Washington D.C.House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), released the following statement at today’s hearing on the posture of the U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Pacific Command:

“I would like to welcome General Kehler and Admiral Locklear and to thank them for being here with us today.  I look forward to their testimony on a variety of important matters.” 

“With regard to U.S. Strategic Command, the U.S. nuclear arsenal plays a unique and crucial role in national and international security, and we must ensure that it remains safe, secure, and reliable.  Nuclear deterrence is a daily mission, the purpose of which is to prevent nuclear weapons from ever being used and to deter an unthinkable nuclear war.”

“I am interested in your thoughts, in a time of fiscal restraint, on how we can further decrease the danger of nuclear weapons, how we might be able to pursue further progress on nuclear weapons reductions and strengthen strategic stability, and how we might continue to provide strong and cost-effective extended deterrence for our allies.”

“The proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons remain one of the gravest threats to our security, and preventing the spread of these weapons to additional countries and terrorists is paramount to international security.”

“In addition, missile defense remains an important mission for the defense of the United States and its allies against developing missile threats from North Korea and Iran.   We must ensure that we effectively address current and near-term missile threats while preserving strategic stability.”

“The increasing importance of cyber operations in every aspect of national security also requires support as U.S. Cyber Command works to growing cyber threats.”

“This is also a dynamic time for the U.S. Pacific Command. The complex and diverse Asia-Pacific region is vital to our national interests, and it includes a number of important U.S. allies and partners.  Without question, U.S. service men and women play crucial roles in maintaining these relationships and in promoting peace in the Asia-Pacific region.”

“We should continue to promote shared interests, mitigate concerns, and perpetuate multi-lateral cooperation in the region. We should work to cultivate a secure and mutually beneficial relationship with China, continue to develop our growing relationship with India, and strengthen existing relationships with partners like Japan, South Korea, Australia, and Singapore.”

“Current strategic guidance places a renewed focus on the critically important Asia-Pacific region. Strategic rebalancing will undoubtedly emphasize the roles played by the U.S. Pacific Command in support of, and in concert with, broad U.S. diplomatic, economic, and assistance goals and efforts in the region.”

“Transnational threats, such as violent extremism, cyber-threats, and illicit trafficking in persons, narcotics, and weapons continue to menace the region.  Unfortunately, disease, malnourishment, environmental degradation, resource scarcity, and natural disaster also persist.  The more we can do to defuse tensions through cooperative efforts with our many allies and strategic partners in the region, the more we can help to realize the immense potential for growth in the region.”

“The United States will continue to lead in the Asia-Pacific and to offer assurances through our forward military presence in the region, and the U.S. Pacific Command’s flexible force posture will continue to be essential to surmounting security challenges now and in the future.” 

“General, Admiral, I look forward to receiving your testimony and to continuing our dialogue on these and other important issues.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”