WASHINGTON — In the final six months, U.S. Strategic Command has begun performing each day evaluation on the state of nuclear deterrence in every of the regional combatant instructions, STRATCOM commander Adm. Charles Richard mentioned Thursday.
Richard described the “risk of strategic deterrence failure” effort as a “new type of analysis” that enables STRATCOM to current, on a day-by-day foundation, “a formal estimate of the risks that deterrence is going to fail” across the globe.
“I acknowledge this is an analytic process getting after something that is fundamentally subjective,” Richard mentioned at an occasion hosted by the Mitchell Institute. “But the assertion here is, this risk carries so much consequence that I need to be able to describe to the [defense] secretary and the chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] at all times, under all conditions, what risks we’re taking with regard to deterrence failing, and then inside that, nuclear deterrence failing.”
The new evaluation pulls in data from the Joint Staff and different combatant instructions. Richard mentioned the specter of deterrence failure is “currently low.”
“We have some great formal mechanisms with all the combatant commands to pull in what they see and what they’re doing, put it into my best possible emulation of the other guy’s decision calculus, and then be able to provide the department: ‘All right, here’s where we sit. Here’s the risk, here’s the margin,’ ” Richard defined.
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, who leads the Mitchell Institute, mentioned the day-to-day evaluation design described by Richard is “unique” and will have nice worth.
“He is applying an outcome-oriented assessment to strategic deterrence that may have been implied in the past, but he is making a concerted effort to identify the impact of strategic deterrence in a much more qualitative and quantitative fashion,” Deptula mentioned.
“ ‘Deterrence’ is challenging to quantify, but by committing to assessing the impact of deterrent effects,” Richard is making a extra deliberate course of, Deptula added. “I really think he is establishing a process of how to best determine the impact of actions that STRATCOM is taking in the decisions that it is making.”
Richard additionally burdened that defining deterrence in 2020 might be troublesome, noting that “strategic deterrence is more than just nuclear deterrence, particularly now, today. It is non-kinetic space, cyber; it is your conventional piece of this.”
“All of this has to be integrated together. It’s not just a STRATCOM job, it is all combatant commands. And we have to be able to rethink the way we do business,” he mentioned. “We’re going to have to change the way we think about deterrence.”
One of the instructions offering each day enter is U.S. Space Command, which, till its creation as a standalone command, fell below STRATCOM’s purview.
Richard described the connection between the 2 as “closely coupled,” noting that SPACECOM nonetheless has a serious position in making certain nuclear command and management, and that STRATCOM continues to deal with some bureaucratic capabilities for the most recent command.