Tuesday, June 21, 2016

US Army Europe:How Russia Troubles Them

Lieutenant General Ben Hodges,Commander,US Army Europe,shared his perspective with the BBC's Stephen Sackur:
The thing I worry about the most,LTGEN Hodges said,is the freedom of movement.The Russians are able to move huge formations and lots of equipment across a long distance very fast.Their snap exercises that they do,I personally am surprised each time they do it,and so you can see why that scares me.When 20,000 troops or a lot of equipment shows up on the border of a NATO country or a country like Georgia or Ukraine,that is concerning.
The Russians have what we call freedom of movement on interior lines.They can move anywhere inside Russia as fast as they want.In order for our political leaders to have other options than a liberation campaign,we need to match that same speed inside NATO.We need what I call a military Schengen Zone that would allow the military to move inside a British convoy;an American convoy;a German convoy-should be able to go anywhere inside NATO in order to have the same freedom of movement.
I'm talking about three days-three days' notification-we ought to be able to do that.We absolutely don't have that now.I think that's a necessary part of this deterrence,that the Alliance is shifting from assurance to deterrence.Deterrence is in the mind of a potential adversary.We absolutely do have deterrence,but my mind is uneasy that we have the ability to assemble quickly,for others to be able to assemble quickly,and so I'm going to continue trying to explain why this matters.It's not for our convenience;it's for the ability to give political leaders options short of having to do a liberation campaign,USAEUR's LTGEN Ben Hodges re-emphasised to the BBC.

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