Thursday, October 15, 2015

Carter: Russia Has Created 'New Reality' in Europe

Carter: Russia Has Created 'New Reality' in Europe: Russia's actions in Ukraine have created a "new reality" for the American military and its NATO allies, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the AUSA conference here, Carter pledged to use a "strong and balanced approach" to address Russia's actions, but seemed to acknowledge that the relationship between NATO and the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin has irrevocably changed since the invasion of Ukraine last year.

"This is the new reality for us, strategically, and it looks like it's here to stay," Carter said, in a line that was not included in his prepared remarks.

That new reality requires a new "playbook" for Europe, said Carter, with the Army firmly at the center.

"The 20th century playbook was successful in creating a Europe whole, free and at peace, but the same playbook would not be matched to the 21st century," Carter said in his comments. "We must write a new playbook, which includes preparing to counter new challenges like cyber and hybrid warfare, better integrating conventional and nuclear deterrence, as well as adjusting our posture and presence to adapt and respond to new challenges and threats.

"Russia has the opportunity to change course and rejoin the track toward a political transition in Damascus. I don't know if they will," Carter said. "From the Kamchatka Peninsula through South Asia, into the Caucasus and around to the Baltics, Russia has continued to wrap itself in a shroud of isolation. And only the Kremlin can decide to change that."