Der scheidende Kommandeur der US-Streitkräfte in Europa (der zugleich militärischer Oberbefehlshaber der NATO ist), hat bei seiner letzten Anhörung vor dem US-Kongress am (heutigen) Donnerstag ein sehr düsteres Bild der Lage in Europa gezeichnet – und vor allem Russland als eine existentielle Bedrohung für die USA, aber auch für die NATO bezeichnet. Die Versuche der vergangenen Jahrzehnte, mit Russland eine vertrauensvolle Beziehung aufzubauen, seien gescheitert, so das Fazit von Luftwaffengeneral Philip Breedlove, dem Befehlshaber des U.S. European Command.
Aus dem Fazit seiner Stellungnahme vor dem House Armed Services Committee:
I cannot emphasize enough the somber reality that Europe will remain central to our national security interests. From having fought two world wars in part on European soil to the current instability in the east and south of Europe, our nation must remain indisputably invested in a region that is inexorably tied to our own freedom, security and economic prosperity. The Russia problem set is not going away, and presents a new long term challenge for the EUCOM area of responsibility and our nation.
Russia poses an existential threat to the United States, and to the NATO alliance as a whole.
It applies an impressive mixture of all elements of national power to pursue its national objectives, to include regular reminders of its nuclear capabilities. While Russia understands the importance of NATO and its Article 5 commitment, it has embarked on a campaign to corrupt and undermine targeted NATO countries through a strategy of indirect, or “hybrid,” warfare.
An der NATO und den USA habe die Entwicklung nicht gelegen, betonte Breedlove:
For more than two decades, the United States and Europe have attempted to engage with Russia as a partner by building military, economic, and cultural relationships. During the 1990s, Russia became a Partnership for Peace member with NATO, signed the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, and endorsed the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act. (…)
Despite these and many other U.S. and European overtures, it is now clear Russia does not share common security objectives with the West. Instead, it continues to view the United States and NATO as a threat to its own security. Since the beginning of 2014, President Putin has sought to undermine the rules-based system of European security and attempted to maximize his power on the world stage.
Das ganze Statement, aus dem noch einiges interessant nachzulesen ist, hier.
Eine Zusammenfassung von Stars&Stripes: Breedlove: Russia a long-term threat to US
Nachtrag: Die Reaktion des russischen Verteidigungsministeriums auf dessen Facebook-Seite:
Russian Defence Ministry comments on a number of anti-Russian statements of the Pentagon and CIA representatives who have called Russia the main opponent and threat to the national security of the USA in the course of a session of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services.
“The bold statements of the American members of the top brass who consider Russia to be the main threat to the national security of the USA are not surprising for the Russian Defence Ministry.
Such tide rises every year at the same time. The reason is simple – discussion of the military budget for the next year.
It is not the thing to be impressed by.
It is important to keep in mind the fact that since the middle of the previous century the “Russian threat” has been the Pentagon’s most “saleable” threat to both the American Congress and the NATO partners.
What would they have done without us?”
Nachtrag: Die Abschrift der Anhörung gibt es hier.
(Foto: U.S. Soldiers, assigned to Lightning Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, load Stryker Fighting Vehicles on rail cars at Rose Barracks’ railhead station, Vilseck, Germany, Jan. 7, 2016. The squadron will deploy to Lithuania to take part in Atlantic Resolve North. The operation takes place in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania- U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Gertrud Zach)