Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took the stage at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado on Saturday to answer questions about looming threats faced by American defenses.  According to the General, Russia remains the single largest nation-state threat to the security of the United States, but warns against focusing too much on any single challenge.

NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent, Andrea Mitchell, appeared on stage with Dunford, and asked him if he still stood by a statement he made nearly two years ago, in which he claimed that Russia was America’s most dangerous foe on the global stage.

“From a state actor perspective, it is Russia,” Dunford said, citing their military modernization program, nuclear and cyber capabilities, and the nation’s actions in Georgia, Crimea and eastern Ukraine as examples to support his position.

“I would quickly add that we don’t have the luxury today of singling out one challenge,” the chairman added.

According to the Marine General, the world is currently amid its most volatile geopolitical climate since World War II, and Russia’s actions on the world’s stage have served to degrade conditions even further.

In order to counter the potential for tensions with Russia turning toward war, Dunford recommended a two-part strategy that has been championed by a number of other defense officials in recent months: first, improve and maintain American’s nuclear weapon arsenal in order to more effectively serve as a deterrent against nuclear threats, and second, continue to work with America’s allies, strengthening NATO and its ability to counter Russian advances in Europe.

These steps are integral to ensuring Russia “is not tempted” to challenge the U.S. and its allies abroad.  Dunford also explained that Russia’s foreign policy may be full of bravado, but often falls short of inciting actual war.

It has a military dimension, but it falls short of armed conflict,” he said. “That’s where Russia integrates cyber capabilities, information operations, unconventional operations to advance their interests on a routine basis and we have to compete in that environment as well.”