?“Major powers have not fought each other in over 70 years,” said Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein Tuesday at ASC16, and “the nation’s nuclear capability is the primary factor in this refrain from massive conflict.” But Weinstein, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, warned that this “strategic stability” is now under threat. While the United States has not modernized its nuclear assets since the 1980s, “other nations have not paused,” Weinstein said. In order to retain “an asymmetric advantage for the United States” and its allies, Weinstein insisted on a long list of modernization priorities. He said the US needs “a new strategic bomber,” “a replacement for the Ohio class SSBN,” “a new long-range standoff weapon,” “a new gravity bomb,” and “a replacement for Minuteman.” These capabilities, Weinstein said, would add up to “a survivable deterrent to ensure that the US cannot be coerced” by potential adversaries.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.