Gen. Robert Kehler, US Strategic Command boss, outlined the command’s priorities this week. First, he said, STRATCOM must “guarantee a safe, secure, effective, and ready nuclear deterrent force.” That includes providing tools “to combat proliferation and assure our scientific and innovation edge,” he told the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces panel in prepared testimony. Next, the command must work with other combatant commands to improve how it addresses trans-regional problems. This includes synchronizing activities in the realms of missile defense, intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and combating weapons of mass destruction, he wrote. Finally, STRATCOM must strive to improve capabilities in space and cyberspace. This includes “ensuring uninterrupted access” to space and space-based capabilities, improving “awareness of objects and activities in space,” and “improving space access, protection, and resilience,” stated Kehler. For cyberspace, this means enhancing “network protection” and maturing “organizations, capabilities, workforce, and partnerships,” he wrote.
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.