‘The big one is coming’: Strategic Command chief delivers blunt-spoken exit warning

FPI / November 9, 2022


The Department of Defense needs to better prepare U.S. forces for a war involving China, the departing commander of the Pentagon’s Strategic Command (STRATCOM) said.

Adm. Charles A. Richard, commander of U.S. Strategic Command / Nati Harnik AP / File

“This Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup,” Adm. Charles Richard said.

“The big one is coming. And it isn’t going to be very long before we’re going to get tested in ways that we haven’t been tested in a long time.”

Richard, who has headed STRATCOM, since 2019, said the communist regime in Beijing’s nuclear expansion is a near-term problem that requires action by the United States.

“As I assess our level of deterrence against China, the ship is slowly sinking,” Adm. Richard warned in a speech during the Naval Submarine League’s 2022 Annual Symposium & Industry Update on Nov. 2.

“It is sinking slowly, but it is sinking, as fundamentally they are putting capability in the field faster than we are,” he said.

Richard added that “rapid, fundamental change” is needed for U.S. national defense:

“I will tell you, the current situation is vividly illuminating what nuclear coercion looks like and how you or how you don’t stand up to that.”

Richard’s warning came just days after the Pentagon released its long-awaited Nuclear Posture Review,

The review said a sea-launched nuclear cruise missile supported by senior military leaders will be canceled, along with a nuclear gravity bomb that some nuclear analysts say is needed to target deeply buried targets.

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