On Tuesday, the Commander of U.S. European Command and supreme allied commander of NATO said that he needs more U.S. troops in Europe in order to protect against Russian aggression. The growing threat of Russia potentially looking to annex more of the region like they did with Crimea has implored Army General Curtis Scaparrotti to tell the House Armed Services Committee that more troops and high-tech surveillance platforms are needed to deter the world’s largest nation from trying to become larger.
“Today, we have about a little over 60,000 of all services stationed in Europe. It provides a force that allows us to deter today,” Scaparrotti said. “We need a greater force there, I think potentially in the land component … a footprint of an armored division, for instance.”
Scaparrotti also noted that Russia has openly stated that they see a use for nuclear capabilities in “conventional conflict.”
“They have made the statement openly that they see a use for nuclear tactical capability within what we would consider a conventional conflict, which is very alarming,” he said.
“One of the things you see that is disturbing is the fact that they are using weapon systems that can either be conventional or nuclear, which then makes it difficult for us to clearly understand what they’ve employed,” Scaparrotti continued.
The top U.S. European Commander said that he believes Russia is “a very lethal, tough enemy.”
“I personally believe that we need to consider lethal defensive weapons for Ukraine,” Scaparrotti said. “They are fighting a very lethal, tough enemy.”