April 29, 2021
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), lead Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today delivered opening remarks at a SASC hearing on worldwide threats.
Witnesses included: the Honorable Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, and Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency.
As Prepared for Delivery:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I join you in welcoming our witnesses.
Since its release in 2018, this Committee’s top priority has been ensuring we implement the National Defense Strategy.
If we are serious about the security of the United States, we need the resources to make the NDS happen. The President’s budget request does not meet this standard. It doesn’t even keep up with inflation.
Our top military commanders have bluntly told us in recent weeks that the threats to the United States are growing at an alarming rate. To cut the defense budget in the midst of these challenges is not just misguided, it’s dangerous.
Over the past several years, this committee has been repeatedly warned of the pace and scope of Russian and Chinese nuclear modernization.
Just last week, the Commander of U.S. Strategic Command testified that Russia has completed over 80 percent of its nuclear force modernization.
He also stated that China has reached an “inflection point,” where it is accelerating its nuclear modernization efforts and will reach operational parity with the United States in the 2030s.
At the same time, China’s modernization of its conventional forces is accelerating at a startling rate. They are outpacing us in developing critical technologies like hypersonics, Artificial Intelligence, and quantum computing.
At the same time, China’s military ambitions are no longer confined to the Indo-Pacific. They are building bases and deploying advanced capabilities in places like Africa, posing what the AFRICOM commander termed his “number one global power competition concern.”
For a long time, most Americans believed that the United States military had the best of everything. That’s not true any longer.
My colleagues in Congress, and the American people, need to understand this as well as the seriousness of the threats we face around the world..