House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner Discusses Threats Facing U.S. National Security

WASHINGTON, DC — With Congress paralyzed by gridlock and the potential for broader conflict escalating around the globe, U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (OH-10) appeared before a luncheon meeting of The Ripon Society yesterday, delivering remarks in which he not only discussed some of the most pressing threats facing America but how uncertainty over spending is impacting our ability to defend ourselves in an increasingly volatile world.

“We are seeing the most significant military buildup in history,” Turner stated. “We are seeing our adversaries around the world acquiring and expanding their most lethal weapon systems and enhancing their capabilities beyond what the United States is currently doing … If you take China, for example, China is tripling its nuclear weapons. You can take out your phone and Google ‘Chinese ICBM expansion,’ and you will see overhead images of China expanding its ICBM fields.  That is not being done as a deterrent. China is a nuclear power and already has sufficient nuclear weapons capabilities for deterrence.”

“In the area of hypersonics, we’ve seen China achieve things in weapons capabilities that the United States does not have.  We’ve not been there before.  We’ve not been able to say that we’ve actually seen our adversaries achieving military capabilities that exceed what the United States’ capabilities are.  North Korea continues to expand its nuclear weapons capabilities and, most recently, was declared capable of hitting the East Coast. Iran is on the verge of becoming a nuclear power.  And as we all know — through Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and other proxies throughout Iraq, Syria, and other areas — they continue the destabilization of the Middle East without an adequate response from the United States or our allies.”

“And of course, Russia and its nuclear weapons program are expanding into what is currently referred to as the ‘exotics.’  The Poseidon weapon is one that is basically an underwater, unmanned vehicle that is supposed to surface and explode nuclear weapons near coastal areas.  Skyfall is a nuclear-powered missile that is supposed to orbit the Earth and then attack its target. The Kinzhal missile and the Avangard are both hypersonic weapons. Kinzhal is, of course, one that is being expanded. Avangard is currently a hypersonic nuclear weapon that is deployed on top of an ICBM delivery vehicle.”

Turner serves as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.  First elected to the House in 2002, he has earned a reputation over the years as a defense hawk who is not afraid to work across the aisle to confront the challenges facing America around the world.

And today, Turner said, the most pressing challenge facing America is not only the military capabilities of our adversaries but the fact that they intend to use them.

“I think one of the first things that we need to do is that we need to actually believe our adversaries,” he stated.  “Their words match their capabilities and their actions.  So frequently, we downplay what they’re saying as being rhetoric or blustering.  But they are actually telling us and the world what their intentions are. We need to oppose their aggression.   And, of course, that means that Congress needs to pass the Ukrainian supplemental.

“We need to give Ukraine everything that it needs, including long-range weapons, so that they can hold Russia at bay and that they can win back their territory.  This is one that we need to win. I’ve been to Kyiv three times since the war began. I was in Munich two weeks ago with Zelensky. His resolve and his ability to mobilize the world is extraordinary. He makes it clear for all of us that this is a fight for democracy.”

Which is why, the veteran lawmaker added, it is more important than ever for Congress to put politics aside and reach an agreement on a spending plan that strengthens America’s military and defends America’s interests – and America’s allies – around the globe.

“We need to stop the CRs,” he said bluntly. “Every continuing resolution robs us of an ability to modernize and innovate our military and stifles the ability for our military to rise to the occasion of what our current threats are. We need to lead. Every country that I have been to right now has been saying to us, ‘We need the United States to lead.’ And they’re not seeing that.”

“It is unbelievable that Russia has risen to the occasion with regard to the production of military munitions for their fight against Ukraine, while the entire West has not risen to that same level of production.  We have unbelievable capabilities.

“But our ability to produce Patriots and other missiles and actually put them into a conflict is incredibly restricted. And that’s something that we need to address.”

To view Chairman Turner’s remarks before The Ripon Society yesterday, please click the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.