US nuclear and space commanders warn America is being outpaced by Russia and China at ‘breathtaking’ rate | Space

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CHINA AND RUSSIA MOVING ‘BREATHTAKINGLY FAST’: The four-star commanders of U.S. nuclear and space forces warned Congress yesterday that Russia and China are on track to threaten America’s long-held military advantage seriously in both realms in the coming years.

In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, both Gen. Anthony Cotton, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, and Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of the U.S. Space Command, used the adjective “breathtaking” to describe the rapid buildup and modernization of nuclear forces and space capabilities by America’s two near-peer adversaries.

“The [People’s Republic of China] is surpassing the United States, and its number of fixed intercontinental ballistic missile launchers and projections indicate its nuclear arsenal would encompass approximately 1,000 warheads by 2030,” Cotton testified. “Beyond Russia’s traditional strategic triad, it is expanding and modernizing nuclear options that are not covered by international arms treaties. Last Friday, President [Vladimir] Putin stated that 95% of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces have been modernized.”

“In short, our competitors are improving their position against the United States and its allies in multiple domains at rates that are far exceeding the pace we’ve seen just a few years ago,” Cotton testified. 

“China and the Russian Federation now hold at risk United States and allied space capabilities,” Whiting said in his opening statement. “As of January 2024, the PRC’s intelligence satellite fleet contained more than 359 systems, more than tripling its on-orbit collection presence since 2018. … Russia also continues to develop, test, and demonstrate their counterspace capabilities despite not having achieved their war aims from their invasion of Ukraine.”

“Russia’s war in Ukraine has established space as an indelible enabler of terrestrial warfare,” Whiting added. “While a conflict in space is…

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