President Obama’s pick to command all U.S. forces in Europe said Thursday that all options — including military force — should be considered as Washington weighs its response to recent Russian aggression against American forces operating in eastern Europe.
Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee came barely a week after Russian fighter jets and attack helicopters repeatedly buzzed the USS Donald Cook, a Navy destroyer on patrol in the Baltic Sea. For two days, Russian pilots “made numerous, close-range and low-altitude passes” above the vessel, Navy officials said, a move condemned by the Pentagon and NATO as “unsafe and unprofessional.”
If U.S. forces in Europe are put in harm’s way owing to Russia’s recent behavior, they will not hesitate to respond in kind, Gen. Scaparrotti told lawmakers at his confirmation hearing. He added that recent Russian moves, from the flybys and increased submarine patrols to support for Ukrainian separatists, suggest Russian President Vladimir Putin “is deliberately trying to break up NATO.”
Read More- Washington Times
Image courtesy of US Navy