Given Russia’s vast improvements to its defense posture over the last two decades and the fact that China is on a track to become a strategic peer to the United States by the end of the decade, the Defense Department needs rethink its deterrence strategy, U.S. Strategic Command boss Adm. Charles A. “Chas” Richard said.
“With Russia, bottom line, it’s easier for me to tell you what they’re not modernizing than to tell you what they are,” Richard said during a virtual Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event on July 30. “It’s basically everything.”
Russia has spent the last 15-plus years modernizing every element of its force, including command and control, warning, doctrine, exercises, and readiness. The changes are about 70 percent complete, and they have made an “across the board, step change” in the country’s ability to threaten the U.S., Richard said.
In addition, China has very rapidly made what he called a “breathtaking expansion” of its military capabilities. Richard noted that China did not even decide it wanted a Coast Guard until 2013, and today it already has acquired a 255-ship