WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US military must consider Russia an enduring challenge in Eastern Europe, US Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh said during a talk on military strategy at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC.
"[F]rom our perspective, due diligence would require us to assume that Russia is an enduring concern," Welsh stated on Tuesday.
Welsh claimed that Russia’s military buildup demonstrates an intention to be disruptive in the region.
"NATO was an alliance of necessity when it began, [it] became an alliance of choice as nations saw the benefits of being a member. It’s now an alliance of necessity again," Welsh concurred.
Over the past two years, NATO has carried out a number of large-scale military exercises along the alliance's eastern flank, bordering Russia.
Moscow has repeatedly rejected assertions about its intentions and actions in the region. Moreover, Russia has warned against NATO’s increasing military buildup along its borders despite previous agreements, stating such actions are provocative and threaten regional and global stability.