In a report released last week, a bipartisan panel appointed by Congress warned that the US must prepare for simultaneous wars with China and Russia by modernizing its nuclear weapons, expanding its conventional forces, and strengthening its alliances, Reuters reported.
Congress authorized the creation of the Strategic Posture Commission last year. Consisting of 12 members, six from each party, the commission was charged with assessing the long-term threats to the US and recommending changes to its conventional and nuclear forces.
In the preface to the report, Democrat chair, Madelyn Creedon, former deputy head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, and Republican vice chair, former Senator Jon Kyl, said while the commission recognizes the “budget realities,” it believes that the United States “must make these investments.”
In a press briefing announcing the report, Kyle said the White House and Congress will have to “take the case to the American people” that increased defense spending is the price the US must pay to avoid a nuclear war with both Russia and China.
In the report, the commission said the US and its allies must be prepared to “deter and defeat” both Russia and China “simultaneously,” arguing that the international order and “the values it upholds” would be at risk from the authoritarian regimes leading those two adversaries.
In compiling its report, the commission used data from the Pentagon forecasting that China’s rapid expansion of its nuclear arsenal will likely place its nuclear stockpile at 1,500 warheads by 2035.
According to its report, the commission predicts that the threats posed by China and Russia will become acute sometime between 2027 and 2035 and recommended that plans to prepare the US to meet the threats begin now.
It recommended that the 30-year nuclear weapons modernization program that began in 2010 must be fully funded if it is to be completed on schedule.
The panel also recommended placing more tactical nukes in Europe and Asia, developing plans to deploy all or part of the US nuclear warhead reserves, increasing production of stealth bombers and the new Columbia-class nuclear subs, and increasing conventional forces.