In the world today, one U.S. Army general believes he has seen it all when it comes to Russia.
“Then you come full circle to the job I had today, and Russia is back,” explains Army General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, who had been around when the Berlin Wall fell. Scaparrotti interacted with the Russian forces with his airborne unit relief-in-place back in 1996.
Today, Scaparrotti believes that Russia is now an “adversary we need to take very seriously.”
The commander believes that the U.S. and NATO are facing an enemy better reorganized and more professional. They are now armed with better equipment and have learned a great deal from U.S.’s own operations.
“They are learning, they are pretty agile and thinking. They are taking a look at the world as they see it and adjusting their doctrine … which is impressive,” Scaparrotti remarked during the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.
Meanwhile, acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs Elissa Slotkin could not agree more. She explained that Russia is pushing its boundaries with more aggressive actions seen in the Baltic, Artic and Black Sea. Slotkin also noted that “Putin has decided to take on a decidedly more aggressive foreign policy.”
To counter Russia, Scaparrotti believes both the U.S. and NATO should continue investing in capabilities that would “outpace” Russia’s own. Recently, NATO announced it is investing some €3 billion in investment technology. This includes the enhancement of NATO’s air defense as well as the organization of its Response Force.
NATO Communication and Information Agency General Manager Koen Gijsbers explained that the new investment “connect and link national forces and capabilities into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.”