Gen. Glen VanHerck, head of U.S. Northern Command
/ June 16, 2022
China, Russia and North Korea in the past year have accelerated the development and deployment of weapons “specifically designed to threaten our homeland,” the commander of the Pentagon’s Northern Command recently told the U.S. Congress.
The Northcom commander, Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck, warned that U.S resources had "eroded" as China and Russia are aggressively deploying advanced offensive cyber and space warfare weapons, cruise missiles, hypersonic weapons and strike weapons capable of evading detection that can “strike targets in our homeland from multiple vectors of attack and in all domains.”
VanHerck added that of equal concern are “relentless, coordinated” efforts by adversaries to weaken institutions and alliances at the core of U.S. strength.
To counter the threats, Northcom needs better sensors and updated weapons along with policies better suited to the dangers, the general said.
Northcom’s areas of responsibility include the continental U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico.
VanHerck described Russia as the “primary military threat” to the U.S. homeland and said Moscow’s targeting methods are being copied by others.
“Quite bluntly, my ability to conduct the missions assigned to U.S. Northcom and NORAD has eroded and continues to erode,” VanHerck told the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 18. The four-star general is also head of the U.S.-Canada North American Aerospace Defense command.
“Our country is under attack every day in the information space and cyber domain,” he noted. “Competitors are spreading disinformation, actively sowing division and fanning the flames of internal discord with the intent to undermine the foundation of our nation, our democracy, and democracies around the world.”
China, Russia, and North Korea are aggressively plotting to hold U.S. national critical infrastructure at risk, disrupting and delaying America’s “ability to project power from the homeland, and undermining our will to intervene in a regional crisis,” Gen. VanHerck said.
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