U.S. Forces in Europe Told Deterring Russia Is Highest Priority

Jan 27, 2016 — 17:25

The American military's European Command (EUCOM) published an updated strategy document on Wednesday embracing the organization's objective to deter possible Russian aggression against Europe as its highest priority.

In a statement published on EUCOM's website, the command declared 2015 to be one of its busiest years since the end of the Cold War, and declared its primary focus to be deterring Russian aggression, followed by enabling NATO to fulfill its obligations for the collective defense of Europe.

“Our command has done an outstanding job balancing its focus between a revanchist Russia, mass migrations from other regions and foreign terrorist fighters transiting through Europe, while maintaining our commitments to our NATO allies and partners,” said General Philip Breedlove, EUCOM's commander.

In total, EUCOM listed six key missions in its new strategy document, which included preserving U.S. relationships in the region, countering transnational threats, ensuring troop readiness, and “focusing on key relationships.”

The declaration of Russia as the first priority follows a pattern of tit-for-tat escalation in national security documents between Moscow and the West over the past two years. Russia, for its part, has amended several strategy documents to enshrine deterring NATO as its main strategic concern.

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