The top U.S. chief of the European Command told a Senate panel on Tuesday that the United States needs to deploy additional troops in Europe to counter potential aggression from Russia.
Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, told members of an appropriations subcommittee that he thought additional combat brigade and support troops along with additional equipment and facilities are necessary to match Russia’s military presence in the region, Stars and Stripes reported.
“Russia’s posture is not a light force. It’s a heavy force,” Scaparrotti said.
“In order to have the posture that is both credible and of the right composition, we need more armored forces … to make sure that we do have a force of enough size that enables us to deter Russia,” he added, according to The Hill.
Armored forces to deter Russia. Legendary Gen. George Patton couldn’t have agreed more.
Scaparrotti also said the survival of the “European Reassurance Initiative,” the Pentagon’s plan to deter Russian aggression, depends on long-term investments and commitments.
Currently, there two combat brigade teams and one rotational armored brigade in Europe, amounting to about 62,000 soldiers, The Hill reported.
Scaparrotti stressed the need for “stable, predictable” funding to support the long-term strategy in the region. Stars and Stripes reported that $3.4 billion has been allotted for the initiative in fiscal year 2017.
He added that his command is working with the Pentagon to secure “additional maneuver forces, combat air squadrons, anti-submarine capabilities, a carrier strike group and maritime amphibious capabilities,” The Hill reported.
“We need to be able to move with some agility,” Scaparrotti told the senators, according to Stars and Stripes. “Five or six years ago, we weren’t concerned about being ready [to fight] today. That has changed.”
Scaparrotti is aware of the threat Russia poses, and the impact it could have on weaker countries in Eastern European.
It sounds like he’s not willing to wait around and see what Russia plans to do before seeking to beef up our presence in the region, which sounds like the best strategy.
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