The country’s most senior military officer on Tuesday delivered a grave warning that the world is becoming more unstable, increasing the chances of deadly conflict between the U.S. and other world powers.
As he laid out details of the threat, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley also split with the White House on its decision to cancel plans for a new sea-launched nuclear missile.
And he said the U.S. and allies should prepare for the war in Ukraine to last for years.
Milley appeared with other senior military figures before the House Armed Services Committee to discuss the Pentagon‘s proposed proposed $773 billion budget for next year.
He did it against the backdrop of Russia’s war in Ukraine, and almost daily warnings that China is flexing its muscles in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.
‘The United States is at a very critical and historic geo-strategic inflection point,’ he said.
‘We are entering a world that is becoming more unstable and the potential for significant international conflict between great powers is increasing, not decreasing.
‘The United States needs to pursue a cleareyed strategy of maintaining the peace through unambiguous capability of strength relative to the People’s Republic of China and Russia.’
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley appeared before the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, to discuss the Pentagon’s budget for next year
He cited Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and said it was example of growing instability in the world
A car is seen riddled with bullet holes on the street on April 5, 2022 in Bucha, Ukraine. Milley said the war in Ukraine could last for years
Soon after he delivered his comments, the White House announced the U.S. would work with the U.S. and Australia in developing hypersonic weapons.
It follows warnings that the U.S. was falling behind China in several areas of defence technology, from Artificial Intelligence to hypersonics – with missiles that can accelerate to 25 times the speed of sound and evade air defense systems.
Milley said hypersonic weapons would provide ‘transformational warfighting’ abilities as he laid out the threats to national security.
‘We are witness to the greatest threat to the peace and security of Europe and perhaps the world in my 42 years of service in uniform,’ he said.
‘The Russian invasion of Ukraine is threatening to undermine the global peace and stability that my parents – and generations of Americans – fought so hard to defend.’
Later, during the question and answer part of his testimony, he was asked how long the conflict in Ukraine might last.
‘There is much of the ground war left in Ukraine, but I do think this is a very protracted conflict,’ he said,
‘And I think it’s at least measured in years. I don’t know about decades but at least years for sure. This is a very extended conflict that Russia has initiated.
‘And and I think that N.A.T.O., the United States, Ukraine and all of the allies and partners supporting Ukraine are going to be involved in this for quite some time.’
He was also asked about the need to shift more forces to Europe’s eastern flank, where N.A.T.O. allies fear they they may be Russia’s next target.
Milley appeared alongside Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin before the House Armed Services Committee to answer questions about the proposed Pentagon budget for next year
‘My advice would be to create permanent bases but don’t permanently station [forces], so you get the effect of permanence by rotational forces cycling through permanent bases,’ he said.
‘I believe that a lot of our European allies, especially those such as the Baltics or Poland and Romania, and elsewhere – they’re very, very willing to establish permanent bases.
‘They’ll build them, they’ll pay for them.”
Milley also told lawmakers that he continued to support the development of a nuclear-capable sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM-N) that the Biden administration is planning to cancel.
He is the latest senior officer to detail his opposition to the idea of scrapping the weapon.
He told the committee that his advice to the president would remain confidential but that his position but said his views on the SLCM-N had not changed.
‘I will say that to you, those members of Congress who have oversight responsibilities, my position on SLCM-N has not changed … ‘ he said.
‘My general view is that this president or any president deserve to have multiple options to deal with national security situations. And my advice is listened to.’
Biden announces hypersonic missile deal with US and Australia to help beat China in the arms race after US tested rocket that flew five times the speed of sound
The U.S. is teaming up with the United Kingdom and Australia to develop hypersonic weapons as they play catch-up with China‘s rapid expansion of its military arsenal, according to sources familiar with the plan.
President Joe Biden unveiled the next phase of A.U.K.U.S. security pact with the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
A string of senior officials has warned that China has stolen a march on the U.S. with its rapid development of hypersonic weapons – capable of flying five to 25 times the speed of sound and outmaneuvering air defense systems – and Artificial Intelligence.
Details of a joint venture – first reported by the Financial Times – emerged soon after the Pentagon confirmed that it had conducted the second test of a hypersonic missile.
It was tested last month but it was kept quiet for two weeks in order to avoid ramping up tensions further with Russia.
The Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) was launched from a B-52 bomber.
President Joe Biden unveiled the next phase of A.U.K.U.S. security pact with the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson – the joint development of hypersonic weapons in order to play catch up with China
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced on Tuesday it completed a free flight test of the Lockheed Martin version of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept. It reached a cruise speed of more than five times the speed of sound at 65,000 feet
The missile’s booster engines first push the weapon up to a high speed before the air-breathing scramjet engine ignites.
‘From there, it quickly accelerated to and maintained cruise faster than Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound) for an extended period of time,’ said the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
‘The vehicle reached altitudes greater than 65,000 feet and flew for more than 300 nautical miles.’
The test came at a time when tensions between Russia and U.S. are heightened due to the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, and just days after Russia used its own hypersonic missiles on an ammunition warehouse in western Ukraine.
A joint statement from the U.S., UK and Australia announced the next phase of their pact.
‘We also committed today to commence new trilateral cooperation on hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, and electronic warfare capabilities, as well as to expand information sharing and to deepen cooperation on defense innovation,’ they said
‘These initiatives will add to our existing efforts to deepen cooperation on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities.’
The U.S. lags behind China and Russia in developing such weapons.
They are difficult to intercept because of they way they maneuver through the air. Although intercontinental ballistic missiles travel even faster, they follow a predictable path making them more vulnerable to air defense systems.
The new push to co-operate on hypersonic weapons is the latest initiative in the trilateral coalition between the U.S., U.K. and Australia to compete with China in the Indo-Pacific.
The missiles, which are launched from a bomber jet and accelerated by a booster before detaching, are able to be guided to a precise target. Above, a rendering of a missile
China’s testing of a 25,000mph hypersonic nuclear-capable missile has indicated that Beijing’s missile programme is more advanced than previously thought, amid an intensifying race for the next generation of long-rang weapons that are harder to detect and intercept