NATO’s importance in deterring aggression and misbehavior by Russia and China in Europe cannot be overstated, Army Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who are considering him to be commander of U.S. European Command and supreme allied commander of Europe.
Cavoli said today that, in response to the illegal and unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. military has deployed significant combat power on short notice to Eucom, including: the V Corps headquarters; an armored brigade combat team that drew prepositioned stocks; and the XVIII Airborne Corps headquarters with a brigade from the 82nd Airborne Division, a carrier strike group, fifth generation fighters and additional destroyers.
Over the years, the European Deterrence Initiative has been vital to building the military readiness necessary to deter Russia and respond in times of crisis, he said.
“If confirmed, I look forward to continuing to build on this vital work [of] ensuring that Eucom remains ready to respond, along with our allies and partners, to any threat to our national security,” Cavoli told the senators.
“Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine ushers in a new era in European security. NATO is more energized and unified than I have ever seen in years,” he said. Allies and partners have rushed security assistance to Ukraine in an effort to keep it free and independent, he said.
But Cavoli told the group that Russia is not the only challenge facing Europe.
China’s growing influence is also a huge concern, as are terrorism, migration, cybersecurity and climate change, he said.
“We cannot be a one-problem alliance. We must maintain vigilance across 360 degrees, ready to respond to any and all threats. We’re in a time when unity in the alliance is of the greatest importance,” he said.