Gen. Breedlove: NATO switches to deterrence policy in Eastern Europe
The United States and NATO are switching their defense policy from assurance to deterrence in Eastern Europe, according to commander of U.S. European Command Gen. Philip Breedlove who spoke in the Latvian capital Riga Thursday, Defense News reports.
Breedlove commented this way on Pentagon’s intentions to deploy an additional 4,200-strong armored brigade in Eastern Europe in 2017 in a response to Russia’s foreign policy in the region, according to Defense News.
“To the east and north we face a resurgent and aggressive Russia, and as we have continued to witness these last two years, Russia continues to seek to extend its influence on its periphery and beyond.”
“We are prepared to fight and win if we have to ... our focus will expand from assurance to deterrence, including measures that vastly improve our overall readiness,” Breedlove said following talks with Baltic region NATO commanders.
Russia has repeatedly warned against the permanent positioning of substantial forces from NATO along its border.
Read alsoNATO commander calls for return to service of U-2 spy plane to conduct surveillance on resurgent RussiaAnd some NATO members, like Germany, have been skeptical about any substantial permanent deployment, saying it could breach a 1997 agreement between the military alliance and Russia.
But the new U.S. deployment avoids the issue because it is not technically permanently stationed in Eastern Europe, with brigades rotating in and out, U.S. officials say.