Military’s no. 2 gives grave warning regarding China’s hypersonic missiles, declares them to be “first-use” weapons 

by mcardinal

Matt Bush, FISM News


General John Hyten, in an interview with CBS News yesterday, revealed startling new information about China’s hypersonic missile test. 

On July 27, China sent test sent a missile around the world at a speed five times the speed of sound, revealing just how far their weaponry had advanced in recent years. Hyten, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the no. 2 ranking military official in the US armed forces, described the capabilities of the missile in the interview:

It went around the world, dropped off a hypersonic glide vehicle that glided all the way back to China, that impacted a target in China.

When Hyten was asked if the missile had hit the target, he replied, “Close enough.”

This increased technology by the Chinese military would be concerning on its own, but it is even more alarming due to the fact that it comes in tandem with elevated military aggressions towards Taiwan, a DoD report warning of current and future nuclear capabilities, and broader geopolitical tensions with the U.S. 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley ,called China’s successful hypersonic missile test a “Sputnik moment,” referring to Russia’s 1957 launching of a satellite into orbit which raised alarms that the U.S. was falling behind in the technology race. 

In the interview, Hyten was asked if this was an accurate analogy, to which he replied: “From a technology perspective, it’s pretty impressive. . . But Sputnik created a sense of urgency in the United States. . . The test on July 27 did not create that sense of urgency.  I think it probably should create a sense of urgency.”

The U.S. is also testing hypersonic weapons in an effort to keep pace militarily with both China and Russia, but America’s efforts appear to be lagging behind the two superpower nations. According to an Oct. 22 article by CNN, the most recent U.S. test failed as the glide body could not proceed to the target. 

One of the main things that Hyten cited was hindering the U.S. in this race towards military technology is bureaucracy. According to CNN Hyten said, “the pace at which China’s military is developing capabilities is “stunning” while US development suffers from “brutal” bureaucracy.” The same article quotes Hyten, “We can go fast if we want to but the bureaucracy we put in place is just brutal.”

In the past five years, China has carried out hundreds of hypersonic tests, while the U.S. has only carried out nine. China has deployed a medium range missile and has now successfully tested a long-range weapon. The U.S., according to Hyten, is still years away to matching these capabilities.

Since the development of nuclear arms, a nuclear strike has not been a real threat to the world because the two preeminent nuclear threats, Russia and the U.S., were not considered to have true “first-strike” capabilities. Ballistic missiles travel on a predictable arc and can be detected and neutralized by long range radars. A hypersonic missile, on the other hand, stays much closer to earth and is exceedingly difficult to be picked up by current radar technology, now giving two of America’s biggest rivals the upper hand in this all important “first-strike” potential according to Hyten:

They look like a first-use weapon. That’s what those weapons look like to me.

According to CBS, “Hyten believes the Chinese could soon have the capability to launch a surprise nuclear attack on the U.S.” This could alter the world’s current nuclear balance, and it is up to the U.S. to cut through the red tape and allow the ingenuity of Americans to meet and surpass the technology China has already developed.