In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in consideration of his nomination to become vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Christopher Grady emphasized the challenges facing the United States and its allies.
Adm. Grady said that competition in today's extraordinarily complex and dynamic environment means that the United States and its allies face mounting challenges to the international rules-based order and national security in every domain, from the seabed to space to cyberspace, to the air and land domains.
Strategic competition, he said, does not just involve conventional or nuclear threats, but also attacks below the threshold of armed conflict that have changed the character of that competition.
"And so now more than ever, global integration is essential. And integrated deterrence in those multi-domains, leveraging all elements of national power across the whole of government and with our allies and partners is absolutely critical," he said.
Grady noted four strengths of the Defense Department, which give it a competitive advantage:
"I firmly believe that family readiness directly contributes to operational readiness. I've always said a stronger family means a stronger fleet and after 37 years of service, I can confidently say that it is because of our families and their service and their sacrifice that we continue to be the most powerful military the world has ever known," he said.
America's unrivaled industrial base, resulting from an innovative and open society;
Many allies and partners with whom all are stronger together;
Service members who are always resolute, lethal and ready at a moment's notice;
Families who support the force.
The admiral answered questions that focused on several different topics, one of which was about the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, which is chaired by the vice chairman which reviews and validates all warfighting capabilities needed to win on the battlefield.
The JROC is one of the most important organizations in the Pentagon, he said.
Decisions that are made at the JROC are threat- and risk-based, informed by disciplined and analytical data, he said, noting that he will continue that rigorous process if confirmed.
The admiral told lawmakers that the department must be postured to address challenges from China and Russia, particularly with their growing nuclear arsenals and modernization efforts.
"We need to have that responsive, flexible and survivable [nuclear] triad if we're going to meet the challenges to nuclear peer competitors," he said.