Cotton Talks Prolonged Deterrence in First Visits to Japan, S. Korea as STRATCOM Boss

Gen. Anthony J. Cotton, head of U.S. Strategic Command, made his first go to to the western Pacific area since assuming workplace on Dec. 9 final yr, holding talks on strategic deterrence with senior leaders from each Japan and South Korea.

“I believe, foundationally, as commander of Strategic Command, I would like to have the ability to show the prolonged deterrence that we provide to our allies, specifically Korea and Japan,” Cotton stated in an announcement. “I believe there isn’t any higher method of doing that than personally coming in and talking to senior leaders in each the Republic of Korea and Japan.”

From Sept. 1-4, Cotton met with Gen. Yoshihide Yoshida, the Chief of Employees of the Japan Self-Protection Drive, in addition to Japanese Overseas Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Protection Minister Yasukazu Hamada. In South Korea from Aug. 29-31, he met with U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Philip Goldberg, South Korean Protection Minister Lee Jong-sup, and Gen. Kim Seung-kyum, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees.

U.S. Air Drive Gen. Anthony J. Cotton, commander, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), and Japan Floor Self-Protection Drive (JGSDF) Gen. Yoshihide Yoshida, chief of employees of the Joint Employees, pose for a photograph on the Ministry of Protection in Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 4, 2023. U.S. Air Drive photograph by Yasuo Osakabe

In each instances, Cotton mentioned STRATCOM’s mission of prolonged deterrence, offering Japan, South Korea, and different allies with the safety of the U.S.’s nuclear umbrella. He additionally mentioned escalating safety challenges within the area, together with North Korea’s elevated nuclear and missile actions and broader issues associated to China and Russia.

In response to an official readout, Hayashi expressed appreciation for STRATCOM’s steady prolonged deterrence efforts led by Gen. Cotton, highlighting its significance for Japan’s safety. Each leaders outlined the necessity to strengthen bilateral discussions on prolonged deterrence at numerous ranges.

Throughout his keep in South Korea, Cotton reiterated his dedication to enhancing the visibility of U.S. strategic belongings on the Korean Peninsula. In response to a authorities readout, Lee expressed gratitude for STRATCOM’s efforts to solidify the deterrence posture of the 2 allies, notably by the Nuclear Consultative Group, established throughout a bilateral summit between President Joe Biden and his ROK counterpart, Yoon Suk Yeol, in April.

Cotton additionally mentioned South Korea’s plan to determine a strategic command to discourage North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, as confirmed by the ROK’s Protection Ministry.

U.S. Air Drive Gen. Anthony J. Cotton, commander, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), speaks with Republic of Korea Minister of Nationwide Protection Lee Jong-sup throughout an August go to to South Korea. Picture courtesy of U.S. Strategic Command/X

Along with his conferences, Cotton was briefed on the then-ongoing joint drill between Washington and Seoul referred to as “Ulchi Freedom Protect,” which ended on Aug. 31.

A missileer by coaching, Cotton cited the rise of “new perils” when he took command of STRATCOM in December 2022, chief amongst them China’s dramatic nuclear enlargement lately. North Korea, in the meantime, has ramped up its personal missile testing program—the Related Press experiences greater than 100 weapons exams for the reason that begin of 2022.

On Aug. 30, whereas Cotton was in South Korea, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the ocean in response to a joint U.S.-ROK drill involving a B-1B bomber.

The Air Drive’s B-1 fleet can’t carry nuclear weapons however can deploy a wide range of standard missiles and is a part of Air Drive World Strike Command, a element of STRATCOM, which spearheads many essential facets of nationwide safety and army technique equivalent to strategic deterrence, nuclear operations and command, international strike and evaluation in addition to missile protection and menace evaluation.

Cotton’s engagements in Korea and Japan come on the heels of President Biden, alongside together with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, reiterating their dedication to regional stability and prolonged deterrence throughout a trilateral summit held at Camp David on August 18.

Cotton’s predecessor at STRATCOM, Adm. Charles Richard, final visited Japan and Korea in July 2021.