Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, delivered the following opening remarks at a hearing regarding the Strategic Posture Commission’s final report on the United States’ strategic posture. The Commission’s final report can be found here.
Chairman Rogers' remarks as prepared for delivery:
Today we are joined by the chairs of the Strategic Posture Review Commission.
The FY22 NDAA established the Commission to assess the long-term strategic posture of the United States and to provide Congress with recommendations to improve our nuclear deterrent.
We did this because for the first time since the dawn of the atomic era, the United States must deter two nuclear peer adversaries simultaneously.
China is rapidly expanding its nuclear forces in what Admiral Richard, the former commander of STRATCOM, described as a “breathtaking strategic breakout”.
According to the Department of Defense’s most recent report on China’s military power, the pace of its rapid nuclear buildup will only accelerate in the coming years.
Meanwhile, Russia possesses the largest and most diverse nuclear arsenal on the planet.
It maintains a nuclear weapons production complex capable of producing hundreds of warheads per year.
And its arsenal continues to expand.
Most alarming, its stockpile of non-strategic nuclear weapons – a category of nuclear arms not limited by any treaty - reportedly holds at least a 10:1 advantage over the United States.
Both China and Russia are also developing new and highly-destabilizing nuclear capabilities designed to avoid U.S. early-warning systems and give both nations the ability to launch surprise nuclear attacks.
China is also developing a “fractional orbital bombardment” system armed with nuclear hypersonic glide body.
And Russia is on the cusp of fielding a suite of new capabilities, including nuclear-armed cruise missiles powered by nuclear reactors and megaton-class long-range underwater nuclear systems.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is rapidly expanding and growing in sophistication.
And Iran is within a few days from having enough enriched uranium to build a bomb.
The United States, on the other hand, has allowed its nuclear enterprise to wither away.
As of today, we cannot produce a new nuclear weapon.
We are the only nuclear power unable to do so.
Years of complacency have caused significant delays in our efforts to restore this capacity.
And while I was pleased to see the successful first flight of the B-21 this weekend, programs to field modern replacements for our Cold War-era nuclear triad have suffered from repeated delays.
Finally, the Biden administration’s efforts to end development of a nuclear capable, sea-launched cruise missile and retire other nuclear weapons before their replacements arrive further undermines our strategic deterrent.
We need to reverse course.
We need an enhanced level of innovation and investment in our nuclear modernization.
That’s what the Commission, on a bipartisan basis, is asking us to do.
As the Commission notes, maintaining a credible strategic deterrent will be expensive.
But failing to do so will result in a war that is far more expensive, in both lives and resources.
I applaud the Commission for their great work and I strongly support their recommendations.
I look forward to working with my colleagues on ways to implement them.
With that I yield to the Ranking Member.