The Triad and All Domain Deterrence

Strategic deterrence in the 21st century is an “all domain campaign” that will require integration of the US’ nuclear deterrent with space, cyber, missile defense, electronic warfare, and conventional capabilities to build an effective modern deterrent, said the vice commander of US Strategic Command on May 2. Vice Adm. Charles Richard, speaking at an AFA Mitchell Institute event on Capitol Hill, said the US must make necessary investments in its nuclear triad to maintain its advantage over potential adversaries into the future, but he is concerned the current modernization schedule for each leg of the nuclear triad delivers just in time, leaving little room for error. A potential continuing resolution from Congress also could pose a challenge to modernization of the triad, as a CR would not allow for serious programmatic changes or trades to take place. The just announced Nuclear Posture Review, along with the Ballistic Missile Defense Review, is a “major strategic undertaking that will set the new administration’s policy, strategy, and force posture” regarding the strategic deterrent, he added, and the reviews are coming “not a moment too soon.”