Vice Adm. Charles A. Richard, the new head of U.S. Submarine Forces and Allied Submarine Command, put it more bluntly when he assumed command on August 3: “Prepare for battle!”
“This was Admiral Tofalo’s direction, and it is mine as well,” said Richard, referring to his predecessor, Vice Adm. Joseph E. Tofalo. “It is only by being prepared for battle that we can hope to avoid it. If we cannot, our nation expects and demands victory. We shall not fail!”
The admirals’ warnings reflect threats described in the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which calls upon the U.S. military to make “great power” competition with nations like Russia and China its primary focus rather than combating terrorism.