Senior military leaders are pushing for the U.S. to send more troops to Europe on a rotating basis in an effort to counter Russian aggression, they said at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California over the weekend.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
Gen. Philip Breedlove, the supreme allied commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, said he would like to see more brigades committed to Europe as rotational forces. Decisions on the proposal, he said, will be made “in the next couple of months.” Gen. Mark Milley, the chief of staff of the U.S. Army, said the Army is refining its training to ensure the U.S. military is able to face threats posed by Russian forces, learning to counter hybrid war, which blends regular and irregular forces, propaganda and unconventional tactics to sow confusion. He also said he was in favor of sending more troops to deploy–on a temporary basis–to Europe.
The Obama administration would need to approve sending more rotating forces to Europe, and Congress would need to provide funding for the endeavor. Officials said they would encourage lawmakers to include funding in a budget request in early 2016.
Currently, the U.S. Army has two brigades based in Europe and a third in the U.S. to rotate in and out of Europe. Milley said he wants more brigades to be rotating in and out of Europe and also wants to add attack helicopter units, engineering teams, and artillery brigades.
“Aggression left unanswered is likely to lead to more aggression,” Milley told the Journal, emphasizing the importance of adding the brigades to prevent new conflict in Europe.
Military leaders also cautioned that Russia’s participation in international talks regarding the future of Syria should not detract from Moscow’s continued intervention in Ukraine.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter slammed Russian aggression at the annual forum, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of threatening global order.
“In Europe, Russia has been violating sovereignty in Ukraine and Georgia and actively trying to intimidate the Baltic states,” Carter said during his remarks. “Meanwhile, in Syria, Russia is throwing gasoline on an already dangerous fire, prolonging a civil war that fuels the very extremism Russia claims to oppose.”
“We do not seek a cold, let alone a hot, war with Russia,” Carter further stated. “We do not seek to make Russia an enemy. But make no mistake; the United States will defend our interests, our allies, the principled international order, and the positive future it affords us all.”
READ MORE: http://freebeacon.com/national-security/u-s-military-leaders-want-more-troop-presence-in-europe-to-counter-russia/