Maintaining U.S. Military Deterrence
by Jim Garamone, DOD News
July 13, 2023
The U.S. military must accelerate
development and quicken moves to build a joint force ready for the
challenges of tomorrow, Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown told the
Senate Armed Services Committee on July 11, 2023.
testified before the committee as part of the confirmation process
to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. If
confirmed, Brown would be the 21st man to hold the position and the
first airman since Richard B. Myers stepped down from the post in
U.S. Air Force Chief of
Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. during a visit to the U.S.
Naval War College in April 2023. He has been nominated for
the U.S. Department's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
and would become the first airman since Richard B. Myers stepped down from the post in 2005. (Image created by USA
Patriotism! from U.S. Navy Kristopher Burris.)
He would also be the second African
American in the position. Army Gen. Colin L. Powell served as
chairman from 1989 to 1993.
If confirmed, Brown would succeed Army Gen.
Mark A. Milley in the position.
"I come before you today,
having served the last three years as a service and joint chief,"
Brown said in his opening remarks to the committee. "But for the 11
years prior, I served in seven assignments across four combatant
commands." The general served in the European Command, Africa
Command, Central Command and Indo-Pacific Command.
held leadership positions focused on our five national security
challenges: China, Russia, North Korea, Iran and violent
extremists," he said.
Brown's experience is with fielded
forces and dealing with allies and partners. "Having led to
warfighters abroad [has] shaped my thinking," he said. "As a result,
I'm mindful of the security challenges at this consequential time
and a need to accelerate to stay ahead of the growing threat."
The U.S. military is the most powerful in the world today, but
leaders must make changes to ensure DOD can "implement the National
Defense Strategy and prepare a joint force that can win the next war
if called upon."
A prepared and capable joint force, simply,
is the guarantor of deterrence and the key to peace, he told the
Brown is fully aware of the role of Congress and
promised to work closely with members on the Hill to invest in
national defense and strengthen national security.
promised to work to sustain "faith and confidence with our soldiers,
sailors, airmen, Marines, guardians and DOD civilians and their
Beyond that, the general vowed to sustain and
build the faith and confidence of the American people in their
military. "Above all, I will dedicate myself to this proposition:
That the American people should understand and know their military
and its service members solely as unwavering defenders of the
Constitution and our nation," he said.
Brown discussed ...
generally ... some of the lessons learned from the Russian invasion
of Ukraine. "Strategically, the thing I do think about is how the
value of information early before the … conflict started, and how
that was able to bring not only a NATO closer together, but also to
bring together allies or partners around the world," he said.
This emphasized to him the need to build relationships long
before they are needed.
The Russian invasion also
reemphasized the crucial importance of logistics. "I think the
Russians learned, if you don't pay attention to the logistics, it's
hard to win, and hard move forward," he said. More than that, he
said, all operations take longer than planned.
"I think the
other piece that I would highlight is just that the will to fight,"
Brown said. He said the determination and will of the Ukrainian
people and their leadership was hard to measure before the conflict.
"But it pays a huge dividend," he said.
His last observation
is the value of air power. "Having watched what either side has been
able to do, or not do, [emphasized] the value of air defense and
integrated air defense, and how that's been helpful to the
Ukrainians in defense of the nation," he said.
There is a
problem with recruiting in the military and Brown addressed that as
well saying he wants to ensure "that young people and their
influencers understand the great opportunities provided by serving
in the military."
Americans need to understand that the
military provides great experiences. "There are many that have
served in the military [and] have gone on to be successful, whether
they stay for a full career, or stay for one tour," he said.
Potential recruits need to hear the personal experiences of
those who have served in the military, he said. They need the
firsthand stories to understand what to expect as a member of the
armed forces and why it matters. "It's hard for them to be part of
an organization if they don't fully understand or appreciate it,"
Brown said. "We have a responsibility to reconnect with the nation,
to talk about the opportunities and for all of us that are
interested in national defense and national security. And we need to
share the stories of what inspired us to join."
Our Valiant Troops |
I Am The One |
Citizens Like Us |
Spouses Serve Too