During a press conference in Vilnius, Ben Hodges, the commanding general of the US Army in Europe, said that the US and other NATO countries were tired of responding to unexpected moves from Russia and that they would have to take the initiative.
Ben Hodges
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

“I'm tired of us reacting to Russian aggression. We have to make them compete and not just sit back. We have to have our eyes wide open. Nobody wants Russia to be back in the international community more than me, more than the United States. We need Russia in the international community, but they only respect strength," Hodges said.

At the meeting, Hodges underscored the importance of deterrence and of European and NATO unity. “There doesn't have to be a conflict. It does not have to happen, and we want to keep it that way,” he said.

He reminded attendees about the ongoing military conflicts and standoffs in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Crimea and Donbass. “This is a serious challenge. This is not an academic exercise,” he explained. “Deterrence requires real capability. A real warfighting organization that could cause any potential adversary to think 'we might fail' or 'we don't want to do it because the cost will be too high.'”

Hodges indicated that resisting Russia's disinformation campaign was something that NATO and Europe were not fighting back against hard enough. He urged policy makers to resist “sitting back and letting them dominate the airwaves.”

The US general spoke about his experiences in the Cold War when he was a lieutenant. During that conflict, soldiers in Europe knew what they were looking for as far as threats were concerned. “We're in hybrid warfare right now... It's designed to make it difficult for somebody to recognize what's happening.”

The conflicts in the Middle East have switched many countries' focuses away from Eastern Europe. “I used to have rooms like this full of Russian speakers. I've got rooms of Dari, Arabic and Pashtu speakers,” he said, but admitted that his Russian-speaking capabilities were limited. However, he said, “I know [Lithuanian] Minister Olekas has intelligence capabilities that I can't come close to. Same for Latvia, Poland, Estonia and so on.”

Griežtai draudžiama DELFI paskelbtą informaciją panaudoti kitose interneto svetainėse, žiniasklaidos priemonėse ar kitur arba platinti mūsų medžiagą kuriuo nors pavidalu be sutikimo, o jei sutikimas gautas, būtina nurodyti DELFI kaip šaltinį.
Įvertink šį straipnį
Norėdami tobulėti, suteikiame jums galimybę įvertinti skaitomą DELFI turinį.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(0 žmonių įvertino)
0
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Lithuania reports rise in cyber attacks of high and medium importance

The number of cyber incidents of high and medium importance in Lithuania increased by 40 percent last...

Ministry to spend around 142 million euro on tactical vehicles

The Ministry of National Defence (KAM) has presented the US government an application for purchasing...

Lithuanian army acquires Javelin anti-tank missiles for 20 mln USD

The Lithuanian Army has acquired U.S.-made Javelin anti-tank missiles worth 20 million U.S....

Lithuania, Poland to sign new deals on defense cooperation

New Lithuanian-Polish agreements on defense will be signed during Lithuanian president Dalia...

Vytautas Bakas: ‘We need to be more receptive to the needs of servicemen’

The Committee on National Security and Defence of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania held a...