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By Peter Huessy, President of GeoStrategic Analysis, Potomac, Maryland - Senior Warrior Maven Columnist

According to Patty-Jane Geller of the Heritage Foundation, Admiral Richard revealed intelligence on the “unprecedented expansion” of China’s nuclear arsenal, warning that China can no longer be considered a lesser threat compared with Russia. Richard’s candid assessment of Chinese nuclear doctrine, posture, and capabilities puts China’s rapid nuclear buildup—and the importance of the U.S. nuclear-modernization effort—into perspective. In his testimony, the admiral identified apparent shifts in Chinese nuclear doctrine as a primary concern.

China currently possesses a relatively small nuclear arsenal constrained by its declared “no first use” policy. However, Beijing is undertaking a major effort to bolster both its strategic and regional nuclear forces. Richard forcefully conveyed that China is developing advanced silo-based, road- and rail-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines, and a new bomber to complete a viable strategic nuclear triad. Beijing is also on the path to double—if not to triple or to quadruple—its nuclear stockpile within the decade.

These surges signal a marked deviation from China’s long-standing minimal deterrent posture. Instead, Richard warned, China “can do any plausible nuclear employment strategy regionally” with its forces now and eventually at intercontinental ranges. Link: 

Peter R. HuessyMr. Huessy is the President of Geostrategic Analysis, a Potomac, Maryland-based defense and national security consulting business, and Director of Strategic Deterrent Studies at the Mitchell Institute, a Senior Fellow at ICAS, a senior consultant with Ravenna Associates, and previously for 22 years Senior Defense Consultant with the National Defense University Foundation at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.He is and has been a Guest Lecturer at the School of Advanced International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University, at the Institute of World Politics, at the University of Maryland, at the Joint Military Intelligence School, at the Naval Academy and at the National War College.

Image: AF.mil