14:59 GMT +319 July 2019
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    Obstinacy Worthy of a Better Cause: US Keeps Labelling Russia as Its Enemy

    © AFP 2019 / TARIK TINAZAY
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    In an attempt to justify the need for an expansion of its military presence in Europe, US European Command (EUCOM) has issued an updated security strategy document, where it labelled Russia as its enemy, rather than a partner, as was stated in the previous version, and listed deterring “Russian aggression” as its top priority on the continent.

    “The document, issued Tuesday, lists deterring Russian aggression as EUCOM’s top priority — a sharp shift from the 2012 strategy, which suggested Russia was a potential partner to be cultivated as one of many “key relationships,” according to the US Armed Forces newspaper Stars and Stripes.

    The so-called “Theater Strategy” document further acknowledges that “reduced US forward presence and degraded readiness across the services are inhibiting the United States’ ability” to favorably influence security conditions, but stops short of naming requirements to bolster military capabilities in Europe.

    However it does make clear that the current force structure is “not commensurate with the immediate security situation.”

    “Even as USEUCOM leans forward with NATO allies and partners in response to these new challenges, fully addressing them and their long-term implications requires a reformulation of the US strategic calculus and corresponding resources in Europe,” the strategy says.

    The document further explains the need for the US “enduring forward deployed presence” in Europe.

    “The temporary presence of rotational forces complements, but does not substitute for an enduring forward deployed presence that is tangible and real,” the document states. “Virtual presence means actual absence.”

    Strangely enough, Russia, “isn’t EUCOM’s only focus.”

    “Migrants flooding into Europe from the war in Syria and from North Africa” is its next concern.

    However, this threat is “unlikely to involve the same type of military presence that has materialized over the past year in Eastern Europe, where Army tanks have been positioned for more intense training with partners”.

    As if to reassure that the need of the US presence in Europe still exists, the document still insists that “the Russian threat as one unlikely to change in the near term.”

    “Russia is presenting enduring challenges to our allies and partners in multiple regions,” the document reads.

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    Tags:
    threats, strategy, security, military presence, US European Command (EUCOM), Russia, Europe, United States
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