Dunford: Russia is America’s Biggest Threat

Russia is the nation’s greatest security threat because of its aggression against neighboring nations and its strategic nuclear capability, said Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford during his nomination hearing to be Joint Chiefs Chairman. However, Dunford told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that China also is a concern because it has missiles that could reach America. Dunford said he supports plans to modernize the nuclear deterrent triad, including the new long-range bomber, and said the land- and sea-based strategic missiles were complementary, not redundant. He supported the proposal to fund replacements for the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines outside of the regular Navy shipbuilding account, but was not asked if that could apply to the new bomber as well. The current Marine Corps Commandant rejected claims that the nation cannot afford to modernize the strategic deterrence force and the nuclear enterprise that supports it. “To me, it’s a question of more, how do we support it, rather than what we can afford,” he said. Dunford agreed with committee members that there should be no reduction in the alert deterrent systems until the nuclear stockpile and infrastructure are improved and said America should not make any “unilateral” reductions in its nuclear arms.