tv Hudson Institute Discussion on Nuclear Arms Control Part 1 CSPAN June 5, 2019 9:05am-9:30am EDT
is superior, in that sense i'm a nationalist. superiorness as margaret thatcher said by a philosophy that's right. it's know the suitable for all people at all times, but everyone ought to aspire to it. so a nationalist, i don't want to export it at the point, i want to make it available to people and help them where we can and we have a lot of experience with the civil society of the democratic socie society, so i'm a mild nationalist. >> watch after words, on book tv on c-span2. >> the head of the defense intelligence agency, general robert ashley spoke at the hudson institute recently about russian and chinese nuclear weapons and the state of u.s. missile defense systems.
[inaudible conversations] >> good morning, welcome to the hudson institute. i'm rebecca, a senior fellow here specializing in missile defense and nuclear deterrents counter proliferation. i have the privilege of hosting the director of the defense intelligence agency robert p ashley, jr., directly following this particular portion of our event today there will be another panel of senior u.s. officials directly following that. so please do stick around and we'll take a 15 minute break in between the two so we can get some refreshments if you'd like to do that. and what i'd like to do is just introduce the director and then turn it over to him to allow him to make initial remarks and he and i will have a conversation based on his remarks and i'll save room for questions from the audience and do be thinking about those and keep your question brief and then we'll try to get to as
many as we can. lieutenant general robert p ashley junior become the 21st director of defense intelligence agency in october 2017. he formerly served as army chief of staff senior advisor to the chief of the army and all aspects of intelligence, counter intelligence and security. he's a career military army intelligence with washington d.c., fort gordon in georgia and a squadron commander and j-2. i could go on and on and he has a very illustrious career so i do commend his bio to you, but i want to get to the point of his remarks here and we had he a like to have a conversation about the chinese and russian missile and nuclear program, so, with that, sir, i will turn it over to you.
>> thanks. get up to the podium. good morning, everybody. so, good morning, everybody. >> all right, make sure you're with me, i didn't get my snack this morning for still having breakfast. we thank the hudson institute for hosting event and the opportunity to speak with you today about the russian and chinese nuclear modernization that we're tracking. the forefront of the critical work for the intelligence community and the defense agency in particular, this is why we exist. our core mission is to understand the foreign military capabilities and to provide decision advantage to our senior leadership. so let me start with russia. after working together for decades to achieve real nuclear reductions, russia is upgrading the capacity of its nuclear forces.
we assess its overall nuclear stock pile is likely to grow significantly over the next decade. this assessed growth is primarily driven by significant projected increase in the number of russia's nonstrategic nuclear weapons. russia's adding new nuclear capability to existing stockpile of nonstrategic nuclear weapons including those employed by ships, aircraft, and ground forces. these nuclear warheads include theater and tactical range systems that russia relies on to deter and defeat nato or china in a conflict. russia's stockpile of nonstrategic nuclear weapons, already large and diverse, is being modernized with an eye towards greater accuracy, longer ranges and lower yields to suit their potential war-fighting role. we assess russia would have dozens of these systems already deployed or in development. they include, but are not
limited to short and ballistic missiles, ground launch cruz missiles and the missile that the u.s. government determines violates the intermediate range inf treaty. as well as anti-ship, anti-submarine missiles, torpedos, as well as depth charges. for comparison, the united states currently has a single nonstrategic nuclear weapons system, the b-61 gravity bomb. we assess russia possesses up to 2000 such nonstrategic nuclear warheads not covered by the new treaty and because of the lack of russian transparency we have uncertainty in our understanding in the scope and the disposition of the stockpile. accurately accounting for these nonstreak nuclear weapons is not only complicated by the
lack of transparency, but the dual capability. most russian weapons lack distinguishing features that would allow the observer to look at nuclear -- the difference between the inf treaty or the nuclear initiatives, the united states assesses that russia has not fulfilled them. this is exemplified by the development 9-m 392 ground launch missile. by 2017 russia complete add flight program consisting of multiple tests of the 9-m 792 missile from fixed and mobile launchers that appeared to be purposely designed to disguise the true nature of their testing activity, as well as the true capacity of the missile.
compliance termination such as the inf treaty are ultimately determined by a u.s. interagency policy committee, i want to be clear about the role of the intelligence community. it's the job of the intelligence community to analyze those activities that have implications for country's international obligations it does not use the word compliance, but characterizes actions as inconsistent with the intent of such treaties and uses assessments to help inform the interagency process. so, from the interagency standpoint, u.s. has determined that russia's actions have strained key pillars of arms control architecture. these include the chemical weapons convention, open skies treaty, the vienna documents, and the treaty on conventional armed forces in europe. in addition to the anticipated growth in nonstrategic nuclear
weapons, russia claims to be developing new warhead designs for strategic systems such as a new high yield earth penetrating warhead to attack hardened military targets, like the u.s., allied and chinese command and control facilities. russian developments of these new warhead designs and stock pile management has been enhanced by its approach to nuclear testing. the united states believes that russia probably is not adhering to the nuclear testing moratorium in a manner consistent with the zero yield standard. our standing of nuclear weapon development leads us to believe russ russia's testing activity would help improve the nuclear weapons capability. the united states by contrast has foregone such benefits by upholding a zero yield standard. russia's comprehensive buildup in both the strategic and not strategic nuclear forces is
made possible by sustained and prioritized investments in its nuclear weapons development and production infrastructure. by 2013, they had developed and modernized dozens of experimental facilities and the budget increased roughly 30% in real terms from 2010 to 2018 to support these and other operations. in contrast to the united states during the past decade, russia has improved and expanded its production complex, which has the capacity, capacity to process thousands of warheads annually. an increase in its overall nuclear warhead stock pile is not the only concern, stemming in russia's broad-based nuclearization program. within the confines of the start treaty, russia claims the overhaul of the strategic forces is roughly 70% complete.
every leg of russia's triad is modernized in russia's new system. including silo based intercontinental missiles, a submarine launched ballistic missile and upgraded strategic nuclear bomber and air cruise missile. and many of them have greater warhead delivery capacity than the systems they're replacing. for example, russia's aging ss-25 red mobile icbm carries a single nuclear warhead while its replacement ss-27 can carry multiple warheads providing russia significant capability to upload additional warheads to a strategic delivery system. the ss-18, russia's aging heavy icbm carries up to 10 nuclear warheads. although the russian president complained that the sarmot its
replacement carries even more warheads and will be capable of carrying a hyper sonic. and this upload capacity will give russia the ability to increase the number of warheads in the time of crisis. russia's also pursuing novel nuclear delivery systems that create a strategic challenge for the u.s. and which are difficult to manage under the current arms control agreement. in march, 2018 president putin unveiled these systems which include an intercontinental range, nuclear powered, nuclear capable underwater drone, a nuclear powered, nuclear armed intercontinental range cruise missile. an air lock cruise missile and exit r existing automated and command and control launch
system known as perimeter. president putin's high profile announcement in march, 2018 makes clear that russia is continuing to prioritize investment in its nuclear forces, even at a time of domestic bugetary constraints. these new nuclear capabilities have come at the expense of other priorities, such as the development of a new aircraft carrier, because russia sees its nuclear weapons as the ultimate guaranteer of the country's survival and perceives the role fighting role for its use and directs its scarce resources against its nuclear modernization effort. these quantitative and qualitative improvements to russia's nuclear arsenal has security implications for the united states and for our allies. russia's large and diverse stock pile still facilitates, the coordination of nuclear
weapons. russia's threats of the nuclear weapons, or first use of nuclear weapons would serve to deescalate a conflict on terms favorable to russia. russian defense officials have spoken publicly about deescalating a conflict through limited nuclear use and a fact that the russian military has prepared plans and transitioned rapidly to nuclear use in order to compel and to end a conventional conflict. russia's perceptions that nuclear use could terminate a conflict on terms favorable to russia increases the prospect of miscalculation. so let me now turn to china as russia is not the only state which is a strategic competitor in expanding its nuclear capability. over the next decade, china will likely at least double the size of its nuclear stockpile. in the course of implementing the rapid expansion and diversification of the nuclear arsenal in china's history.
last year, china launched more ballistic missiles for testing and training, than the rest of the world combined. we expect this modernization to continue and trajectory is consistent with president xi's vision for the chinese military i was laid out and said that china's military will be transformed into a first tier force by 2050. china developed a new road mobile icbm, of the cyber based icbm and submarine launched ballistic missiles. with the announcement of a new nuclear capable strategic bomber, china will soon field its own version of a nuclear triad, given china's expansion of-- and beijing nuclear aspirations. like russia, china is working to fill nuclear theater range
systems. although it's smaller than russia's, does not make this trend any less concerning. based on the united states' experience in nuclear weapons, we understand china's rapid expansion of the nuclear capabilities. the u.s. government information indicates that china is possibly preparing to test its test site year round, a development that speaks directly to china's growing goals towards nuclear force. further, china continues to use explosive containment centers at the nuclear test sites and watering down the language of the p-5 statement that would have a firm understanding of zero yield testing. combination of these facts and china's lack of transparency on their nuclear testing
activities, raises questions whether china could achieve such progress without activities inconsistent with the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. it's also important to note in addition to modernizing forces, they're pursuing emerging technologies that have the potential to revolutionize undersea warfare in the domain. as strategies have highlighted resurgence of great power competition is a geopolitical reality. it's the mindset of russia and china have embraced, the mindset that's guiding their approach to nuclear modernization and weapons. and nuclear weapons remain central to russia and china's plans and intentions and therefore for the defense intelligence agency we look to provide our leadership with
advantage. rebecca. >> thank you very much for those remarks. i think the one thing that caught my ear there, when you were talking about testing. the russians have been conducting tests that are inconsistent with cbc. it can you talk about that and the implications of that and how that would benefit their program. >> i can't really get into the details of that, but just the protocols and our understanding and belief they're set up in such a way that they are able to operate beyond what would be necessary for a zero yield. and so the facilities that they're operating have that capacity to operate in something other than zero yield and a further concern, as kind of my closing statement with the p-5 language not willing to
affirm that they're adhering to that is where the u.s. is and how we've operated with the treaty. >> and with china as well? >> with china as well. >> and often times when we talk publicly in the think tank world with china-- we'll stick with russia, with russia's approach to its nuclear forces in this concept that they might be willing to escalate to deescalate. we get pushback, saying there's no evidence of that. no evidence that have in the official documentation and i won't talk about sources or how you know that, but if you can talk about why your assessment at dia is, in fact, you said it's a fact that they're testening this manner and that we are confident that this is, in fact, russia's approach, why they're organizing their entire arsenal in this way and their strategy that they have lowered the threshold when they might consider nuclear use. in a clearly conventional
conflict. >> part of their doctrine they stated in 2014, goes back to the 90's, so there's not a no first use policy from russia and they see that as an ability-- and you hear it in different ways. in some contexts you'll hear it escalate to deescalate and it's written about recently in terms of escalation control where you think that using a low yield, nonstreak nuclear weapon would bring other powers of conflict to the table or they could use the he -- escalation and they see that as an opportunity to provide escalation control. i was looking at some testimony for the general out of strat com. what he does, when you see something in the language, if you see something in the language, russia, china, wh whomever. and it was actually stated in russia, and translated it was
escalate to when. that's the actual testimony and how they used that terminology. >> and then, sticking, again, with russia, you talked about how-- i want to talk about upload capability. a lot of times you think of arms control and you think of counting, counting current capability, current warheads, to the extent that we can do that and having transparency in that way. but that you really kind of hit a couple of times on upload capability, both in the context of russia and china. >> so, just so you understand the upload capability. there's one in place and russia is in compliance. the one for the number of warheads that are deployed as 1,550 and there's a subset of that. and look at long range aviation, strategic bombers, that at any one time, you would
not have more than 700 platforms deployed and then there's additional kind of buffer of 100 that are not deployed and all of those are subject to inspection in the short treaty. we talk about the upload. as you build additional capabilities and go through the modernization, you have additive capacity inside those delivery systems. so you have additional capacity for additional warheads. and just think of it. you've got extra space to bring more warheads in the time of crisis or conflict, so you could quickly move beyond that limit of 1550 in a time of crisis. >> and then, last one on russia for now, i thought it was interesting that you talked about how its forces are designed to deter nato or deter and potentially defeat, if it came to that. and then you also said china in terms of russia, the way they
think about their nuclear force. can you give us a little bit more information on that, that-- how russia views china in this particular context? >> just say in terms of great power competition, all the nations look at every other nation as a potential competitor and they look at those capabilities. so you would say there's an alliance there, there's a relationship. i would say, i would describe it as more transactional than anything else, but when russia, china or the u.s., whomever is developing those capabilities, they develop it in such a way they can use them irrespective who that enemy may be and i bring that out in the context that's a possibility as well. >> and then let's switch over to china and then i'll take your question. so please be ready for that. you said that they've been-- they've tested, the chinese have tested more missiles than the rest of the world combined,
i think in a year's time? >> in the recent time, yeah. >> in the recent time. and then my understanding is that's really been sort of china's approach to its military upgrading strategy has sort of pivots on its missile program and can you talk a little bit about the missiles that the chinese have that had they been party to the imf treaty they would be in violation. they have imf range missiles, in fact, i think previously cited openly, 80% of their entire missile force would be in violation of the imf treaty had they been a part testify. >> i'll go back to the commanders, in testimony, used the word 90%, i've not gone out and made that determination. i would imagine it's a significant part of the
inventory. things like the df-21 an intermediate range ballistic missile-- excuse me the 26 or the 21 which is a medium range ballistic missile all could be used in that regional conflict, south china seas and the tacom and the treaties would be subject to that. so would be subject to some sort of an imf treaty and right now not subject to the comprehensive test ban. i understand that they signed it in '96, i don't know that they have ratified it although the russians signed in '96 and ratified in 2000. >> your analysis would conclude that the chinese are modernizing their nuclear forces in a way that would be inconsistent-- >> we'll leave this discussion on arms control and go live now to capitol hill, the senate is about to gavel in.