In a statement before the House Armed Services Committee, Richard told a scary story about how Russia and China could strike at any moment, which is why the military-industrial complex needs to keep its defenses as beefed up as possible.
"Today, we face two nuclear-capable near-peers who have the capability to unilaterally escalate a conflict to any level of violence in any domain worldwide, with any instrument of national power, and that is historically significant," Richard said.
Last year, Richard went on to claim, the worry was only that these two countries might launch a nuclear attack at some point in the future. Now, he says, that has "become a reality" with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine situation.
"That need is now an imperative," Richard declared before the committee members.
Last April, Richard appeared before lawmakers at another congressional hearing, saying that for the first time in history, the United States is "on a trajectory to face two nuclear-capable, strategic peer adversaries at the same time."
Reading from almost the exact same script, Richard attempted to scare Congress into giving in to his demands by warning about a "strategic breakout by China" that involves "explosive growth and modernization of its nuclear and conventional forces."
Richard said at the time that the situation was "breathtaking" and that America must respond to all that "expansion and modernization" by doing the very same thing.
On February 4 of this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met to establish a "no-limits" partnership, according to a publicly released statement.
Last summer, China also reportedly tested nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles, which prompted Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley to declare that the situation was very close to a "Sputnik moment."
China is said to also be building hundreds of new nuclear silos. Back in November, the Pentagon claimed that China could have as many as 1,000 deliverable nuclear missiles ready to go by 2030.
Gen. Glen VanHerck, the current head of the U.S. Northern Command, further claims that China has never slowed down its pursuit of hypersonic weapons.
"They're aggressively pursuing hypersonic capability, tenfold to what we have done as far as testing within the last year or so, significantly outpacing us with their capability," VanHerck said at a recent hearing.
Richard's perspective is that U.S. defense forces are strong, and he feels confident that the situation would go down as he wants it to in the event of a nuclear strike.
"I am satisfied with the posture of my forces," he said. "I have made no recommendations to make any changes."
"The nation's nuclear command and control is in its most defended, most resilient lineup that it's ever been in its history."
Still, Richard wants Congress to keep a close eye on China's nuclear development activities.
"We don't know the endpoint of where China is going in terms of the capabilities it's developing and the capacities that it's developing," he claims.
"While I'm very confident we're going to wind up with a very good strategy, I think it will need to be a question that we continue to ask ourselves as we see where China goes, as we see where others go. What are the overall capability and capacity that the United States requires in order to execute that strategy against a changing threat. We're going to have to ask that question much more frequently than we have in the past."
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