STUTTGART, Germany – The Commander of U.S. European Command briefed the United States’ House Armed Services Committee regarding a military assessment of Russian activities and security challenges in Europe March 28 in Washington D.C.
Russia ‘Pushing Against International Norms’
Scaparrotti said Russia’s annexation of Crimea and occupation of Ukraine “did break international law. Russia’s activities today “are pushing wherever they can against international norms.”
Scaparrotti said EUCOM has shifted its focus from security cooperation and engagement to deterrence and defense.
“We are adjusting our posture, plans and readiness so that we remain relevant to the threats we face,” he said. “In short, we are returning to our historic role as a warfighting command focused on deterrence and defense.”
European Reassurance Initiative
Scaparrotti credited the European Reassurance Initiative with enabling the command’s transition. The initiative provides funds with the stated goal of assure NATO allies and partners of the United States’ commitment to the security and territorial integrity of NATO. The authorized budget for 2017 is $3.42 billion.
“Over the last 12 months EUCOM has made clear progress with an enhanced force presence, complex exercises and training, infrastructure improvements, increased prepositioned equipment and supplies and partner capacity building throughout Europe,” Scaparrotti said.
Outpace Adversary Modernization
“We must not only match, but outpace the modernization advances of our adversaries,” Scaparrotti said. “We must invest in the tools and capabilities needed to increase effectiveness across the spectrum of conflict. And we must ensure that we have a force that is credible, agile and relevant to the dynamic demands of this theater.”
Scaparrotti said EUCOM’s focus areas for investment are intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance collection platforms; land force capabilities; enhanced naval capabilities for anti-submarine and strike warfare as well as amphibious operations; prepositioned equipment; and enhanced missile defense systems.