NATO said to need more military fire power and expects the US to provide it

Bill Gertz:
The commander of the European Command told Congress on Tuesday that U.S. forces in Europe need more troops, ships, and weapons to deter growing threats from Russia.

Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, also the NATO commander, said his forces need two more Aegis warships to bolster six destroyers currently deployed in Europe, along with greater intelligence and surveillance capabilities.

Threats to the region are "real and growing" while "Russia remains the primary threat to a stable Euro-Atlantic security environment," Scaparrotti told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Russia under President Vladimir Putin has undertaken a large-scale military buildup since 2006 that includes new ballistic and cruise missiles, both conventional and nuclear, along with nuclear missile submarines.

Putin announced recently that three new strategic weapons were being developed and fielded, including a long-range nuclear cruise missile, a nuclear-armed drone submarine, and hypersonic strike missiles.

"While the United States maintains a global military superiority over Russia, evolving Russian capabilities threaten to erode our competitive military advantage, challenge our ability to operate uncontested in all domains, and diminish our ability to deter Russian aggression," he said.

Russian naval forces, both warships and submarines, are expanding and Scaparrotti urged modernizing American naval forces in response.

"If we want to remain dominant in the maritime domain, and particularly undersea, which we are today, we've got to continue to modernize and I think we need to build our capacity," he said.

In addition to warships, new anti-submarine warfare forces are needed. Anti-submarine forces include attack submarines and anti-submarine aircraft.
I think NATO 's biggest problem is the anemic response of the Europeans to the threat they face.  When you look at the German military it is hard to say they take the threat seriously.  While Trump has pushed the Europeans to spend more on defense, they are still pretty weak.  I am also skeptical about Russian capabilities. 

Putin is big on paying for new weapon research but lacks the financial wherewithal to put them into production.  Their stealth fighter is one such example.  The Russian aircraft carrier which made a brief appearance in the Syrian civil war was less than impressive.  It kept breaking down and its design was such that the planes could not take off with a full fuel tank and heavy armaments.

I think Putin uses his weapons development scheme to deter but lacks the resources to implement and integrate the weapons into his military.  Russian GDP is anemic by superpower standards.  It is about the same as that of the State of Texas.  I think he knows he does not have the resources for a major war with the US or NATO so he keeps nibbling around the edges and uses his "hybrid" war strategy to avoid a direct confrontation.  That hybrid war strategy was a disaster for the Russians when it came up against US special forces backed by air power in Syria.


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