Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work has emphasized the significance of having “a strong nuclear deterrent force” amid the nuclear modernization efforts by China, Russia and North Korea, DoD News reported Thursday.
Cheryl Pellerin writes Work said in a testimony before the House Armed Services Committee that the capability to maintain such a force is vital to the country’s national security.
“While we seek a world without nuclear weapons, we face the hard reality that Russia and China are rapidly modernizing their already-capable nuclear arsenals, and North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them against the continental United States,” Work said.
He told lawmakers that Pentagon has prioritized efforts to maintain a triad of nuclear delivery platforms while complying with the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty under a directive from President Barack Obama.
Work also highlighted what he views as the need for critical modernization of nuclear deterrent forces.
“The choice right now is modernizing or losing deterrent capability in the 2020s and 2030s,” he said.
“That’s the stark choice we’re faced with.”