Russia Holds World’s ‘Most Diverse’ Nuclear Arsenal, Says STRATCOM Chief


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In a recent testimony before the Senate’s Armed Forces Committee, Air Force General Anthony Cotton, the head of the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM), emphasized the formidable challenge posed by Russia to America’s military superiority. Cotton stressed the urgent need for the United States to modernize its own nuclear capabilities to effectively counter the evolving threat landscape.

Assessing Russia’s Nuclear Might

Cotton underscored that Russia currently boasts a nuclear arsenal surpassing that of the United States, while actively pursuing modernization initiatives. He highlighted Moscow’s substantial progress in upgrading its strategic nuclear forces, which includes advanced weaponry such as the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles and state-of-the-art submarines equipped for nuclear deployment.

Rapid Modernization Imperative

Emphasizing the critical importance of swiftly modernizing the US nuclear triad, Cotton urged senators to expedite efforts in enhancing America’s nuclear capabilities. He emphasized the necessity of maintaining pace with Russia’s advancements, as well as those of China, to ensure strategic parity and national security.

Evolving Threat Landscape

Cotton cautioned that Russia and China are rapidly narrowing the gap in military capabilities with the US and its allies across various domains. He highlighted the escalating pace of technological advancements, underscoring the need for proactive measures to address emerging challenges effectively.

Expanding Arsenal Beyond the Triad

Beyond the traditional nuclear triad, Cotton pointed out Russia’s expansion and modernization of its nuclear arsenal. He drew attention to advanced weaponry such as the Kinzhal and Tsirkon hypersonic missiles, capable of delivering nuclear payloads, which further complicates strategic calculations.

Challenges Ahead

In light of Russia and China’s advancements, coupled with the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran, Cotton warned of unprecedented challenges confronting US strategic forces. He stressed the imperative of recalibrating strategic approaches to navigate the evolving threat landscape effectively.

In conclusion, General Cotton’s testimony underscores the pressing need for the United States to prioritize the modernization of its nuclear capabilities in response to the evolving strategic challenges posed by Russia and other adversarial nations. Addressing these challenges demands a proactive and agile approach to ensure national security and strategic stability in an increasingly complex global landscape.

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