The US military insists on the need for forces capable of defeating Russia’s anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities, military analyst Dave Majumdar wrote in his article for The National Interest.
As soon as the Russian A2/AD defense is breached the Pentagon would be able to reinforce NATO defenses in Europe as they move eastward.
"We need to be able to rapidly reinforce — that sounds very straightforward. It is not. […] Remember Russia has created a very dense pattern of A2/AD — access/area-denial. We need to be investing in those capabilities and capacities that allow us to enter into an A2/AD environment and be able to reinforce," U.S. Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of US European Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 1.
The capabilities mentioned by Gen. Breedlove would include F-22 Raptor and F-35 stealth jets, according to the analyst. Those aircraft are better able to tackle Russia’s air defense system like the S-300 and the S-400. F-35s will be permanently based in England starting in 2021.
"I would love to have both the F-22 and the F-35 in Europe. They are that complementary. But we don’t have no plans nor have we discussed anything about forward basing any F-22s because we do it via a rotational basis," Gen. Frank Gorenc, commander of US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) said.
Gen. Breedlove also noted that Russia continues to build up its undersea activities.
"The Russians understand the utility of those submarines and have invested heavily in those submarines and it does challenge our abilities," he underscored.