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21 Sep 22. Conflict With a Nuclear-Capable Peer Possible, Says Stratcom Commander. Navy Adm. Charles “Chas” A. Richard, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, today joined a panel discussion on important national security concerns.
“All of us in this room are back in the business of contemplating competition through crisis and possible direct armed conflict with a nuclear-capable peer,” he said. “We have not had to do that in over 30 years. The implications of that are profound. They’re profound for homeland defense. They’re profound for strategic deterrence, as well as us achieving national objectives. And this is no longer theoretical.”
The panel discussion on “America Under Attack — Defending the Homeland” was held during the Air & Space Forces Association’s 2022 Air, Space & Cyber Conference, at National Harbor, Maryland.
Every Defense Department plan and capability rests on an assumption that strategic deterrence, and in particular nuclear deterrence, is holding, Richard said. If that assumption isn’t met, nothing else in the department or the joint force is going to work the way that it was designed.
“Russia and China can escalate to any level of violence that they choose in any domain with any instrument of power worldwide,” he said. “We just haven’t faced competitors and opponents like that in a long time.”
Because of this, the department will have to change its approach to warfare, he said, adding that the slower, traditional approaches to escalation don’t work anymore.
In defending the homeland, combatant commanders will need to act quickly against an opponent in all domains: land, sea, air, space and cyberspace, he said.
The nuclear posture review that was recently delivered lays out an excellent strategy, he said. The strategy endorses modernization of the nuclear triad and its command-and-control system.
“We need to execute this very good strategy as the threat from China continues to increase,” he said. “We don’t know where that’s going to end, as the threat from Russia continues to increase, along with the other challenges that we face.”
Air Force Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, and Army Gen. James H. Dickinson, commander of U.S. Space Command, also participated on the panel.
Dickinson emphasized the integrated deterrence that Richard mentioned, noting that Spacecom uses the term to mean partnering with allies, partners and industry.
Spacecom’s assets, such as providing space domain awareness, are shared with Stratcom, Northcom and the other combatant commanders, he said.
VanHerck said his first mission is to provide aerospace warning for North America.
When NORAD stood up in 1958, the mission was much simpler: detecting bombers or intercontinental ballistic missiles, he said.
Today, the aerospace warning challenge is dramatically different with cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems and hypersonics that can evade radar detection, he said. (Source: US DoD)
16 Sep 22. Readout of Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks’ Continuing Engagements With Defense Industrial Base Companies.
Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon provided the following readout:
Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks met with from key industries this week to communicate Department of Defense priorities, learn more about industry initiatives, and discuss defense industrial base concerns.
On Wednesday, Deputy Secretary Hicks attended the White House Summit on Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing, where she discussed the transformative potential biotechnology and biomanufacturing bring to the department’s mission to defend the nation. This summit included a DoD commitment to invest more than $1bn in the U.S. domestic bioindustrial manufacturing base.
On Thursday, she met with the Aerospace Industries Association Executive Committee, which is comprised of CEOs of leading aerospace companies. During the meeting, Deputy Secretary Hicks and industry CEOs discussed ongoing support to Ukraine, efforts to address industry pressures caused by inflation, and near- and long-term workforce challenges. She emphasized the importance of data-driven responses to economic conditions.
Deputy Secretary Hicks also highlighted that the department has awarded over $2.4 bn to procure capabilities for Ukraine as well as replenish U.S. stocks since the further invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces in February 2022.
They also discussed the detrimental impacts that a continuing resolution would have on ensuring predictable supply chains and on the defense industrial base. Deputy Secretary Hicks reiterated the national security imperative for timely, sufficient, and consistent annual funding.
The deputy secretary is also conducting individual touchpoints across industry sectors to discuss specific innovation efforts and concerns in order to better understand the strengths and vulnerabilities associated with U.S. supply chains and the health of the industrial base.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III and Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks continue to engage industry leaders as part of a regular, open communication strategy to advance the Department’s understanding of industry priorities and challenges.
These meetings with executives in key areas of innovation and modernization also help to employ a collaborative-disruption approach to accelerate the development of cutting-edge capabilities and new operational concepts. (Source: US DoD)
16 Sep 22. Joint Statement on the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group Meeting. The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Korea.
In line with the decision by President Joseph R. Biden and President Yoon Suk Yeol in May, the foreign affairs and defense agencies of the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) held an Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG) meeting at the Under Secretary / Vice Minister level on September 16, 2022 in Washington D.C. ROK First Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Cho Hyundong and ROK Vice Minister of National Defense Shin Beomchul led the ROK delegation. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Bonnie Jenkins and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl led the U.S. delegation.
This is the third meeting of the high-level EDSCG, which provides a forum for comprehensive discussions on strategy and policy issues to strengthen Alliance deterrence on the Korean Peninsula and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. The September 16 dialogue highlighted the commitment by both partners to use all available levers — including diplomatic, informational, military, and economic tools — to strengthen and reinforce the U.S. security commitment to the ROK and strengthen deterrence against DPRK aggression, and more broadly counter the DPRK threat.
The United States and the ROK expressed their serious concern over the DPRK’s escalatory and destabilizing messaging related to nuclear weapons use, including its adoption of the new nuclear policy law. The two sides committed to continue efforts to employ all elements of both countries’ national power to strengthen the Alliance deterrence posture. The United States reiterated its ironclad and unwavering commitment to draw on the full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear, conventional, missile defense, and other advanced non-nuclear capabilities, to provide extended deterrence for the ROK. The United States and the ROK made clear that any DPRK nuclear attack would be met with an overwhelming and decisive response. Both sides also confirmed their will to continue and strengthen close Alliance consultation regarding U.S. nuclear and missile defense policy.
The United States committed to strengthen coordination with the ROK to continue to deploy and exercise strategic assets in the region in a timely and effective manner to deter and respond to the DPRK and enhance regional security. They highlighted the combined training of fifth generation F-35A fighter jets in July and the upcoming deployment of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group in the region as a clear demonstration of such U.S. commitment.
The two sides will continue to explore avenues to enhance Alliance strategic readiness through improved information sharing, training, and exercises, as they relate to nuclear and non-nuclear threats, including better use of table-top exercises. Both sides also pledged to improve coordination and strengthen the Alliance’s missile response capabilities and posture, and continuing cooperation in the space and cyber arenas, to include through expanded multi-domain exercises.
The United States reiterated its strong support for the aims of the ROK’s Audacious Initiative, and both sides committed to continue their coordinated efforts to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The two sides also agreed that they will enhance cooperation to address DPRK sanctions evasion and illicit cyber activities using diplomatic, economic, and military tools. Both countries emphasized that the DPRK’s continued pursuit and development of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction in defiance of multiple United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions undermines regional and global security and stability and the global non proliferation regime. Both sides agreed on the importance of upholding and fully implementing all relevant UNSC resolutions.
The United States and the ROK reaffirmed that a DPRK nuclear test would be met with a strong and resolute whole-of-government response. The two countries are closely coordinating in detail and stand ready for all possible scenarios.
In the face of the DPRK’s evolving nuclear and missile threats, and increased threats in the region, both sides pledged to continue collaborating to ensure that ROK and U.S. strategies and postures promote peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific, including through bilateral exercises and training as well as trilateral and multilateral cooperation with partners throughout the region.
The two sides assessed that the third EDSCG, including a delegation tour of a B-52 strategic bomber, contributed substantively to strengthening Alliance deterrence, as well as enhanced shared understanding and effectiveness of U.S. extended deterrence. The two sides agreed to hold the high-level EDSCG annually. The next EDSCG engagement will be held during the first half of 2023 at the expert-level to advance efforts prior to the next EDSCG high-level meeting. (Source: US DoD)
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