The US Air Force, the Commander of the US Strategic Command, and the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer have recently confirmed what I’ve been saying for a long time: that nuclear deterrence is of primordial, supreme importance to America’s security in today’s world. Here’s the story from the Air Force’s official website:
Nuclear deterrence operations and long-range strike capabilities continue to be essential to the United States’ national defense strategy in the 21st century by providing security and stability for the U.S. and its allies in a highly complex and fluid global environment.
“The United States’ ability to maintain a strong, credible nuclear deterrent is foundational to U.S. national security and the security of our allies and partners,” said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander. “These test launches, and the valuable lessons we learn from each, ensure USSTRATCOM’s strategic forces remain relevant and ready, 24/7, providing flexible and credible options for the President and the Department of Defense.”
With multiple nations either currently in possession of nuclear weapons or believed to be attempting to develop them, maintaining a safe, secure and effective deterrent capability is crucial.
“[The nuclear mission] is our most important mission, period, simply because of the sheer destructive power that’s involved and because of the criticality of it to our national security,” said Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall, speaking on behalf of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air and Space Conference, Sept. 17.
“This is the very foundation of U.S. national security,” Kendall said. “No capability we maintain is more important than our nuclear deterrent.”
There you have it, folks. It isn’t just me who underlines the primordial importance of nuclear weapons to America’s security: it’s also the Pentagon’s highest leaders.