Following Vladimir Putin’s national address to the Russian people last month, in which he discussed a number of new missile technologies the Russian military is working to deploy, there has been a resurgence in discussion about America and Russia entering into a “new” Cold War.

Depending on your perspective, there are a number of issues that could be raised with such a declaration. The Cold War was, at its heart, a conflict borne out of economic ideologies, whereas tensions today are born out of political ones, for instance. Also, this modern incarnation of the “Cold War” is not simply between the United States and Russia – as Russia lacks the economy, as well as the resources, to compete in a defense technology build off… but they have an ace up their sleeve in the form of the aggressively expanding Chinese military. If a new Cold War is in bloom, one can’t ignore the Chinese elephant in the room.

However, despite the semantic arguments one can make about whether or not America’s current defense position is a continuation of the ongoing Cold War, the start of an entirely new one, or rather a more nefarious progression toward global conflict – there’s one aspect of Cold War defense policies that has reemerged without question: a technological arms race.

“We need to scale up in a wildly unpredictable environment, as we see the reemergence of true existential threats. We face a new era of great power competition,” Vice Adm. Bill Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, said to an audience at the annual Navy League Sea Air Space Symposium this week.

“We need to act with a sense of urgency,” Moran stressed.

In recent years, Russia and China have both unveiled new intercontinental ballistic missile platforms, both employing MIRV systems that allow the deployment of multiple warheads as well as dummy components intended to confuse inbound interceptors. These platforms were designed specifically with America’s missile defense infrastructure in mind – and they’re far from the only new platforms to be developed with America in their sights.

Hypersonic anti-ship missiles aim to make America’s aircraft carriers obsolete. Anti-satellite weapon systems have been built and tested that would interfere with or destroy America’s constellation of GPS, communications and reconnaissance satellites. Doomsday weapons like Russia’s 100 megaton “Status 6” nuclear drone submarine could destroy whole cities and drown the surrounding area in a radioactive tidal wave.

While the United States was focused on fighting insurgencies and maintaining legacy systems, the rest of the world kept on developing, closing the technological gap between national militaries, and bringing America’s supremacy into question. Now, according to Moran, the Navy needs to move to streamline the way in which our military adopts new technologies in order to continue to serve not only as a deterrent against future aggression, but to secure victory if ever this new (or old) Cold War were to turn hot.