience at the Center
for Strategic and International Studies, discussing strategic deterrent forces
as a foundation for national security.
Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander of U.S. Strategic
Haney said today’s security environment is complex, dynamic
and volatile, compounded by asymmetric methods, proliferation of advanced
technologies, and provocative and destabilizing behavior by current and
At the same time, he said, while the United States is engaged
in a campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other violent
extremists, the behavior on an international stage by Russia, China, North Korea
and Iran warrants U.S. attention.
Haney noted Moscow’s continued efforts to modernize
conventional and strategic military programs, “emphasizing new strategic
approaches, declaring and at times demonstrating their ability to escalate … and
conducting destabilizing actions associated with Syria, Ukraine and Crimea while
also violating the Intermediate Nuclear Force Treaty and other international
accords and norms.”
Russia also is developing counter-space capabilities and
conducting malicious activities in cyberspace, the admiral said, noting that
Russia claims to be establishing its own cyber command that will conduct
offensive cyber activities.
Still, Haney said, there is continued progress in the New
START treaty, which reduces the number of nuclear weapons and launchers that the
United States and Russia deploy.
New START Progress
“By complying with a series of treaties, the United States
has reduced its stockpile by 85 percent relative to its Cold War peak,” the
admiral said. “Instead of dozens of delivery systems, we're well on our way to
only four. We are retaining and modernizing only those systems needed to sustain
a stable and effective deterrent capability.”
Given continued funding and authority, Haney said, “we're on
track to achieve New START limits of 1,550 deployed warheads and 700 deployed
delivery systems by February 2018.”
The treaty, he added, engenders stability by maintaining
rough equivalency in size, capability and transparency through inspections, and
it helps to assure non-nuclear nations that they don’t need their own nuclear
On China, Haney said, “It's not just the build-up of features
into larger land masses in the South China Sea, it's also the build up of their
overarching military capabilities to support their anti-access, area denial
campaign and quest for sovereignty in the East and South China seas.”
China’s Military Investments
China continues to make significant military investments in
its nuclear and conventional capabilities with a stated goal of defending its
sovereignty, he added. For example, China is re-engineering its long-range
ballistic missiles to carry multiple nuclear warheads, and it recently conducted
a sixth successful test of a hyperglide vehicle.
China also is “parading missiles, clearly displaying their
modernization and their capability advancements. China's pursuit of conventional
global strike capabilities, offensive counter-space technologies and
exploitation of computer networks raises questions about China's global
aspirations,” Haney said.
North Korea and Iran
North Korea, with claims of miniaturized warheads, recent
claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test and developments in road-mobile and
submarine-launched ballistic missile technologies, shows disrespect for United
Nations Security Council mandates and a lack of regard for regional stability,
the admiral said. And with Iran, he added, even with the joint comprehensive
plan of action, the United States must remain vigilant of any shift in actions
regarding nuclear weapon ambitions, ballistic missile programs and continued
involvement in Middle East conflicts.
As a functional combatant command, Haney said, Stratcom has
transregional responsibility that extends from under the sea all the way up to
Haney listed what he called his six overarching priorities
for Strategic Command:
-- Deter strategic attack against the United States and
provide assurance to allies;
-- Provide a safe, secure, effective and ready nuclear deterrent force;
-- Deliver comprehensive warfighting solutions;
-- Address challenges in space and cyberspace;
-- Build, sustain and support partnerships; and
-- Anticipate change and confront uncertainty.
“Achieving comprehensive deterrence and assurance requires
more than just nuclear weapons systems,” the admiral said. It rests on a
whole-of-government approach, he explained, and includes having a robust
intelligence apparatus; space, cyber, conventional and missile defense
capabilities; global command, control and communications; and comprehensive
plans that link organizations and coherently knit their capabilities.
America’s Nuclear Deterrent
America’s nuclear deterrent, Haney added, is a synthesis of
dedicated sensors, assured command and control, a triad of delivery systems,
nuclear weapons, enabling infrastructure, trained and ready people and treaties
and nonproliferation activities. “All remain essential to our national security
and continue to provide a stabilizing force in the global geopolitical fabric of
the world,” he added.
Deterrence also requires a comprehensive understanding and
perception of the strategic environment from an adversary's point of view, the
Haney said the command has made great strides in force
improvement, readiness tracking and resource commitments, but most of its
delivery systems and the nuclear command, control and communications
architecture must be replaced in the 2025 to 2030 timeframe.
“We are fast approaching the point where [failing to
modernize these elements] will put at risk our safe, secure and effective and
ready nuclear deterrent, potentially jeopardizing strategic stability,” he said.
The budget has a deterrent value of its own and reflects the
nation's commitment to its deterrent strategy, he added. “If we are to meet
future challenges, we must have a synchronized campaign of investment supporting
the full range of military operations that secure our national security
objectives across the globe,” Haney said.
In the same way that Stratcom sustains and modernizes its
platforms and weapons, the admiral said, the command also must sustain and
modernize its workforce.
“We must invest in the future of the professionals, both
civilian and military, who operate, maintain, secure, engineer and support our
nuclear enterprise,” he said, adding that Strategic Command is working in this
“For example, we’ve established an academic alliance program
focused on developing a community of interest of deterrence and assurance in the
context of national security,” the admiral said.
Stratcom is partnered with 20 universities and military
higher-education institutes, including Stanford University, Georgetown
University, National Defense University and several Nebraska universities, he
“Tomorrow, we will kick off the third 13-week fellowship
program at the University of Nebraska-Omaha aimed specifically at providing
professional growth opportunities for my civilian workforce,” Haney explained.
In March, he added, the same university will host an
inaugural deterrence and assurance workshop aimed at bringing those
professionals together for discussions.
“We must modernize the force, including the people, to ensure
this force remains capable of delivering strategic stability and foundational
deterrence well into the future, even as we pursue third-offset strategic
choices,” Haney said.
The Defense Department’s “Third Offset Strategy” builds on
work done in the 1950s and 1970s to ensure the United States and its allies
maintain their technological edge over potential adversaries.
(Follow Cheryl Pellerin on Twitter: @PellerinDoDNews)
Related Biographies :
Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney
Related Links :
U.S. Strategic Command