Russia is a growing threat and many top leaders of our American military consider Russia a much larger threat than Iran. In what are perhaps the boldest statements on Russia in recent memory, General Ray Odierno spoke about how he wants to place a second brigade’s worth of tanks, bradley vehicles, howitzers and other forces in Europe during a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal.
He’s also very concerned about continued budget cuts to the Army and the size of the Army’s fighting force as a result of those budget cuts.
Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe, echoed those same sentiments this past Monday, July 13th, during a meeting with reporters at the Pentagon, “there is a growing recognition that this is not a spike in bad behavior by President Putin, but that this represents a much longer term set of challenges that we’re going to deal with.”
There has been a lot of discussion lately about the Army’s ability to prepare for global conflicts the past few years and the discussions have only intensified after the Army announced it has to lay off 40,000 people.
Read more below:
From The Wall Street Journal
PARIS—The head of the Army said on Friday that he was taking steps to offset the continuing reduction of U.S. forces in Europe, moves that would allow the U.S. to rotate additional forces to the region more easily, and, in times of crisis, reinforce units in Eastern Europe.
Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that he wants to put in position an additional brigade’s worth of heavy equipment,?including tanks and armored-personnel carriers, in Germany. That would allow units to deploy to Europe more quickly in a crisis, he said.
Army plans would supplement a decision, announced last week by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, to build up smaller sets of equipment in Eastern Europe.
While the equipment in Eastern Europe would be used regularly by smaller units for training exercises, the larger stockpile of heavy equipment in Germany would more likely be used for a crisis, Army officials said. That would allow a heavy brigade of some 3,500 soldiers to fly quickly to Europe.
Gen. Odierno said he also intends to designate the entire Colorado-based 4th Infantry Division as a so-called regionally aligned force for Europe. Such a designation would mean the division’s brigades, helicopters and logistics specialists would regularly deploy to Europe to conduct security exercises.
What do you think? Should we double our tanks in Europe and beef back up the Army’s budget? Tell us in comments below!