New funding for Eucom essential, NATO Supreme Commander tells U.S. Senate

Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. European Command, testified before the U.S. Senate on Wednesday that the European theater is critical to America’s national interests, and the NATO alliance is key to the national security for the United States.

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Scaparotti, who is also Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Europe, told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies that continued, and increased, funding for Eucom was crucial to maintaining international order.

NATO and Eucom provide security for over a billion people and half the world’s economy, the general said. “However, this security architecture is being tested,” Scaparrotti said. “Today we face the most dynamic European strategic environment in recent history.”
“In the east, a resurgent Russia had turned from partner to protagonist as it seeks to undermine the Western led international order and reassert itself as a global power,” Scaparrotti said.

“Countries around Russia’s periphery — including Ukraine and Georgia — struggle against Moscow’s malign activities and military actions.”

The general praised Congressional support and funding for the European Reassurance Initiative. Continued funding was passed passed in the 2017 omnibus spending bill.

The initiative provides support for forward military deployments and complex training exercises with allied countries in Europe. It also funds recapitalization of command centers such as Landstuhl, Rammstein and other locations.

“Our force posture needs to increase to provide credible deterrence to Russian aggression, and we must have infrastructure to support this increased posture,” Scaparrotti told the committee. “Significant investments are needed to provide capacity for operations, exercises, training, reception, staging and pre-positioned assets.”

By Stephen Carlson