Till You Turn Blue

The nation has been living on the ragged edge of space and nuclear capability for too long and needs to invest in the two domains appropriately, so said US Strategic Command boss Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton, speaking at AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium Nov. 21. He “could not be happier” with the various delivery systems available to get warheads on target, but the warheads themselves are very old and the means to build new ones has atrophied. “We have been living off the largesse of the Cold War,” but steps must be taken immediately to preserve these capabilities, he asserted. Chilton said deterrence forces remain critically relevant, but only if enemies and allies alike believe the US can deliver functional firepower. If allies doubt the US nuclear umbrella is working, they have the means to build their own, he said, and that will lead to proliferation. He called it “essential” that the new Administration conduct a nuclear strategy review. Nuclear posture has to get to the point where “we don’t have numbers driving the strategy, but a strategy that drives the numbers.”