Outgoing commander of the U.S. Strategic Command discusses strategic deterrence at 174th Landon Lecture

Admiral Cecil Haney, Commander of U.S. Strategic Command, speaks at a Landon Lecture in McCain Auditorium on October 21, 2016. (Regan Tokos | The Collegian)

The outgoing leader of the U.S. Strategic Command is concerned about five evolving challenges for America: Russia, North Korea, Iran, China and violent extremist organizations.

U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil Haney spoke Friday morning for the 174th Landon Lecture series in McCain Auditorium. Haney’s topic of discussion focused on how to implement strategic deterrence in the 21st century.

“Although Adm. Haney is an outgoing commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, he has over 10 years of commander experience,” said interim K-State president, Richard Myers. “He has received numerous prestigious awards like the Navy Distinguished Service Medal and Defense Superior Service Medal.”

Haney said he believes there are several crucial steps that need to be taken in order to achieve deterrence. He said it is important to acknowledge these challenges as a nation, and then address those challenges and where we need to work together to eliminate them.

Haney said that each of the five challenges for America (Russia, North Korea, Iran, China and violent extremist organizations) pose their own threats because of evolving militaries, technology and warfare.

“Our global security environment remains dynamic and uncertain,” Haney said. “Many nation states are developing and modernizing their nuclear weapon capabilities.”

Haney said, many of these countries are becoming increasingly mobile and asymmetric with their tactics. Thus, the U.S. military must be in constant collaboration with its allies and partners to “monitor, encounter, prepare and defeat.”

“The reality of the strategic environment I described is that it is far more complex than we can understand,” Haney said. “It’s like a multi-player chess game.”

After 30 minutes, Haney’s lecture opened up to a question-and-answer session. Eight audience members, including professors and retired military officers, asked questions ranging from the use of electronic devices to tactics in cyberspace.

Kristie Kellerman, sophomore in elementary education, attended the lecture for an extra credit opportunity in class and was “impressed with Haney’s wealth of knowledge on the topic at hand.”

“It’s concerning to me that technology has allowed foreign militaries to advance so rapidly,” Kellerman said. “However, it’s reassuring knowing that officers like Haney are in charge of the safety of our country.”

Haney said he believes the complexity of securing our nation’s peace cannot be contained within borders of America or stovepipe domains of specific areas of responsibility.

“Deterrence is very well still a large part of our military,” Haney said. “We use it every day to contain our strategic stability.”