Der Kommandeur der US-Truppen in Europa, zugleich militärischer Oberbefehlshaber der NATO, hatte bereits in der vergangenen Woche vor dem US-Kongress das Bild einer russischen Bedrohung Europas, der NATO und der USA gezeichnet. In einer weiteren Anhörung vor dem US-Senat am (gestrigen) Dienstag legte General Philip Breedlove noch mal nach – fürs Archiv aus der Abschrift der Anhörung:
First to the east, Europe faces a resurgent, aggressive Russia. Russia has chosen to be an adversary and poses a long-term existential threat to the United States and to our European allies and partners.
Russia’s eager to exert unquestioned influence over its neighboring states in its buffer zone. So Russia has used military force to violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, Georgia and others, like Moldova.
In Ukraine specifically, Russia continues to use all elements of national power to hinder Kiev. We have recently seen an increase in the level of violence along the line of contact in the Donbass, as well as a number of diplomatic, economic and propaganda efforts to keep Ukraine from moving closer to the West.
The U.S. and other allies continue our effort to assist the Ukrainians reform their military and better train and develop Ukraine’s servicemembers. Russia uses snap exercises to mask real deployment and to desensitize us to that possibility.
Russia has established anti-access area-denial environments, as you have labeled, and I do as well, A2AD, in Kaliningrad, in the Black Sea, and most recently in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and western Syria, sharply constraining our access.
Russia seeks to reestablish a leading role on the world stage. Russia does not just want to challenge the agreed rules of International order, it wants to re-write them.
Russia sees the U.S. and NATO as threats to its objectives and as constraints on its aspirations. So Russia seeks to fracture our unity and challenge our resolve.
Russia recognizes strength and sees weakness as opportunity. To that end, Russia applies all instruments of national power, including its military to (inaudible) corrupt and undermine targeted European countries. Some call this unconventional warfare, some call it hybrid.
In the end, we see Russia using diplomatic, economic and informational tools, in addition to military pressure, to shake and influence nations while trying to remain below triggering a military response. (…)
The risk of miscalculation or even confirmation remains credible. EUCOM is standing firm to meet this array of challenges. To counter Russia, working with allies and partners, we are deterring Russia now and preparing for conflict if necessary.
That demonstrated preparedness to defeat is an essential part of our deterrent message. In an ideal world, as a core element of deterrence, we would significantly bolster our permanent, forward presence.
In a resource constrained environment, we are aiming for the appropriate mix of forward presence, preposition war stocks, ready to be used if needed and the ability to rapidly reinforce with troops coming from the continental United States.
In seinem Posture Statement, und in den Fragen und Antworten des Verteidigungsausschusses des US-Senats, gab es dazu auch Aussagen Breedloves zur Rolle Russlands in Syrien und zum Kampf gegen ISIS/Daesh. Die komplette Abschrift gibt es hier.
(Archivbild: A mortarman with the U.S. Army’s 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade makes adjustments to his 81-millimeter mortar system during Fearless Guardian April 25, 2015 in Yavoriv, Ukraine- U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexander Skripnichuk, 13th Public Affairs Detachment)