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Gen. John Hyten (center), commander of US Strategic Command; Gen. Paul J. Selva (left), vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Adm. Bill Moran (right), vice chief of naval operations, testify before the House Armed Services Committee, March 8, 2017. DOD photo by Army Sgt. James K. McCann.

​US Strategic Command boss Gen. John Hyten called for a fundamental shift in US thinking about strategic deterrence in his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday. “Strategic deterrence in the 21st century is much bigger than nuclear deterrence was in the 20th century,” he said. The US military is still “catching up” to this new deterrence reality and “having a robust discussion on what deterrence means” in today’s global threat landscape, he added. For starters, big deterrence beyond the nuclear mission would include “command and control, space, tankers,” Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson told the committee. It is “a much bigger enterprise than the three legs of the triad,” he said. To address the new shape of deterrence, Hyten called for a return of the kind of “robust academic discussion” on strategic deterrence that characterized the Cold War. He said STRATCOM recently formed an “academic alliance” with 25 universities and think tanks that he hopes will generate “a national discussion” on the question.