The United States and NATO are working together to counter the biggest threats to European security — violent extremism and Russian destabilisation efforts, Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, the commander of U.S. European Command, has said.
Scaparrotti, who is dual-hatted as NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee to provide testimony on the state of the command and its future needs.
“Together with NATO, the U.S. has made significant progress,” he said, “but we have much work to do as we execute our National Defense Strategy, fielding an increasingly lethal, agile and resilient joint force in long-term strategic competition with Russia and ready to counter violent extremists organisations.”
The US and its allies have enhanced their presence in Europe to counter what Scaparrotti described as Russian activities aimed at exerting influence, spreading disinformation and diminishing confidence in NATO.
“Russia is carrying out a campaign of destabilization to change the international order, fracture NATO and undermine U.S. leadership around the world,” he said.
“To this end, Russia is advancing asymmetric capabilities in accordance with its concept of warfare, which envisions the employment of the full spectrum of military and nonmilitary power.”
The general said Russia’s increasingly modernized military is operating in every domain at levels not seen since the Cold War.
The United States has responded to the threat by deploying rotation forces to Europe, to include an armored brigade combat team and a combat aviation brigade.
Other actions include doubling the maritime deployments to the Black Sea, as well as theater anti-submarine warfare operations and bomber assurance and deterrence missions. Fifth generation fighters have been deployed to Europe for the first time, he said.