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No. 2 Military Officer Bemoans Pentagon’s Excess Classification

  • Retiring General Hyten says ‘you can’t talk about anything’
  • Still, he says he can’t discuss China’s hypersonic test
General John Hyten
General John HytenPhotographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg

The No. 2 U.S. military officer is revealing a Pentagon secret as he retires: The Pentagon keeps too many secrets.

“You actually can’t deter your adversary if everything you have is in the black,” Air Force General John Hyten said Thursday, using the military’s term for secret programs. “The last element of deterrence that we don’t do is communicate it credibly to our adversaries. Communication is talking. Communication is demonstrating capability. It’s not not talking and hiding capability.”