tv Nuclear Deterrence Discussion with the Heritage Foundation CSPAN April 14, 2021 12:17pm-1:48pm EDT
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senator john kyle talks about his concerns regarding the need to modernize america's nuclear weapons amid growing threats from china and russia. thank you all for joining us today. i want to thank an incredible series of really distinguished speakers. we are so honored and so happy to present such an incredibly knowledgeable group to speak on this issue. we live in an age of competition, republican privilege, democratic president. it doesn't matter. in the competitive world, conventional and strategic deterrents are more important than ever. they are what prevents problems from cycling into very big problems. the issue of strategic deterrents in an era of great competition doesn't get near the attention or concern.
this may be the most informative, in depth, and expansive discussion of what really could be one of the defining issues, strategic issues of our generation. so to start us off, i'm going to invite roger who has the reagan institute, a good part of the heritage foundation, and senator john kyle, one of the most leading figures on this issue to join us on screen. roger, can you introduce the senator and really start, which i think will be a very informative discussion. roger, over to you. >> jim, thank you so much. and it's wonderful to partner with the heritage foundation on this nuclear series. it is my honor to welcome our guests today. senator john kyle who maybe you know from his time serving the u.s. senate from 1995 to 2013, when he retired, he served as the senate minority whip from 2007 through 2013, and during that time, he really was a
champion of nuclear modernization issues. it was true throughout his career but pivotal during that period of time, and we'll get to some of that momentarily. senator kyle returned to the senate in september of 2018 after being appointed to succeed the late john mccain. i think the fact that he was asked to return to the senate is really a testament to the real widespread respect and trust his colleagues and his constituents have for his long commitment to public service. so senator kyle, welcome, and excited to have this conversation with you today. >> thank you, roger. thank you, jim, and thank you heritage and reagan foundations. >> wonderful. well, we're going to jump to it. we have about 25 minutes or so to really set the scene a bit on this important issue with jim. outoutlined for all of us. let me start with something
deputy secretary of defense cat hicks said during her confirmation hearing. she said, quote, i agree that nuclear deterrents is the department's highest priority mission. and that updating and overhauling our nation's nuclear forces is a critical national security priority. end quote. now, you've heard this a lot from past senior officials, dr. hicks, the deputy secretary, someone who will be a pivotal player on this issue set. with the kind of bipartisan commitment that she articulated there, tell me kind of -- how have we got ton where we are today regarding nuclear -- and how bad is the situation? >> well, back in about 2008, 2009, there were a lot of questions being asked about how we were going to conduct the modernization program both for
the nuclear weapons themselves and also we understood that the platforms all needed modernization as well. and congress commissioned a report to the so-called 12 31 report which outlined ultimately the needs that both the department of energy and the department of defense had in moving forward with the modernization program. and concluded that there would be a pretty significant budget shortfall if we didn't up our commitment. as a result of that report, when the administration -- the obama administration began to discuss the possibility of a new start treaty, i engaged and others did as well on the question of whether or not they would be supportive of the modernization effort that was called for in that report. because without it, clearly we couldn't join a new start or in any other way restrict our
capabilities. through a process of negotiation, we eventually agreed with the obama administration, and the president sent a letter to the senate outlining his support for the modernization program. presumably based upon that report. and for the first couple years after the new start treaty was adopted, the administration did request in the budget submit talls the funding for all aspects of the modernization program. over time that eventually waned, and it wasn't just the fall of the administration. there were some appropriators in the house of representatives who were not helpful. as a result, we began to fall behind. by the time the trump administration came in, we were, in fact, behind both in the weapon modernization itself and for the three aspects of our triad, the delivery systems. and i'll just say, roger, just
to conclude at this point, we brought the problem on ourselves by allowing these two needs to a weapon modernization first and gotten that out of the way then we wouldn't have to worry so much about the expense of doing the platform modernization at the same time but now we have those of them, both bills are due at the same time as a result we will have to devote more funding for that and the trump mr. she did increases spending to some extent in congress was somewhat helpful so we have caught up to some extent but there's literally no margin for error in finishing out the program which will require attended 15 year commitment. require about a 10 to 15-year commitment. >> senator, i want to jump in oo that in a little more detail, but on an administrative note, so ourr viewers can see you, wh they want to see and not just me
who they probably don't care to see, if you could accept a web cam share button, click on that, folks can see you, and there i see you've done it now. we are good to go. senator, you know, the new york times, you were referencing this period back in 2010 where they wrote that the obama white housm might as well install a red telephone hotline in senator kyle's office or house. because you were so pivotal on these issues, and they knew that if you were not satisfied with the administration's commitment to fundingat you w the nuclear enterprise, that you would id likely not only just vote to do against new star which you ultimately did, but actually encourage others to do the same. based on your answer, it seems to me that you're not satisfied with how it all played out reflecting on this ten years later. is that an accurate assessment?
obviously there's some detail ih there, but we haven't modernize in the way you felt we needed te a decade ago. >> that's true, although i do ay want to make it clear that i agreed not to oppose the treaty on the basis of the commitment that the president did make. and as i said for the first couple years, their digit submit talls did reflect the commitment made for modernization. the problem is that as the -- i'll brag a little bit about the report that dr. hix was involve. in, dr. payne, others, myself, t providing for the common defense, this was an analysis of our defense strategy after general and secretary mattis r a developed a defense strategy for the trump administration. we called in there for 5% to 7% compease annually and the implied period of time was aboud 15 years for this program to be
completed. and the problem isanting that w haven't had that kind of funding. but both the unanimous recommendation of theco stratege or of thens defense commission report and the defense department in the trump administration agreed that without this 5 % to 7 % growth, it was characterized at one u he point of 3% to 5% plus got inflation. so if you add in at least 2 % inflation, you've got a 5% to rm 7%. and that had to occur over about a 15-year period for the program to be completed. unfortunately, we've fallen behind. and so we're and going to have maintain that commitment and right now we do not have the consensus that us a tensably existed in 2010. >> we've worked on that national defense stratly commission. i remember you being the leading voice on that commission. you mentioned dr. hix.t we
it was co-chaired by erik adelman in terms of what we needed to do with respect to the nuclear enterprise, and i recaly the national defense strategy in that national defense strategy commission focussed on nuclear modernization because the separate ji itself and the tates challenges and competition at ne the noutset with china and rusa made the united states more reliant on nuclear weapons thanm perhaps we were prior to this waa of great power competition. more reliant than perhaps a decade ago during the obama administration. i want to read a couple of quotes and policies which somehow that the new administration, the biden administration, may be departing consensus ipartisann that was captured in that commission report.called senator warren, for example, during her campaign called for a, quote, no first use policy.
biden promised, quote, to reduce excessive expenditure on nuclear arms. and recently gui you may have s the interim national security. that is a document that came f from the national security st foreshadowing of their national defense strategy said, quote, we will take steps to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our t national security strategy. that would be a departure from i thement previous administration. are you f concerned, do you thi this is a sentiment that will find its way into administration policy which -- and budgets, or is this kind of signaling to outside groups that want to seey some language on this, but nt ip perhaps may not really make a significant impact on policy? what's your take after hearing those quotes?what t >> i don't know what's in the president's mind, and i don't now the extent to which he's's
going to drive this within the y administration. there are some people like dr. hicks that you mentioned and people who are on the joint chiefs and secretary of defense and others who put this as a top priority. who say the funding must be there, and that the program must continue.left there are others who are more ie dee logically oriented to the na left who would like to somehow ire the problem go away and therefore, we don't have to spend so much money on it.hey it would be nice if the others would be cooperative, but they haven't. we have two problems here. number one, we dug ourself a hole and we have to get out of it. number two, our two most difficult potential adversaries, china and russia, have been working very hard in the meantime to modernize their forces. according to one estimate the russians are about 86 % complete in their modernization program. and the chinese might by the ene of this decade have doubled or b
tripled the number of their ge warheads. so they're both proceeding at em pace. you have a challenge from them.u and you have a problem here in the united states,cons because don't apparently have a consensus on what needs to be cr done, and a commitment to expend the funds necessary to reach our goals. >> i wantden to -- >> both addressed by the biden o administration. >> i want to get to the fundingd and kind of domestic view in a , moment, but you did mention wha china and russia and what they're doing. let me sharechairman with you w chairman adam smith said.and of course, he is the chairman of the house armed services committee and oversees the 050 budget. and with that allnd t aspects o funding for the nuclear enterprise. he said, quote, i just wish we we'd take a serious look at the whether or not we can achieve the necessary level of deterrents for less money like s china has.uclear end quote.just china as less than 200, around
200 nuclear warheads while the y u.s.ou has just under 4 ,000. pt how do you respond to adam smith's point? you seem to look at china as anr example which really should drive our prioritizing nuclear weapons funding. he seems to beconc drawing a different conclusion. a >> well, all couple things. first, the united states has to worry about several potential challenges. both china has to worry about one. we have to deal with both chinat and russia. like and we have to be concerned about challenges from countries like northth korea and iran and potentially others. so we've got a bigger problem on our hands than china.ls secondly, you have to realize that you can't compare our funding levels with china. and smith is a smart guy who chairs the house armed service r committee. i'm sure he this.ciates over half our military budget is personnel costs. guess how much they are for the chinese military.
it's a very small percentage.ano and so you -- it's comparing o apples and oranges to try to suggest that our level should be no more than the chinese. t they war game, and so what ifif they combine their effort? and we under new start supposedly have ann adequate force to deter russia, but it does not equate to a threat that's simultaneously from both russia and china. this is one of the problems with the new avestart, and we should have been able to somehow include china in the new start treaty when it was automatically agreed to reauthorization by sl presidentd biden. the other thing we should have done is gotten a better consensus of our own on how ion
we're going to conclude our ownt modernization in the time frames that are required.tart >> we'll i get to the extensionf new start in a minute. and you did put your finger on the simultaneous challenge. we wrestle with this on the defense strategy commission. that's the increased reliance oy nuclear weapons with the previous administration's strategy was precisely because we were only going to have a det conventional forcee kind of adequate to deal with the china and to adequately deter a spoiler another actor or russia or someone else. that really brought nuclear weapons into high relief. let me shift to the domestic sd view, the 2021 reagan national defense survey found that 53% think the u.s. would win a war with a nuclear power. my own view on that, that's a pretty low number that americans aren't overwhelmingly confidentd that we couldef defeateat a nucn
power. you know, you were a champion of nuclear issues throughout your v time in office.. outside of office as well. on the various commissions you've been on. what do you think the political support is for nuclearization, y and isou it something you realln encountered in discussing with your constituents? >> no. i didn't. because it's not on people's mind, and one reason is because the leaders don't talk about it. we haven't had a president since ronald reagan who is willing to sit down and explain things to n the american people. winning a nuclear war, nobody r wins a nuclear war. the object is not to have to ever fight one. str and you do that by being strongs enough and clear enough in your intentions that no potential opponent everr takes the risk o starting a war with the united states. that's what deterrents is all e about. the object is not to win the war. the object is to deter the war. now, in order to do that with
credibility, the opposition potential opposition has to know that you're willing to use your weapons and that they will o suffer a defeat at the hands of the united states if we ever do decide to use our weapons. that's why this deterrent must s be credible,ure and it is quite clear, i'm sure, that both the i chinese military leaders as well asdilemm the russians appreciat dilemma that the united states now faces with a divided congress and a divided policy elite discussing this issue. when you have people honestly discussing the possibility of eliminating the leg of the triad that is our land leg with missiles, and actually eliminating that leg of the triad -- >> so -- >> a few dollars, that's not e a serioust' thinking.
>> i'm glad you raised that. that's the next place i wanted to go. you mentioned that there are -- there is an increasingly loud a voice. i don't know if it's a winning n voice in thets congress. that wants to go from a triad tt a diad despied the trillions of dollars our government is spending on other priorities, that seems to be one that is the gbsd, the ground base strategic deternlt. it seems to be targeted.es will you have appropriations committees and authorizations committees will be looking at e this issue. we're told from a ranking membee mike rogers in the house in thes armed services committee that there aren't the votes there toa defeat the gbsd program.s what's the best argument is to i why wet, need all three legs? why is it -- what is it the critics don't understand that makes the ground-based deterrent so relevant and important even
today? >> well, in view of the time wec have, i would hope that the next panel which includes dr. keith d payne who is the expert on thisa in authoring the npr and so on can go into more detail. i'll make two points. a t one, china and russia are both f relying on a triad. they understand the importance of it. eve defe to now every serious defense thinker has appreciatede the fact that we need all three legs of the triad in order to provide the maximum deterrents. you want to prevent an opponent from ever believing that there's potentially something to be gained by testing the united states. if we've got all three legs, te they can't win. leg because you've got the missile leg which is the -- which contains the most weapons that can do the most offensive f instruction against an enemy. and which if enough of them are launched in time can do dramatic damage to the enemy.
and it is also a leg which requires a lot of assets by the. opposition to take out.trying t so if russia, for example, weref trying to plan an attack of the united states, they would have to devote a considerable amount of their arsenal to take out that missile component of the united states. our it would leave us with a better opportunity for our bombers to . reach their targets with their o missiles that they have to a launch the weapons, and also our submarines for the missiles they have on board. it is currently pretty hard for an enemy to know where our submarines are. it's a relatively safe part of our deterrent. but in the future, we can't guarantee that our submarines won't be detectable, and it he would be folly in the nth degrei to think that the russians and f chinese aren't working very hard on ways to defeat all three legs of our triad in which case,
obviously, you need the three. so without all three complicating the enemy's offensive planning, we significantly diminish the e potentialhave t effectiveness o deterrent. >> a great set of points. we only have time for one more question. it's always aour flash to chat h you and get your clear thinkingd on this issue set.reaty. we'll end with the inf treaty you mentioned ronald reagan. that was the armed reductions p agreement that was reached admii during his administration. the trump administration pulled out of the treaty in 2019. the and the review was that any bein renegotiation of the deal would have to incorporate beijing, that is china. the chinese, of course, have thus far refused. and they point to the disparities between u.s and chinese arsenals. should we look to brick china into future arms reduction
treaties? do you think the u.s. and chin could come to an agreement between arms agreement? >> first, it's imperative given the commitment that the chinese have made to become a nuclear power if not on parody with russia and the united states, certainly at a level we have tol account for.he they've done sethat. we can't ignore it. yes, china should be involved ik the tdiscussions. secondly, even though china ave doesn't like to talk to people quout what they have, and they're not transparent so it makes it dangerous because we're not quite as sure as we are with russia exactly what deterrent p requirements there are, i think it is important to continue the negotiations if at all possibleo which to some extent do give you a window into their thinking and give them a window into our thinking so they will never blet miscalculate, and think that
just possibly they may be able to get away with either a threat against us or using weapons. and the third point i'd make is this. n arms control itself never is thn complete answer. line it can be a component to deterrents. the bottom line is that sovereign nations will do what they think is in their interestg at the time they have to to mak these decisions. and no treaty is going to stand in their way.xample russian violations of the imf treaty is a good ill trump administration of that. there is no way, even verification, you can verify the atemy has cheated. it doesn't solve the problem because then the question is what do you do about fit? t >> right. >> at the end of the day, the only thing you can do is use force. that's not anot r good option h. so you cannot rely on treaies o in trying to deter an opponent n fromce aggression, especially wh regard to nuclear weapons, since once you start it it's hard to e
stop it and it can result in the detrux of literally mankind if it were done to completion. so you have to appreciate that sovereign nations will if they think it's in their interest, violate treaties.e e you have to have a backup whicha convinces them they don'tus dar try to test the united states because the consequences for them would be too significant. >> senator kyle, we have to wih leave it there with y endorseme of peace through strength. it is wonderful to have this chance to chat with you today. we greatly appreciate your voice. it's a voice that we continue to need here in washington d.c. and around the world. it is great to see you. foank you so much. now we'll go to the her tang foundation nuclear deterrence l and missile defense policy analyst, patty jane geller to lead the second portion of our
event today. >> awesome. thank you so much. there were great things to say. i thought the audience got a lot out of that.errence i'm patty jane geller here at the heritage foundation. we're shifting now into a panel of esteemed experts who will help us dive deeper into the o o russian and chinese nuclear wod threats and what the u.s. can di to counter them. >> i'd like to introduce our panelists to join us on screen now to entroo deuce them.eciali first, a senior fellow at the e hudson institute whons specialis in nuclear deterrents and missile defense. we worked together on a report that details the growing nuclear threat despite the recent new r start extension. her. so we'll get to hear more about
that issue from her. matt. th next we have dr. matt crane ig.egy he is the deputy director of tht scope cross center for strategy and security and director of the global strategy initiative at the atlantic council.d i he's served in multiple own intelligence community positions and is also a professor at georgetown. andd finally we have dr. ationa keith payne. dr. payne is president and nume co-founder of the national re institute for public policy. he's served in key government an positions and we're grateful to benefit from his years of experience this afternoon. now we're going to start remarks from each posed of our panelists. i have asked rebecca to outliney the growing challenges posed byc russia. followed by discussing the rising chinese nuclear threat, and then u.s. nuclear capabilities and deterring the threat. then we'll have a moderated discussion with questions from the audiencee that you can submt with the tool on the right-hand side throughout the event.
with that, rebecca, whenever you're ready, start us off. >> thank you. it is a privilege and pleasure to be here today. if i could say one more thing about senator kyle. i think it is really rare to have somebody like him to understands these issues so well and hassnece the political skil necessary to do the work to hold off bad agreements to make bad agreement better agreements, rot treaties, and to really rally p he dtroops j so to speak. to be able to make sure that happens. he did it for the new start treaty. he has been incredibly helpful o when thepp russians for cheatin on a treaty. i just -- for myself and for oue posterity, we owe a great thanks to senator kyle.this e
it's a privilege to be a part of this event of which he just gave the first opening remarks for. and then i would just make a couple brief points before we dig in. one is that broadly speaking, we will often hear people say that our nuclear deterrent is the is most important and is the ring h priority. dr.ern. kathleenen hicks said during made her confirmation hearing and also made theis point that not only to nuclear modernization important, but it has to be credible. it -- she doesn't want to assume greater risk if we don't provide the modernization necessary. so she has a good understanding of withthat, and so it is my h that with enough bipartisan effort to carry the -- carry commitment to nuclear modernization, full nuclear modernizationecause t will endnd the day. it will be tough.. what we mean, what we mean by nuclear deterrents being the tk
most iimportant, i think, coul deserve -- it deserves some fleshing out a bit. and -- i think it's important tl know that all of our conventional military operation planning has baked into the asumgts that nuclear deterrentsr will hold.nt for strategic deterrents will hold and our nuclear deterrent will e hold -- and so everything else our military does, everything else our military does, again, n baked into that assumption, there is an assumption that nuclear deterrents will hold. we need to look at the real world threats as they change over time. >> even today. four years ago, five years ago.t obamcertainly from the time that the obama administration wrote their nuclear posture of you anw
some things have changed even oo since the trump nuclear posture of view. we need to make sure our forces are adapting to the real . changes. i don't want to steal the t lay thunder of dr.s payne, but i ce wanted to pull a piece of a manuscript that lays out modern strategic deterrents and how to think about it.for t this is the model he lays out.e i think it's helpful as i talk about russia for the last minute. he says in more app stability metaphor, rather than the sort of america nisic stability whert you swap out any country and if you have capabilities, that you have stability. rather than that, in contrast, a more apt stability metaphor is o thef blocking and channelling o rising torrents of water in diverse rivers and streams that will expand beyond their nity established banks where and when there is an opportunity and nothing to prevent flooding.floo
the necessary system of flict resilient levies and dams must provide context in hurricanes.ae i think that'sd t a helpful pice wer me. i want to pass that along to you all. that gets me to russia and russ particular ande then we'll let r mack talk about china. the russians are investing heavily in their nuclear program and they are about 80% done with their nuclear modernization program and it's not just the l weapons systems they are also c developing, novel weapons systems, delivery systems. it's also there are certain categories of weapons that are not included in the new d s.t.a.r.t. treaty. while some policymakers are breathing a sigh of relief, it s doesn't include a number of mbed kinds of nuclear weapons in their delivery systems that theo russians are heavily invest in and outnumber the united statesc tactical nuclear weapons is one that comes to mind, they
outnumber the united states ten to one. i include that in report which n commend to you that lays out ind a nice graph the difference.nes. you can see what the russians are doing versus the united states and also the chinese in w particular. and so the united states has to have an answer to that. again, to deter the worst kindso of conflict andf s so these arer the united states, obviously th. goal is stability and peace.e st and that is increasingly tenuous. admiral richards, the commandera ofrm strategic command, has been sounding an alarm bell, as calmly as he can without being alarmist too much, that we are in a time now where the nuclear deployment is increasingly plausible because they russians in particular have lowered the r threshold at when to deploy nuclear weapons in what starts out as a non-nuclear conflict y
because they believe they can w deploy a low yield nuclear it weapon against our ally and it could be deemed not worth that further's escalation and therefe sue for peace. that's called this idea of escalate to de-escalate.clear we the trump npr sought to add low yield nuclear weapons into the battlefield so we have a credible option there but we need to constantly be looking te make sure r that that provides s credible deterrence to the russians in particular. and i'll just leave my remarks there and turn it over. >> awesome, thanks, rebecca, that was excellent.ab of i'll mention too, to the audience, there is a document attached in the handouts tab of the control panel that includese some of the reports that rebecca mentioned among some piece thatr i would recommend the audience check out. with that i'll hand it over to e you. >> thank you very much, thanks k
for theing invitation, it's gre to be speaking with my esteemeda colleagues on this subject.. i'm going to talk about the growing chinese nuclear threat and just a few years ago when i would talk about the nuclear threats facing the united states and its allies, i would say that of the three major nuclear armed rivals, russia, china, and nortk korea, i was least worried about china a few years ago.ina i think that's changed. i'm probably most worried about china now.he histo and so what i want to talk about today is kind of briefly the history of china's nuclear program, how that's really changingng under president xi a the threat in terms of capabilities and possible nuclear use scenarios that china poses to the united states. so historically, going back to mao tse dong, basically
promising china wouldn't use weapons first in a conflict, would only use nuclear weapons in retaliation to another w attack, mao tse dong said he didn't want to get into an arms race with the superpowers.tran i thought having a lean and deterrent was enough, roughly translated into english as a minimum deterrent, better translated as lean and effective. china still has polic a no firs policy, they still say they want a lean and effective pai arsena. many westerners parrot those hs chinese talking points. i think it's really changed. president xi has thrown out a lot of the grand strategy of dong chao peng. in terms of capabilities, we're seeing a rapid modernization and increase of china's nuclear in
capabilities. and i think a change in -- possibly change in policy and ts doctrine as i'll talk about in a moment. so the united stateshina's has that china's strategic nuclear arsenal will double within the decade. admiral richards of stratcom in questioning from senator tom cotton said maybe even triple or quadruple over time. and so for a long time, we feared as china tried to become a superpower, we would also want to build a superpower nuclear arsenal, that we would want to u sprintni to parity. not yet reaching parity with thr united states. china has hundreds or thousands of short and intermediate range. missiles that could reach u.s. y
bases, u.s. allies, u.s. forcesc in the indo-pacific. the united states doesn't currently have any theater weapons in asia, we did in the cold war but we took them home.c we have forward deployable a weapons, b-61 bombers but currently no nuclear weapons in asia.a.dvan so chinata in a sense has a loca nuclear advantage over the taia united states if there were to r be a conflict over taiwan tomorrow, china would have u nuclear weapons that it could em use, whereas the united states t would have to bring those from i long distancesli or rely on strategic capabilities which would be ideal in a local conflict. chin the growth in china's nuclear capabilities. this may be the beginning of a s sprint to parity.he perso just talk about some of the scenarios, some american analysts say china has no first
use policy, there's nothing to worry about. but i think there are a few things to worry about.chines so one, i have been in dialogues with chinese experts who say, well, you have a no first use policy but what if there's a se major conflict in the region, what if the united states is conducting conventional strikes on command and control, on conventional missiles, where you're co-locating nuclear missiles. they say, maybe in that kind of scenario maybe we would use nuclear weapons first. so it's kind of a glass half full/glass half empty. the united states says there's u narrow range of contingencies where we would use nuclear weapons first. china says there are a narrow range of contingencies where wes would use nuclear weapons first. so i don't put a lot of stock in a no first use policy. especially if you imagine a taiwan scenario where they try to invade taiwan, it's going poorly for them, if china thinks
using nuclear weapons could help them to win the war, to blunt u.s. military power, to maybe shock u.s.ba leaders into backi down, i think they would find that attractive. russia has basically developed this escalate to de-escalate evd strategy. china could do something similar. in fact the last nuclear posture review did talk about how china might use nuclear weapons in a kind of limited way and that th> united states needed flexible e capabilities to stop it. have a the other thing i would say is y that the united states of course doesn't have a no first use policy. are we say nuclear threats, nuclear use are on the table to deal . with our rivals and so if there's a major war with china over, say, taiwan, the united states might want to use nucleas weapons, potentially use nucleaf weapons against chinese invadin. forces. thenw wou theld challenge would of intrawar deterrence, how do
we deter china from attacking the u.s. homeland, can we keep limited.lict so i think i'm nearing the end e defey time, but the last point i would leave you with is the laso national defense strategy said a that the united states wanted to maintain a favorable balance ofs power over china in the indo-pacific and i think that'st the right goal the but i think people thinking about the china challenge are only thinking about the conventional. we're increasingly vulnerable at the it strategic level, china's ability to nuke the u.s. homeland is growing, then it's hard to see how we maintain a favorable balance of power. a favorable balance of power also means maintaining favorable balances at the highest ends including at the strategic and theater nuclear levels. remar so i'll end my remarks there anp very much look forward to you remarks from dr. peng. >> that was great, thank you. finally, over to dr. peng.
>> thank you, patty jane, it's e pleasure to be on a panel with r such excellent speakers and particularly to share the virtual stage with the great senator kyle. let me start with a caveat, everything i say, these are all my personal opinions, not necessarily reflect the views of any institution that i am of associated with or have been wh associated mwith. and with that caveat out of the way, let me start with my hat conclusion. and that is that the west now faces an unprecedented nuclear e threat context and deterrence challenge. it's unlike anything we faced during the cold war. how is that? let me explain. opponents' nuclear weapons can be more or less threatening. depending on how those opponents think about nuclear use. that's at least as i important r deterrence considerations as thn weapons' technical characteristics which is what wk usually focus on. unfortunately opponents now
appear to and think of nuclear y weapons. in a new and more dangerous way. the old familiar cold war balance of terror notion of deterrence provides very little useful guidance for how to proceed in this new threat context. what is that? contemporary great powers and rogue states seem not to acknowledge the deterrence strengths that we in the west . assume a balance of terror wille placear on all rational leaderships. russia, for example, has been n explicit ingi using nuclear threats to push its goal of changing the existing international order.. russia's coercive use of nuclear threats goes well beyond the cold war's assumed stable i deterrence exchange that if youd strike me, i will retaliate passively. that was the assumed and largely defensive use of deterrence in western policy. however, the coercive nuclear
threat russia now brandishes is if you resist my encroachment, i will strike you. this is an offensive, coercive t nuclear threater unlike anythin we faced during the cold war and it presents an unprecedented ps challenge for u.s.pe strategiese and capabilities. russia appears to see this as the way to paralyze prospectivev military natoe opposition in t event conflict erupts over russia's expansionist drives. this was referred to earlier as de-escalating a conflict but it's important to understand that the conflict is de-escalated because the west rn stands cedown.it's a s this is not a defensive deterrent strategy, it is a strategy to defeat western will a relatively tem unchallenged route to changing the international system.tradic this type of thinking is a war direct contradiction of our teo
familiar cold warr. notion of a stable balance of terror which provides no guidance here because its fundamental ar w presumptionea is that no ration leadership could think about nuclearr weapons in this way. it must be asked now, how do e moscow leaders, how do moscow's leaders perceive the risks ment? ansociated with provoking the west withd limited nuclear threats or employment?pursuit and what nuclear risks are they willing to accept in pursuit of their goal of reestablishing the russian hegemony in much of asip that they believe the west stole from them? and more to the point, how credible against russian limited first use threats that may avoid u.s. territory entirely is the old u.s. balance of terror oriented deterrence strategy u when theni consequence of ikely executing such a threat b for t united states would likely be our own destruction?eapons the same questions must be asked of china's thinking about nuclear weapons and risk.
this situation suggests a significant hole inn any u.s. deterrence strategy that's basey on confidence in the old stables balance of terror thinking.nebu i acknowledge this may sound nebulous. but it is a stark, real world problem.s predi much of our defense planning, as rebecca rightly noted, is predicated on opponents' nucleat use. if thatatpresid is mistaken, we problem. iea fullyrlie agree with the po senator kyle and president reagan made earlier, a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. so what? so western strategies and capabilities, nuclear and tructu non-nuclear, must now be f structured to credibly deter ory this so-called red theory of victory. this is aent newfor deterrenceu requirement for western policies
and capabilities and our understanding of deterrence must catch up to this geopolitical reality. what's the implication of the situation for the calculation of how much is enough for credible deterrence? the u.s. requirementr now is to deter a range of plausible nuclear threats, particularly including unprecedented regional nuclear first use threats.pabili correspondingly, u.s. policies and capabilities now must be resilient, flexible, and tailored to support credible deterrence. that requirement puts a premium on the deterrence value of the e nuclearar triad and on nato y te nuclear forces for the resilience and flexibility they provide. that's the goal underlying the o obama and trump administration's programs to rebuild the aged u.s. nuclear force. until fairly recently, the united states has been on what some describe as a 30-year
holiday away from strategic thought and movement. opponents have not reciprocated the clearly expressed u.s. desire for further nuclear got reductions and disarmament.ctioo in fact they've gone in the opposite direction for well ovee a decade. the current obama and trump o programs, are they adequate to sustain deterrence now? that's the bottom line question, are they adequate to sustain deterrence now. my answer is i believe them to be necessary and i hope they're adequate. i wish i could be more definite. but there is no methodology, ine there is no group of t people, there is no methodology that ca. eliminate the uncertainties regarding how much is enough for deterrence, eliminate them entirely. can that's why hedging against reb uncertainty as best we can is so critical and why rebuilding the triad is so important. yet predictably, many commentators now criticize the obama and trump nuclear rebuilding programs as being
destabilizing in the cause of a new arms race as if the united states is now starting an arms race whether they're responding after a solo three-decade holiday. we also hear repeatedly that rebuilding the triad now is unnecessary for deterrence. that we can deter with much smaller forces and without the icbm or bomber legs of the triad. tri i ask folks to please realize eh that such confident claims are entirely speculative. they're entirely speculative. these critics of the bipartisan u.s. nuclear program and policy do not and cannot know whether n they are correct or entirely mistaken. of their claims in fact are derivee from archaic notions of deterrence from the 1960s which ignore contemporary realities and should not be the basis for our considerations.danger my conclusion is that they are d
dangerously mistaken, given contemporary realities.o and if we do not recognize that now, we are likely to learn it the hard way at some future point. the there's a lot more to say about this but in the interests of f stop there, and thank you. >> excellent, thank you, dr. payne. that was really insightful. my first question actually follows onto one of the last points you were making there. d you discussed how the u.s. has a new requirement to deter a rangel, als of nuclearo threats including or regional first use threats. you also question whether the obama/trump modernization plan is enough to do that.g about something that concerns me that capa been thinking about is that our current modernization plans are to simply replace the capabilities that were agreed w upon under the 2010 new start vm force structure.en however those capabilities wereo a product of the security t environment at the time which
assumed a a more benign e evvironment than the multipolar challenges ween face today. a few years ago he wouldn't have put china at the top of his list for nuclear threats to worry about. and i think the 2010 nuclear qe posture, you said russia was noa an adversary. dr. question for you,u, payne, or for anyone who wants to take it, the biden administration conducts a new nuclear posture review which arp we're hearing ostuabout. broad should that nuclear posture e review take a broader view of what capabilities the u.s. needs to account for these changes ine the geopolitical environment or do you think the best we can expect is a validation of our current minimal modernization plans?gest >> well, let me suggest broadly that it's never possible n
realistically, this is the policy we need, we build it, we have it, it's good for an indefinite period of time. requirements can change very quickly.ul and so any reviewly at needs to very carefully at the context, t the strategic environment that e we're in now, and the e the perspective environment that's coming. the often say the outside world has something to do with our requirements. the outside world has a vote and the outside world changes.e outs the point of my initial remarks was the outside world has our a changed dramatically. and our approach to identifyingo the requirements for deterrence has to understand what those changes are and what they mean e for our requirements. red yes, do i think that means
we need toqu take a broader loo at what the requirements might be, both nuclear and non-nuclear? yeah. o because the outside world drives that.t if the outside world threat environment was very different,s perhaps we could just sit back and say, look, what we have is fine, we don't need anything else, we don't even need to reo modernize whatn we have because for some reason the outside world has become benign. as i see the threat context, thl anreat context seems to be getting more andy more challenging as opposed to less and less challenging and any review needs to take that into account.ck >> if i can just add to that io realul quick too, i would just n without question, because as senator kyl laid out, the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty, the t con republicansdi even agreed to support the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty based on threat conditions laid out on the timee
on whole o nuclear modernizatioa commitment from the obama administration. that was given, the obama administration did provide it d for the first couple of years. but that need still holds as a baseline, if not more, different kinds of adaptions. i would just say without question there is some talk about possibly not putting fullf modernization spending this year because of the coronavirus and all kinds of other things that t are pulling on the desires of policymakers for spending, infrastructure now, but i would just say that this is paramount,mitmen the threats have gotten worse, and thatt bipartisan commitment was there, and so we have no excuse at this point, you know, to fully modernize the nuclear triad and in particular that land-based leg of the triad, that came up in the previous coe conversation, where chairman smith, the chairman of the armed
services committee, he continues with respect to him to make, i canan tell, these wrong conclusions based on i think faulty assumptions about whatatz the united states is trying to do. we can't compare our nuclear modernization plan to the chinese because, to dr. payne's point and to what matt just sai, too, we're different countries with different objectives, g to different priorities, differenti concepts of risk in what we're o trying to do, different desires to deter the employment of nuclear weapons, and we have different obligations. the united states provides nuclear assurances to allies. and that helps to satisfy nonproliferation objectives, that we don't want some other countries to obtain their own nuclear nweapons.ucle so we devise a nuclear posture that in part can meet the e assurance needs of our allies fl
under the nuclear umbrella. the united states must fulfill what has earned bipartisan consensus about the nuclear modernization plan. >> i'll just add to this as well. for the people listening in who don't focus on this on a daily e basis, i'll just remind everyone that u.s. nuclear weapons are old. they were built y at theou end the cold war. i don't know if any of you drive cars, if you drive cars that were built in the 1980s.nd s they probably don't work that td well. you've probably gotten a new one since then. pie so the united states does need to upgrade its triad. there is a bipartisan consensus for this. we need new bombers, icbms, and submarines. so obama agreed to that, trump 8 agreed to that. in 2018, then, trump, the trump administration, had at least two supplemental capabilities. i think those are important, especially for dealing with russia, escalate/de-escalate challenge that rebecca and dr. j
chyne talked about. we do need those capabilities, e that was an adjustment wou to a changed security environment. so my hope would be at a minimuu that biden maintains this bipartisan consensus, continuesr with the full modernization hey program.prom i am somewhat worried, though, they promised in their interim national security guidance to reduce the rolele of nuclear tha weapons. so, unclear what that means.woud there are a variety of ways then could do that.g the i hope it wouldn't be by curtailingch the modernization program because i think that would be a challenge. i would just point out that there is a possible tension in g biden's stated objectives ame because he's reallyri made a bi. dealal about repairing america' alliances. i would just remind everyone that america's alliances depend on u.s. nuclear weapons.ho there are over 30 formal treatyo allies who are depending on thel u.s. deterrence. i have heard from allies who say they're nervous that biden is talking about reducing the role of nuclear weapons.
i don't think biden can really reduce the role of nuclear weapons and repair alliances ate the same time. he has to choose. and so i hope he chooses strong deterrent and strong alliances.. >> excellent, thank you. and i'm glad you brought up biden's interim security guidance about reducing the role of nuclear weapons. in an event with senator deb 21 fischer a few weeks 0 pago, she pointed out that wasn't the same muchoric that was in obama's 2010 posture review that was w based on an entirely different security environment, a much tc more benign one. as dr. payne mentioned, we neede to be looking at -- or the current threats should be driving what we're saying about our nuclear policy. nuclear so i want to hone in now on theo nonstrategic nuclear threat that you all touched on.eploy n rebecca, in our report we found that russia can deploy nuclear weapons on numerous types of dual capability systems ranging from cruise missiles to land
mines to artillery, systems liki the s-300. matt, you mentioned china's asclear theater advantage in the indo-pacific. we raratively, the u.s. only has a couple of hundred nonstrategic nuclear weapons in europe and we recently deployed the low yieldi w76-2 warhead on trident missiles to help fill the gap.ns i'm wondering, how would you assess the capability of existing u.s. nuclear forcess tw deter these nonstrategic threats and do you foresee a need to build new or additional nonstrategic forces to help deterrence in the future? >> i can go ahead and take that. first, a couple of things that came is to mind as you were talking. one is that we have got to take a more humble approach to how wd think about this. dr. payne has constantly now,
several times, said there is no set, definitive formula that we can look to.rite now because the threat environment is changing, is becoming more ig complex, we have repeatedly t heard from senior military officers about the threat of io chinaf taking taiwan, and taiwae that is of enormous geopolitical significance for the united states. and really, if china does take l taiwan successfully,an they wil have effectively supplanted the united states in the indo-pacific. but then then broadly, as the preeminent global power, preventing the united states t cet from credibly beinger able to me good on our security commitments to our allies and partners by blocking us, by having that as unsinkable aircraft carrier right there in the island chain. so all that being said, i thought matt did a great job ofs explaining why nuclear conflictn is actually not an implausible
scenario that could happen in the case of a taiwan crisis. and so that is a right now , purely -- admiral davidson has talked about needing to quickly, quickly, quickly deploy long range fires on ground based ismc cruise missiles to be able to h up for the conventional mismatch we have right now in convo-pacific theater. and i would add to what matt said, a warning that we should not limit or imaginations to the strictly conventional. because of the value china places on taiwan, if a conventional conflict begins to look like the united states with our allies, with the japanese hopefully and our other allies and partners are coming in to defend taiwan, that they might make a rash decision that we deem irrational or unreasonable but that they do not. and so we need to not be so
hubristic about being certain what china might do in that on d scenario. we should make sure we have nuclear capabilities to fill out that escalation ladder so we caa have a credible option in the event wewe need to try to de-escalate a situation that had gone nuclear so we can win on ws terms most favorable to the united states. i think we should be seriously m looking at it. i hopeedd that answers part of r question. >> let me just add on, i thought that was a very nice answer, het rebecca, let me add on, because what i would like to say fits back in with the point made earlier about reducing the sug reliance on nuclear weapons thp because what that often suggests, has been suggested ine the past when that was presented as a goal, is we're going to as emphasize more conventional forces, non-nuclear forces for the purposes of deterrence as h opposed toat emphasizing nucleak forces and that way we can step back from reliance on nuclear
forces for deterrence. that's the usual logic and it point rebecca ogic just almade. let me suggest, and i can do . this briefly, why that argument is incoherent, it's an illogical argument. i'm all for conventional forces for deterrence purposes, don't read this as suggesting that i think conventional forces aren't useful for deterrence, they cann be veryvent useful for deterren. but to suggest that conventional forces can reduce reliance on e nuclear forces for deterrence, as i said, it's incoherent, it's illogical because the stronger our conventional capabilities are, gives them a greater incentive to escalate out of the conflict that they may be losing conventionally. our nuclear deterrent has toione hold. it has to prevent their orces w escalation. and so we should have robust nua conventional forces that contribute tor deterrence. the challenge is making sure oue nuclear deterrent holds so we d
just haven't essentially given t opponents o the greatest incente to escalate out of their problem we using nuclear weapons. so we have to be able to deter atence hav both levels. it's not that nuclear deterrencs has less reliance placed on it.o nuclear deterrence is just as ep important even as wee go forwar with conventional forces that we hope can serve those purposes.. and soar when i hear the argume we'rere going to reduce reliance on nuclears deterrence by movin forward with conventional forces, my answer is, don't youo understand, nuclear u deterrenc has to hold for us to be able to use conventional forces.t that's the har fallacy of that point. and i think it's easy mak to understand but it very rarely is made. >> i'll just add, if i can as well, so i do think the two supplemental capabilities introduced by the trump to administration do go a long way to giving us some of those uld flexible theater capabilities. o
but i do wonder if there's moree that we should do.tage in asia, as i was talking about. before, china basically does have c a theater advantage now. during the cold war, we had four deployed nuclear weapons in asia. we exercised moreaft. with dual capability aircraft. so i may thinkbe those are other options we might consider, if ee not forward deploying, which some people think would be goino too far, at least exercising the capability and showing china that we do have other options in the theater. and then looking at europe, forn a long time, for decades, h really, we thought that it was d important that nato have capabilities, we had the forward deployed u.s. nuclear weapons there and then we haveve the na allies that are dual capable aircraft that can deliver genventional weapons or gravity
bombs. asy russia's air defenses anprove, i think there are real questions about ourd ability to get gravity bombs over targets e in likely conflict zones in eastern europe. at some point we need to make a decision, do we want nato to be a nuclear reliance still or is it just going to rely on u.s. and british nuclear weapons. and if we want it to be a standu nuclear alliance, then i think it's going to need some more r c standoff capabilities instead of gravity bombs, perhaps some kind of air launch cruise missile alm that canov be delivered by dual capable aircraft. we're basically moving to a situation where we're going to have to rely on u.s. and british nuclear weapons because nato iss losing capability.ho maybe we want to make that decision but i think it should t be a decision, not just a d situation imposed on us because we don't update our capabilities to deal with russian defenses.i. >> great.ope i i think those are great points.s i certainly hope that as the ie
biden administration moves forward with their review, they will consider the increasing nonstrategic threat and different capabilities to deter andex in particular the sea launched cruise missile is expected to start this year, i'm curious to see if we'll see that in the budget request. i'm going to jump to the topic of the land link of topopof thee nuclear triad. senator kyl said he's hoping to hear dr. payne's thoughts on tin this issue. so i'm going to ask him, and wen also have an audience question here on the ground based the strategic deterrent program. and the question is, we've seen proposals to cancel the ground based strategic deterrent program and instead maintain the minuteman 3 fleet of icbms for ? as long as possible. what would be some of the consequences of this policy?omah dr. payne, if we could start ke with you.nswer >> i thought that senator kyl gave a very nice answer to the l question about whyk icbms. their and i'm just talk very briefly
here and invite rebecca and matt to add their own points. the one point i would add is that in the absence of icbms oro in thef absence of a continuing modernization of icbms, what you've done is just eased the ae opponent's problems.descri and at one end, let me just describe one end, and rebecca f and matt can add as they like, in the absence of icbms, folks c say, the slbms, submarine launched ballistic missiles, can provide some deterrent.plat in the absence of these other platforms, these other legs of l the owedtriad, what you've juste is allowed an opponent to focus on antisubmarine warfare.
all of a sudden, by getting rid of the other legs of the triad or effectively getting rid of the other legs of the ho is triad, what you've just given is any opponent that is interested in competing in that way can focuso its resources rather than on three legs of a triad, can focu. on one leg of a triad.ems and that may cause problems thah we just haven't anticipated with regard to the survivability of that final leg of the triad.n that's one of the reasons i i think it's an important reasons why the triad is enormously useful in maintaining the icbms, is essential if we want to detr continue tore have a credible nuclear deterrent. >> i can jump in here, then.ad i would just say, not only should we maintain the land base leg ofexte the triad but we havs be very clear that we cannot just do another service life bad extension of the minuteman 3. it's long past time. the
the decision was made to replacy the icbm back in 2014.d sav opponents now will say that we can just study it some more and save some money.d think that is just predicated on bad thinking. we can't study it any studi edmw we've studied it enough. if anybody says we need to study it again, they're using that as aaand pretext to slow down the based leg of the triad and in doing so, you're going to actually move possibly down below the 400 deployed icbms through attrition. doi there are component parts of the minuteman 3 that need to be day replaced in the next three years and if you don't do that, you'll dip below 400 and matt can tell you all day about the problems of going below 4 up.roblem. it's a serious problem. the is ground based deterrent it even just replacing an old be system, thinking we just need to make sure this one works bettere because we have been replacing c
different component parts of the minuteman 3, that's good, but it's still technology that is decades old. and so we want the newest technology because our adversare have been advancing their own capabilities and we want to make sure we're going to be able to o put those icbms on the target we want not because we want to do it but because we want to convince our adversaries we canr do it, there be deterring them from making a bad decision about targeting the united states. ths the last point i'll make, for those watching, there's you' congressional staffll watching s you'll hear people say, listen, all our icbms are is a warhead s sponge, is what they'll say, they're just there because -- to set a really high bar for the tk enemy to have to want to clear to be able to attack the united states homeland.d. since that, quote unquote, all it is, we don't need to have am greater capabilities. that is a myth. of again, based on faulty reasoning and understanding about what
those are. the reason an adversary wants to target them is because they would believe that they can successfully put a warhead on a target.ou and so you want to make sure you're using the latest, best technology to convince, again, t not ourselves, the enemy, of what capabilities we have to dissuade them of acting againste the united states' interests in the worstt possible way. l it's long past time, we have tos have the ground based detender for that land-based leg of the . triad that is still salient today. >> i'll add to a this too, i ju published a report with the whyh atlantae council called the downsides of downsizing, why the united states needs 400 icbms. t i believe it's in the handout, thanks for sharing that with the audience, patty jane. i'll make a couple of points. it's interesting that americans think icbms are somehow
extendible. if we look at other nuclear powers, russia and china see their icbm leg as the most important leg of the triad. and so what is it that they appreciate about it that we t don't? and so in the report, i would lay out contribution of icbms ty nuclear strategy and in the 2018 nuclear posture review there p were severalutting explicit goat u.s. nuclear strategy and icbms contribute to all of them and cutting them altogether or even cutting the number would weaken all of those goals.would b it would weaken deterrence for the reasons dr. payne mentioned, it would make a nuclear attack on the united states more n thinkable for russia. capab as china increases the size of its nuclear arsenal, it would make a nuclear attack within reach ofwh china's capabilities. assurance of allies. at a time when many allies are questioning whether america is o willing to play its traditional role in the world, is it willing to defend allies, if we start cutting back the nuclear arsenal
that's meant to defend the s entire free world, we're going to exacerbate their fears and that's just not me saying that, that's something i've heard froa allies. we want a hedge against an uncertain future, is something the npr says. russia and china are expanding the size of their arsenals. new start put in tomorrow, if russia decided to pull out. so we need to think about that. having icbms does give us that hedge, it would allow us to increase the size of our arsenal if we wanted to, and achieve our objectives. the primary purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter. the enemy gets a vote. if russia or china decided to he attack, we would want to achieve our objectives, and icbms helps us to do that, helps us to limit damage. cutting clearicbms, cutting the number of icbms means that god e
forbid, in the event of a liliar war, millions of americanss s would die, whereas we kept those icbms, they wouldt survive. >> if i can just real quick, forhe those watching, when we talk bu about modernizing the entire 6, 7% r triad, it's about of the entire national defense budget. the t foricbm leg is a tiny frat of that, incredibly reasonable amount for what we're getting. so you should reject the argument that it's simply not affordable. >> thanks, rebecca.uch i wanted to follow up -- >> if i can just add, i point out that americans spend much n more on doritos, cheetos, and > funions every year than we're planning on spending on icbm modernization. >> that's a great point that we need out there. lastly, i wanted to follow up , with you, matt, in your report,
the argument that i found most citielling was reducing the u.s. icbm fleet would free up about t 200 russian warheads to retargee to u.s. cities and populations ? which i found alarming. can you explain quickly this logic to the audience? >> well, so in the event of a a, nuclear war, russia would probably want to attack u.s. nuclear weapons so that we a couldn't use them against russia in a first strike. now, outside analysts, as a rule of thumb, assume it takes two wh offensive warheads to target an enemy warhead because what if m you miss, what if the warhead doesn't go off, what if you hes don't kill the a target, so you want some redundancy. if russia was going to launch aa major nuclearnd attack on the united states, it would need to allocate 900 warheads to cover the 450 ballistic missile silos. that's like 60% of russia's arsenal. so that's a lot of warheads that
aren't going to other things. if we cut by a hundred, which is what some people are proposing, then that frees up 200 russian o warheads to do other things. so they could use those to attack other u.s. cities, killing millions more americans. they could try to hold them back to deter u.s. retaliation. and so cutting our deterrent weakens our deterrent, it's pretty simple. the >> excellent.ut so we have two members of audience ask a question about engaging china on arms control. as we know, engaging china on arms control has been a goal of thehe previous and current administrations. china has thus far refused to o participate in arms control discussions. and whoever wants to take this, what do you think it will take h to incentivize china to enter into arms control discussions with the u.s.?
>> i can add something on this. i had a report on triad alarms control as well. i think if arms control is goins to matter in the 21st century, a it has to include ichina. it's not the 1970s anymore.na russia is not the only nuclear threat. we seenclude china as the prima rival. if we want arms control to matter, we have to include china. but it's going to be very hard. they have no history of arms control. they haven't expressed much of an interest inorthe arms contro, so i think it's worth pursuing. but i think we need to be realistic that we're unlikely to get anywhere. and i think in the short term, baby steps might be all that's possible. of maybe strategic security ts dialogues with russia and china. some have proposed the idea of g bringing chinese experts along to new start visits so they getl a sense of how verification is done. so i think it's a noble goal. i think it's going to be hard, and baby steps are all we can expect in the near term.
>> i'm'm happy to add, generall by going back to a quote from herman cahn in 1960, i'm haraphrasing it, but herman said, if you actually want to be successful in the arms control,t have to look so capable to your opponent that the opponent chooses to work with you as o c opposed toompe working against . you have to be so capable that the opponent doesn't want to with you in that sense, that the opponent would rather g cooperate with you. and so i find it sort of ironic that what we often here is somehow reducing our thi capabilities is going to lead to a greater chance for arms control. no, i think cahn was right. the more capable you are, the greater incentive, whoever the other party is. the more capable you are, particularly if it's an opponent, the more capable you are, the more incentive the o
opponent has to cooperate with you as opposed to compete with you. and so the general notion that if we onlyco give up x, y, and then the opponent will somehow come to terms. at the end of a negotiation process, that may be right. that's not the way to go into a negotiating process. >> one more point, i would say that, you know, we haven't really created an incentive for the chinese to begin to go us. secrecy is a characteristic that defines the chinese communist party. and it's with everything. so it's especially concerning when they want to replace the united states as the world -- s take the mantle of leadership be from the united states to set y the parameters and the rules in which other countries should y e abide by when it comes to trade and commerce and everything else. and yet they're not willing to t
actually provide the ly whe responsibility that goes with -- responsibility and duty that goes with that kind of power, especially when it comes to their nuclear weapons. and i heard admiral richards loe paraphrasing too when he i testified, het said, because their program is so closed and they won't talk to us about it,r it forces the united states to t make worst case scenario c assumptions abouthine what they doing. and so it is in the respe interf the chinese communist party in that respect to begin disabusing us of the notion of the state direction and how they're conte relying on nuclear weaponsxt if we're wrong. the and so the united states is going to have to create a context in which the chinese feel the heat and feel the pressure so that they decide it's in their interests to begin conversations with the united states and to begin behaving more transparently because they believe that it is better than the alternative.ying and so that's why, you know, all of these, things that admiral davidson and others have been saying to rebalance the intere
indo-pacificst are so incredibl important because right now the chinese simply don't think it's in their interests to begin these conversations. >> so we have time for one more audience question. and we have one here for dr. isn payne. since taking office, c theommi administration has placed a heavy emphasis on renewing our commitments to our allies and partners, for instance he's yoassured both japan and taiwan of the u.s.u commitment to theif defense and most recently pledged unwavering support to ukrainian sovereignty. how do you think a failure to modernize any leg of the u.s. it nucleary triad in a timely mannr would affect the credibility of these security commitments? >> that's a great question. comm and renewing commitments in the way you've just described, or reconfirming commitments to allies, i think is a positive step. i think that's a good waying to. but if good way to go.
but if we turn around and walk back the type of force planning that has received bipartisan support for going on ten years,e we're going to be sending very mixed signals. we're going to be rhetorically saying we're with you, we're with you, unconditionally with you, but what they're going to actually see is the reduction in capabilities to live up to that commitment. in fact i've had allies, allied folks tell me, you know, we hear what you say but what we want to see is you actually doing it. and so if we want to have consistent signals about renewing our commitments to our allies and partners and hat expressing those commitments in very solid terms, reducing our nuclear capabilities that many of them rely on for extended deterrence and the ultimate guarantor ofre their security ib going to be sending mixed signals and reducing our ability
to assure allies of that. i'm going back to a point that s matt said, to degrade your deterrent capabilities, degrade isur deterrent. and doing so degrades your t ability to assure allies, anding aboute to d and going back to aa rebecca made, i notice that 201s pool i just relooked at in south korea said a major of south w koreans thought thatant south ka should have its own independent nuclear capabilities. and so what you want to do is have consistent signals that we do support our allies and by the way, we are going to have the capabilities necessary to do that credit. u >> great. any final comments from rebecca or mattpellin before we wrap up? >> just real quick on ukraine, one of the most compelling an arguments i've heard about why the united states still has an
interest in not just handing ukraine over to the russian t te federation right now is their budapest memorandum which of t assuredhe ukrainians they would have security commitments, that the integrity of their borders would be respected. if the united states simply throws in the towel, what impact would this have, to dr. payne's point, it's one thing for us toe say these things about nuclear assurances or promises. it's another thing to make good on cothem. although ukraine obviously is not a member of nato, they do s have security commitments that are owed that obviously the russian federation is clearly openly violating. they are the aggressor, and so there needs to be consequences for that kind of violation. because you don't want -- sorry, just quick, you don't want to incentivize countries by saying if you don't have nuclear o weapons, you're toast against these nuclear powers. that is not the message the
united states wants to send, that you can still understand your borders have integrity and they will be respected even if t you don't have nuclear capabilities.eapons >> i would just add, i think often discussions of u.s. nuclear weapons, there's this o' kind of connotation they're a bad thing and we're going to reduce reliance and wouldn't 5 that be a good thing. foc u.s. nuclear weapons have been one of the greatest forces for good over the past 75 years. there's a lot of focus on this u.s.-led rules-based international system.ng the biden administration wants to revitalize the system. mor i think u.s. leadership has been a good thing over the past 75 b years. i think the world is b aut more peaceful, prosperous, free place than it was before. but i think that's been made nua possible by u.s.r nuclear weapons, deterring major power m conflict in europe and asia, extending deterrence to the entire free world, allowing them to forego their own nuclear weapons. and essentially created these zones of peace and
prosperity in europe and asia and north america. i think it's no coincidence thar the freest, most prosperous parts of the world are those protected by u.s. nuclear weapons. so i think if we want to strengthen alliances, strengthen the rules-based system, that part and parcel of that is strengthening america's nuclear weapons. >> let me add on a point, this will just take a second, to whae matt said. i go back to a statement from one of my early professors, it was professor ken wallace, the , late ken wallace, who was no hawk. and what professor wallace said was, all of the talk against nuclear weapons seems to ignore the great value they have provided to countries for maintaining peace. he said, yes, if you don't like particular aspects of nuclear weapons, voice your opinion. but realize the great value they have provided in providing peace
for countries to live and prosper in a peaceful context. >> i think that's a great note to conclude on. this has been really excellent. thanks so much to the three of you for participating in this event and also thanks to the audience for joining us today. i want to remind the audience to join us for part 2 in this event series on april 14, where we'll turn to the threats posed by iran and north korea. so thanks again to everyone and have a great day. >> thank you. a reminder, that coming up this afternoon president biden plans to make an announcement on his administration's strategy for u.s. policy and presence in afghanistan. live coverage of that briefing begins at 2:15 eastern here on c-span3. weeknights this month we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span3. tonight, we look at
asian-american history. declared a national historic landmark district in 1995, little tokyo near downtown los angeles has been the center of japanese-american culture in southern california since the early 1900s. we went on a tour with a docent at the japanese-american national museum. he was born in little tokyo in 1930 and during world war ii was incarcerated by government order with other japanese-americans at wyoming's hart mountain relocation center. watch tonight, beginning at 8:0n p.m. ueeastern, and enjoy amerin history tv every weekend on c-span3.he joining us now is ken cuccinelli, chair of the election transparency m 20 initiative, also served19 as th former acting director of u.s. e citizenship. and immigration services from 2019 to 2021. mr. cuccinelli, thanks for t? giving us your time today. >> my pleasure. >> can you tell us about this initiative, what does it do, jo what is its purpose,