It is no secret that Russian actions over the last year or so have caused tensions to raise between them and the US. A senior commander recently said that because of Russia’s actions, the US must begin rebuilding its military forces in Europe, which the US has been dismantling over the last two decades.
In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Gen. Philip Breedlove, who commands the US European Command, said that the US must correct 20 years of a “different paradigm.” He is not suggesting a return to the old Cold-War mentality or military posture in Europe, but does suggest that trying to work with the Russians on military issues is not working and important military gaps that now exist in Europe must be addressed.
“Russia has chosen to be an adversary and poses a long-term existential threat to the United States,” he said. “This is not the Cold War, but I do believe we are not where we need to be now in a mixture of permanently forward-stationed forces and pre-positioned stocks so that we can rapidly fall in on it.
Breedlove added that the Pentagon’s plan to use nearly $3.5 billion to increase the level of troops and equipment in Europe must continue. This plan is known as the European Reassurance Initiative and it addresses the use of rotational troops rather than a permanent force in Europe. Also, the plan includes an additional rotational Army brigade that will be focused on war fighting instead of training.
European Command has been working—at various paces—to bolster more troops on the eastern side of Europe since 2014 when Russia entered Ukraine. The goal is to reassure allies in the area that the US has a presence should Russia make some type of move. To date, however, that presence is not adequate to confront Russian troops as they have an advantage in both force numbers and location-positions. Breedlove advocates for more surveillance and intelligence in the area.
More than a few US allies are worried that NATO will not be able to defend certain Baltic countries because of the massive size of Russian troops currently in the area. Rand Corporation estimates it would only take about 60 hours for Russia to overrun most states in the Baltic region.
For its part, Russia has said it has no plans to invade any NATO territories. Even so, with its advance into both Syria and Ukraine, many NATO allies are concerned.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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