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Monday, December 5, 2016

New commander of NATO in Europe should be more restrained than the old one


General Curtis, Scaparrotti became the new commander of NATO in Europe. He urged to maintain ongoing contacts with Russia, but did not rule out supplying weapons to Ukraine. Experts believe that the new commander would not allow himself such bellicose speeches, like his predecessor, General Philip Breedlove, voiced in the address of Russia are extremely aggressive.

The U.S. army General Curtis, Scaparrotti on Wednesday adopted from General, U.S. air force Philip Breedlove the command of the Combined armed forces (OVS) of NATO in Europe.

“Because commander, for example, the Pacific Central direction or not say anything like that publicly. Because it’s none of their business. They Russia to the deep light bulbs”

At the ceremony, which was held in the headquarters of the Supreme command of allied powers in Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium, was attended by the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. At the beginning of the ceremony on the headquarters flew four Belgian F-16 fighter. The transfer of authority was marked by the presentation of Scaparotti flag with the symbol of the Supreme command.

In his opening speech, Scaparrotti among the main challenges for the Alliance mentioned and Russia. “As we continue our very important mission in Afghanistan, we face a resurgent Russia that seeks to act as a global power, terrorism and the refugee crisis, fomented instability in North Africa and the middle East. To cope with these challenges, we need to continue to maintain and increase the level of preparedness and vigilance, to be able in the evening to fight if deterrence doesn’t work,” warned the General.

“It is important to be consistent and be very clear in our contacts with Russia. I believe that we should have contact in order to ensure that we have no failures”, – said later, Scaparotti on the first a press-conferences in new quality. He stated that these contacts will remain “restricted” until Moscow begins to adhere to “international norms”.

The commander promised to continue to the deterrence of Russian military activity, which was led by Philip Breedlove, including the activation of the maneuvers. We will remind, In Estonia on Monday launched maneuvers “Spring storm”, which involved almost 6 thousand soldiers of NATO countries, including the United States. They will be the largest exercise of the defence Forces of Estonia in the current year.

The thesis, according to which Russia has become a challenge for NATO, is the repetition of the stereotype, said the Chairman of the Council on foreign and defense policy, editor in chief of the magazine “Russia in global politics” Fyodor Lukyanov. “He appeared long ago, but after Ukraine, he became just the official mantra: “Russia is violating international law, so is a threat”. This is pure Protocol,” – said the expert, allowing, however, that stylistically is now the rhetoric of the commander in chief in Europe may be different.

“Breedlove was the exception to the rule. Strong rhetoric emerged at a time when it is known that he dosluzhivaet the last year in his last post. And, of course, the commander – a military man. He’s actually not in order to make political statements. For this is the political leadership of NATO. But in General, the appointment of Scaparotti will not affect relations between Russia and NATO. What they are – and they “no” – and such will remain,” – said Lukyanov newspaper VIEW.

In April, the Senate held hearings on approval of candidacies of generals Laurie Robinson and Curtis, Scaparrotti for the posts of commanders-in-chief of the Northern and European commands of the U.S. armed forces, passed RIA “Novosti”. “Russia represents the biggest threat to the U.S.,” said Robinson. “I agree,” echoed her Scaparotti. In addition, he warned Moscow: if the actions of the Russian armed forces will endanger the lives of us military, the US will retaliate. The General advocated for the placement in the Mediterranean sea the American aircraft carrier, which, he said, should “serve as a signal for Russia, and supported the idea of supplying anti-tank missiles (ATGM) in Ukraine to “protect the sovereignty”.

NATO should support Ukraine with all that she needs to protect its sovereignty and territories, called on Scaparotti and at a press conference on Wednesday, answering the question of whether he supports the idea of supplying the Ukrainians with weapons. However, he declined to specifics.

A veteran of the war in Iraq

60-year-old Curtis Michael Scaparrotti became the 18th commander of the allied powers. Participated in the intervention in Zaire and Rwanda, Bosnia, Liberia. From July 2003 to July 2004, he fought in Iraq. Prior to this, he was in command of U.S. forces in South Korea. In the summer of 2014, Scaparotti called upon to deploy a THAAD missile defense system – in his words, to counter the growing threat from North Korea. This year the decision was finally taken and the leadership of the United States. However, according to analysts, THAAD will focus not really on North Korea, and China.

“Well, what he managed to say, Scaparotti before the appointment? To place the carrier in the Mediterranean sea, the Russian show, what are we? – rhetorically asked the expert of the PIR Center, Lieutenant-General reserve Evgeny Buzhinsky, who formerly served as the Deputy head of the main Department of international military cooperation of the defense Ministry. – Well, they had already a carrier in the Mediterranean sea. Removed. Because too expensive and not too need. The Americans themselves understand it. To go on further confrontation? Expensive”.

The correlation of the military potentials of Russia and Natooke his appointment, Scaparotti made much more cautiously than his predecessor, said the expert. “He needs to look around, he’ll have at least two years ahead, he has advisers. By the way, adviser to the commander for international Affairs – a very sane person. His grades – not to say that entirely objective, but close to it. We are personally familiar. He is already working for 25 years already, eight and nine commanders-in-chief when it changed”, – said the newspaper VIEW Buzhinsky.

“Although the General Scaparotti played an important role in the performance of its predecessor at the hearings in Congress about the challenges that Russia poses to NATO, some officials believe that it will be less straightforward than General Breedlove,” wrote in the Sunday newspaper “the wall street journal” (USA).

Predecessor, Scaparotti Breedlove is known for his loud anti-Russian statements. So, in February, the commander said that US forces in Europe are willing to “fight and defeat” Russia, if necessary. In late March, he called for the return of the spy planes U-2 to the EU for exploration in Russia. Also Breedlove stated that “Russia is the enemy and represents a long-term threat to the U.S.,” Moscow “is trying to break the unity of NATO,” and noted the need for its “deterrent and preparation for conflict if necessary”.

In early March, Breedlove said that Russia provoked refugee flows to the EU from Syria. According to him, “Russia and Assad together intentionally make migration in the arms, trying to break the European institutions and European commitment”.

The generals sitting in the second row”

The role of the military in America and in Russia is different, reminds Buzhinsky. “In Soviet times, during negotiations, – I from my experience I remember – the opinion of the Ministry of defense was decisive. And now, for example during negotiations on arms control, it also has significant weight. In America – the situation is different. They have political control over the armed forces developed very much. At negotiations, the military never sit at the table – they always sit on chairs in the second row, unlike ours,” explains Lieutenant-General.

“Yes, Breedlove recently said a lot of things. But it was supposed to make such threatening statements, primarily to reassure the poles and Balts. But his statements did not cause much enthusiasm in Germany and France. But he was given more money, 3-4 billion dollars added to the budget of the European command. Please note that the Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Joseph Dunford such statements does not allow it. Except that, well, we need more programs for modernization, Russians are ahead of us, so give more money. This duty rhetoric aimed at budget. After all, the commander in chief, for example, the Pacific Central direction or not say anything like that publicly. Because it’s none of their business. They Russia to a deep bulb. In the Pacific they are more worried about China. Central command was more concerned about Afghanistan and Syria. A European commander in chief, of course, to say that Russia is undermining the foundations,” he listed Buzhinsky.

“Besides, Breedlove realized that the new appointment, he will not. He leaves. He may be the policy decided to go, as Wesley Clark at the time? He also said a lot about us, even the war wanted to start from our cast of Pristina in 1999. He tried himself in politics, but it did not. That is, perhaps, Breedlove decided to try it too?” – asks the expert.

In any case in Ukrainian politics Philip Breedlove has already played an important role. Wednesday evening, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko awarded the American General with the order of Yaroslav the Wise. The decree on awarding has been a significant personal contribution to General Breedlove to the development of relations of Kiev with the Alliance.

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