US must prepare for nuclear war: Strategic Command warns today’s unpredictable conflicts could escalate ‘rapidly’ where countries consider nuclear use as ‘their least bad option’
- US Strategic Command is giving testimony to Congress in its posture review
- In a preview, the command said conflict today is ‘neither linear nor predictable’
- US Space Command will also give evidence about the state of its force
- General James Dickinson said China and Russia are preparing space weapons
US Strategic Command will warn in its annual posture statement that the ‘spectrum of conflict today’ could rapidly lead to nuclear war.
Commander Charles Richard will give testimony to the House Armed Services Committee and the Senate Committee on Armed Services this week.
The posture review informs Congress on the state of Strategic Command and what it intends to do with its 2022 budget request.
US Strategic Command will warn in its annual posture statement that the ‘spectrum of conflict today’ could rapidly lead to nuclear war
It also determines the command’s readiness for combat, its strategic vision and likely causes of conflict in the near future.
Strategic Command said in a preview of their statement on Monday: ‘The spectrum of conflict today is neither linear nor predictable.
‘We must account for the possibility of conflict leading to conditions which could very rapidly drive an adversary to consider nuclear use as their least bad option.’
The testimony will be heard on Tuesday and Wednesday and will be delivered by Commander Richard alongside US Space Command’s Commander James Dickinson.
Ahead of the review, he said his force has the difficult position of trying to prepare for a war that has never been fought before.
Commander Charles Richard will give testimony to the House Armed Services Committee and the Senate Committee on Armed Services this week
The army general told The Hill: ‘United States Space Command faces a unique dilemma in that we can’t plan for future conflicts based on how we fought previous conflicts even if we were inclined to do so. Rather, we are preparing for the war not yet fought.
‘Why do we need to prepare for such a conflict when space has traditionally been a peaceful domain, open to all for exploration, and whose benefits improve the lives of virtually every human being on Earth?
‘As I will soon testify to Congress, the answer is because highly capable competitors realize the extraordinary military and economic advantages that space-based capabilities give to the United States and our allies.’
The testimony will be heard on Tuesday and Wednesday and will be delivered by Commander Richard alongside US Space Command’s Commander James Dickinson (pictured)
Commander Dickinson noted that China is rapidly building military space capabilities including anti-satellite weapons while Russia has already conducted a number of space missile tests.
Such threats could harm US communication systems and the West’s ‘extraordinary reliance’ on space for modern technology.
The military review comes at a time of fraught relations with Russia amid major military exercises in the Black Sea that prompted Joe Biden to send two battleships to the region.
Vladimir Putin has deployed more than 100,000 troops along the Ukrainian border and in the Crimea where a new military camp was revealed by satellite imagery on Monday.
Satellite images of an area next to Kachyk Lake in Crimea have revealed a new Russian military camp (right) and sub-camp (left) which have been constructed between March 15 and April 13 amid a wider troop build-up on the Ukraine border
A Ukrainian solider inside a machine gun turret of a light vehicle near the Ukrainian Azov Sea port of Mariupol on Monday. It is feared the Russian blockade could prevent access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, which is connected to the Black Sea through the Kerch Strait, on the eastern tip of the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014
Ukrainian tanks are lined up outside the port of Mariupol on Monday. Russian state media have reported that Moscow intends to close parts of the Black Sea to foreign military and official ships for six months
Moscow’s military says it is conducting exercises along the frontier in response to moves by Western military alliance NATO that ‘threaten Russia’.
Ukraine is pushing the West for more practical support as it looks to deter any further aggression from Moscow in a conflict that is already fraying US-Russian relations.
Biden has called for the Russian president to ‘de-escalate’ tensions and proposed a summit which could take place in Finland in the coming months.
The move has been hailed as a win by Moscow, after Biden previously took a hard line against Putin – calling him ‘a killer’ and refusing to meet with him on the basis that he was too busy.