Do We Have The Wrong Nuclear Weapons To Deter Russia And China?

Last Thursday, Admiral Charles Richard, head of U.S. Strategic Command, said the U.S. is “furiously” rewriting its nuclear weapons doctrine.

Americans, as he implied, are unprepared for what could happen next. Great power conflict is coming. “We are at the edge of war with Russia and China,” Henry Kissinger told the “Wall Street Journal” in an interview published Friday.

Unfortunately, both Moscow and Beijing look prepared to use their most destructive weapons in such a war.

The situation, Richard told the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Ala., is “unprecedented in this nation’s history.” America, he said, has never “faced two peer nuclear-capable opponents at the same time, who have to be deterred differently.”

Up to now, America has employed a one-size-fits-all deterrence strategy, a leftover from the Cold War. During that period, both the United States and the Soviet Union maintained the capability to destroy each other many times over. As Barry Goldwater indelicately put it, the Soviets knew the U.S. could “lob one into the men’s room in the Kremlin.” As a result, no Kremlin general secretary surged armor through the Fulda Gap in Germany, the great fear of Allied war planners in the post-war period. The concept of “mutual assured destruction,” as it came to be known, kept a tense peace.

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Source: The Hill