— The U.S. military must rebuild in Europe to face a more aggressive Russia, whose advanced submarines, weapons systems and geographic advantage have the U.S. “playing zone defense,” the top U.S. commander in Europe said Thursday.
“We have about 20 years of a different paradigm to correct,” Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command, said during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.
Breedlove, who has led EUCOM during the command’s biggest transformation in a generation, said he did not foresee a need to return to a Cold War-style military posture. But the era of trying to make a partner of Russia is over, and key U.S. capability gaps need to be addressed, he said.
“Russia has chosen to be an adversary and poses a long-term existential threat to the United States,” Breedlove 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 said.