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U.S. Military Looking at New Nuclear Deterrence Strategy with China and Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet in the Kremlin in Moscow. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet in the Kremlin in Moscow. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The U.S. military is working “furiously” to rewrite its nuclear deterrence theory to deal with threats from China and Russia better.

Strategic Command chief Navy Adm. Chas Richard said the U.S. threats are “unprecedented in this nation’s history” during Thursday’s Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, adding, “We have never faced two peer nuclear-capable opponents at the same time, who have to be deterred differently,” according to Defense One.

This spring, as Russia advanced in Ukraine, Richard said he provided an assessment on what it would take to avoid nuclear war, but China has further complicated that threat. Beijing, in recent weeks, has heightened tensions in the region following Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, which Beijing said was a violation of their agreements, though the Biden administration maintained that the trip did not represent a change in policy.

“Even our operational deterrence expertise is just not what it was at the end of the Cold War. So we have to reinvigorate this intellectual effort. And we can start by rewriting deterrence theory, I’ll tell you we’re furiously doing that out at STRATCOM,” Richard said. “We’ve got some better two-party stuff that’s actually working quite well in the current crisis that is radically different … Non-linearity, linkages, chaotic behavior, inability to predict — all attributes that just don’t show up in classic deterrence theory.”

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