Strategic Command warns US must prepare for nuclear war as unpredictable conflicts could escalate 'rapidly'

The US Strategic Command issued a stark warning on Monday that the country should prepare for nuclear war as current conflicts could escalate “very rapidly.” 

It came ahead of the agency speaking to Congress on Tuesday morning where they warned that the US is currently facing “two nuclear-capable, strategic peer adversaries at the same time” from Russia and China.  

The government body issues a posture statement annually in which they inform Congress on the state of Strategic Command and update on the upcoming year’s budget.

It also provides information of likely conflict in the future and on its readiness for combat. 

It revealed on Monday that it planned to tell Congress of the current threat of nuclear war. 

“The spectrum of conflict today is neither linear nor predictable,” it wrote on Twitter in its posture statement preview. 

“We must account for the possibility of conflict leading to conditions which could very rapidly drive an adversary to consider nuclear use as their least bad option.”

On Tuesday morning, Commander Charles Richard began his testimony to the House Armed Services Committee and the Senate Committee on Armed Services. 

“For the first time in history, the nation is facing two nuclear-capable, strategic peer adversaries at the same time, both of whom must be deterred differently,” he said. 

The four-star admiral will continue his testimony on Wednesday afternoon.

Ahead of his meeting with the committees, Adm. Richard had The Hill that the country is currently preparing for a war it hasn’t fought before. 

"United States Space Command faces a unique dilemma in that we can't plan for future conflicts based on how we fought previous conflicts even if we were inclined to do so," he added.

"Rather, we are preparing for the war not yet fought. 

"Why do we need to prepare for such a conflict when space has traditionally been a peaceful domain, open to all for exploration, and whose benefits improve the lives of virtually every human being on Earth?" he asked.

"As I will soon testify to Congress, the answer is because highly capable competitors realize the extraordinary military and economic advantages that space-based capabilities give to the United States and our allies."

The U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) is a "global warfighting command" that operates to "deter strategic attack and employ forces, as directed, to guarantee the security of our Nation and our Allies,” its website states. 

It also controls any launch of nuclear weapons, Newsweek reports. 

Last month, the command warned that the US must now be primed for a full-scale nuclear war with China or Russia.

Richard says the chances of an apocalyptic conflict with the rival superpowers is now a "real possibility."

His stark World War 3 warning – which came amid mounting global tensions – was made in a major new review of the current balance of nuclear firepower.

"There is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons, if they perceived a conventional loss would threaten the regime or state,” he wrote.

He claimed that both countries have now "begun to aggressively challenge international norms" in "ways not seen since the height of the Cold War".

The military chief cited a rise in cyberattacks and "threats in space," as well as their investment in advanced arms including hypersonic nukes, reports Fox News.

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