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Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

DIA chief addresses Russian, Chinese nuclear capabilities

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Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr. took advantage of a recent speaking engagement to lend insight regarding Russia’s and China’s nuclear weapons capabilities and modernization.

Ashley shared the information while addressing the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., noting both American adversaries are in the middle of a modernization process which will see their nuclear stockpiles increase in quantity and lethality.

“With the return to great-power competition, nuclear capabilities are again at the forefront of the critical work for the Intelligence Community and for the Defense Intelligence Agency, in particular, this is why we exist,” Ashley said. “Nuclear weapons remain central to Russia’s and China’s military plans and intentions and therefore, remain a critical area of analysis for the Defense Intelligence Agency to provide our senior leadership with decision advantage.”

Ashley maintains the intelligence community does not produce policy but provides policymakers and senior leaders the information necessary to be effective at the negotiating table.

“While compliance determinations, such as the INF Treaty, are ultimately made by the U.S. interagency policy community,” Ashley said. “It is the job of the intelligence community to analyze those activities that have implications for a country’s international obligations.”

New Start, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty were among the topics Ashley broached during his presentation.