In a hearing set to determine the viability of serving another two years as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday, Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva addressed concerns about global threats, and about how budget restrictions effect America’s ability to counter them.

The first issue the General was asked to discuss came as no surprise to many in the defense community; North Korea serves as what some believe to be among the most significant threats the United States has faced in recent history.  Selva stated plainly that, based on assessments of North Korea’s most recent long-range ballistic missile test, Kim Jong Un’s regime now possesses the technology necessary to reach the United States.

“I’m reasonably confident in the ability of our intelligence community to monitor the testing, but not the deployment, of these missile systems,” he said. “Kim Jong Un and his forces are very good at camouflage, concealment and deception.”

Questions and concerns about North Korean ICBMs directly led to another important issue regarding our nation’s ability to defend against such threats: the state of military readiness.  Selva explained that readiness in our military infrastructure stems from “the availability of funds and resources to do the high-end training required for high-intensity combat against a peer competitor.”