Boosting European Force Structure

The US needs to build up its presence in Europe because its current force structure is not enough to counter Russian influence in eastern Europe, said Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of US European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander. Speaking to reporters Oct. 30 at the Pentagon, Breedlove said the US position in Europe “is not adequate to the larger Russian task that we see,” but acknowledged the permanent force structure probably won’t change. That’s why the military is working to pre-position equipment forward, including one heavy brigade of material, to go along with theater security package deployments of aircraft, such as A-10s. The deployment of materiel is needed to rapidly reinforce Europe if called upon, Breedlove said. “What you have seen already in our Operation Atlantic Resolve … is a rotating force into these most forward nations—the Baltics, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria,” Breedlove said. “And what we are talking about now is what is the appropriate size and composition of that future force that marries with a NATO rotation, possibly into the same nations, to develop assurance and deterrence into the future.”