On Thursday evening, a United States Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) was launched from the Vandenberg Space Force Base located in California. The ICBM was not equipped with any weapons but had the capability of carrying a nuclear payload and was portrayed by the Pentagon as a demonstration of the US’s formidable nuclear deterrent against hostile foreign nations. The launch, which was meticulously planned over a period of months, involved collaboration between the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and Strategic Command.
— Globe Sentinel (@GlobeSentinels) February 10, 2023
In a statement, Colonel Bryan Titus, who was the authority responsible for making the launch decision, declared that the test launch exemplified the preparedness of the US nuclear forces and increased confidence in the lethal and efficient nature of the country’s nuclear deterrent. General Thomas A. Bussiere, the head of Air Force Global Strike Command, further stated that the launch exhibited the centrality of the mission to deter on the global stage and reassured US allies that the weapons are capable and the airmen are ready to maintain peace throughout the world at any moment’s notice.
The ICBM launch was carried out at a time when reports about the expansion of nuclear capabilities in China and North Korea have become a matter of growing concern for the US. As per The Wall Street Journal, the chief of US Strategic Command informed Congress on January 26th that the number of ground-based ICBM launchers built by China has surpassed that of the US. Despite the fact that many of those silos are currently unoccupied, the US is continuing its efforts to modernize its nuclear triad by replacing the Minuteman III ICBMs with the LG-35A Sentinel by the year 2029.
North Korea has also made progress in its nuclear capabilities, as evidenced by a parade held on Wednesday night, which displayed a broader ICBM arsenal with the ability to transport nuclear warheads to the US. Images from the parade suggest that North Korea might be getting ready to test advanced missiles, which could potentially surpass US defenses if it is possible to equip each missile with four warheads.
In response to these threats, the U.S. has been working on upgrades to its aging nuclear capabilities and deepening military cooperation with South Korea and Japan to ward off potential aggression from China and North Korea. In spite of these efforts, Thursday night’s ICBM launch serves as a reminder of the power of America’s nuclear deterrent and its commitment to protecting peace across the globe.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Caller