Monday, June 29, 2015

4-star on Russia: 'The threat that has my greatest focus'

4-star on Russia: 'The threat that has my greatest focus': An emerging but familiar threat has become the "greatest focus" of the Army's No. 2 general.

"The threat that has my greatest focus, frankly, is in Eastern Europe," said Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel Allyn. "Russia has clearly demonstrated their intent to infringe upon the national boundaries of now two states, and from what we can see, that intent is not abating."

In light of that threat — on top of several other demands for U.S. soldiers around the world and a tight fiscal environment — the Army must make sure it can continue to assure its allies, fulfill its NATO responsibilities, and "continue to rotate trained and ready forces" to support the deterrent work led by U.S. European Command, Allyn said.

Allyn spoke June 25 to Army Times as Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with Ukraine's defense minister, Colonel-General Stepan Poltorak at the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels.

The two leaders in Brussels discussed Russia's ongoing aggression in eastern Ukraine, according to information released by the Defense Department. Carter emphasized the United States' commitment to support Ukraine "in its effort to define its own course as a sovereign, democratic nation," according to DoD.

Carter also reaffirmed U.S. commitment to continuing defense cooperation with Ukraine, including through exercises and training.