STRATCOM’s Way Ahead

The United States must be prepared for hybrid future conflicts that encompass all domains and likely cross traditional geographic boundaries, Gen. Robert Kehler, US Strategic Command chief, told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday. Although the military is likely to become even more dependent on space and cyberspace tools for global commerce, navigation, and communications, those same tools also open the doors to adversaries seeking to disrupt, and possibly destroy, such critical infrastructure, he said. That’s why STRATCOM continues to advocate for modernization efforts even as it weathers the difficult fiscal environment, said Kehler. The command is working to bolster capability to counter weapons of mass destruction, continue modernizing nuclear delivery and command and control systems, and proceed with nuclear weapons life-extension programs, he said. Space and cyber capabilities need to be more resilient and there’s the need for enhanced situational awareness in both domains, said Kehler. Improving intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance capabilities remains at the top of the command’s priority list, he noted. “In short, the new national security reality calls for a new strategic approach that promotes agile, decentralized action from a fully integrated and, I would say, fully interdependent and resilient joint force,” he said. (Kehler’s prepared testimony)