Washington must do more to deter “Russian aggression,” including sending lethal weapons to the government in Ukraine and engage in information warfare across the board, the top US commander in Europe told lawmakers.
“I personally believe that we need to consider lethal defensive weapons for Ukraine,” General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, head of the US European Command (EUCOM) told the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
“I haven’t discussed that specific issue with most of our partners,” Scaparrotti admitted when he was asked about the NATO allies’ opinion on arming Kiev. The general is also the NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR).
“Russia seeks to undermine this international system and discredit those in the West who have created it,” Scaparrotti argued in his opening remarks, calling for “demonstrating strength in every area” when it comes to dealing with Moscow.
He also accused Russia of threatening every country in its vicinity, stoking ethnic tensions in the Balkans, “complicating” US operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria and violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by deploying land-based cruise missiles.