Last week’s military test of an unarmed, nuclear-capable missile off the coast of California not only sent a message of deterrence to other nations but showed the need to modernize and test U.S. capabilities, retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier Gen. Blaine Holt said on Newsmax Sunday.
“We do a lot of testing that is at a much lower level than this, so it’s a little bit uncommon for us to do this, but we’re really getting two things accomplished here,” Holt told Newsmax’s “Sunday Report.” “Yes, we’re sending a message of deterrence that anybody who thinks that we don’t have the capabilities that we see we have at the nuclear level would be kidding themselves.”
However, as the United States has an older fleet, the test comes at a time when Russia is “purported to be unveiling a whole line of new nuclear missiles and new capabilities for maritime to airborne, and we simply have to up our game in this area,” said Holt.
According to Air Force Global Strike Command, the unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, which is equipped with three test reentry vehicles, was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, reports CNN. It traveled 4,200 miles to the Marshall Islands.
“These test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a continued safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent,” the Air Force said in a statement.
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, also appearing on Sunday’s show, said that while the purpose of deterrence is to help prevent an attack from a foreign nation, it also must be remembered that North Korea is sending conventional weapons to Russia, which is “probably going to do things to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nuclear weapons program of the North Koreans as well as their ballistic missile program.”
Russia, he added, is not “buying right now” the belief that the United States is strong, because of President Joe Biden’s actions.
“I think we have to exercise and be effective in our messaging on this if we’re going to deter potential challengers,” said Shaffer.
Holt, meanwhile, noted that over the past two years, there has been an “escalation toward this abyss” as noted by “how much have we heard the words World War III or nuclear weapons.”
North Korea, China, and Russia are in a “league of alliance with each other” and there is also conflict breaking out in Africa, and with Iran menacing the Middle East as well, “we have to get a strategy in place very quickly for engaging these threats around the world,” said Holt.
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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