The admiral in charge of the U.S. nuclear arsenal said Tuesday he would “welcome” a review by the incoming Biden administration of the country’s nuclear weapons strategy, but lashed out at critics of the military’s plans for new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
“I welcome an examination of the nation’s strategy here,” U.S. Strategic Command chief Adm. Charles Richard told reporters. “I recommend that based on the threat. The threat is moving so fast that even given the time since the last Nuclear Posture Review warrants another look at it to make sure that we still endorse our strategy, and we have sufficient capability to execute that strategy.”
When asked about outside groups recommending Biden cut a program to replace existing ICBMs, Richard pushed back.
“I don’t understand, frankly, how someone in a think tank, who actually doesn’t have their hands on the missile looking at the parts, the cables, all of the pieces inside — that thing is so old,” Richard said.
Richard went on to say he has had meetings with the Biden transition team that have “gone very well,” with plans for more, but did not provide details of the conversations.
The Trump administration conducted a Nuclear Posture Review that came out in 2018, as well as separate reviews on issues such as missile defense and space.
The Trump administration’s nuclear review in some ways followed the Obama administration’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, such as endorsing the modernization of the triad. But it deviated in other ways, such as calling for new weapons