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This Congressional report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction.
The world today is in a new era of great power rivalry. Resurgent Russia and China are challenging U.S. interests across the globe. Both are rapidly modernizing their militaries to directly challenge America's dominance on the battlefield and to undermine our alliances around the world. The potential for major conflict is closer now than it has been since the Cold War.
China and Russia's rising power has huge implications for how we trade, how we target rogue regimes, and how the entire international system works. While we often focus on Iran and North Korea's nuclear programs, we tend to overlook the two atomic arsenals that pose the greatest danger to our security. But with Russia and China's aggressive behavior in places like Ukraine, Georgia, and the South China Sea, we are forced to rethink our deterrence against such threats.
Comparing our nuclear arsenals, it's clear China and Russia have been intent on challenging U.S. dominance and coercing our friends for some time. While we have barely upgraded some of our nuclear systems since they were first deployed in the early 1980s, China and Russia have introduced new weapons. We may be reluctant to maintain and upgrade such devastating weapons, but our strategic rivals are not. If we allow Russia or China to achieve nuclear superiority over us, the results will be dire for our allies and for the international order we have spent decades building. Just in March, Vladimir Putin unveiled several new nuclear weapons intended to make our missile defenses "useless." They include a new heavy ICBM, a nuclear-powered cruise missile with "unlimited range," and a nuclear- powered unmanned submarine designed to sneak into coastal cities and explode. Such a heavy investment in nuclear arms is concerning and demonstrates Putin's priority is not disarmament but strategic dominance.
This compilation includes a reproduction of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.