04:20 GMT08 March 2021
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    Tentative progress which has been achieved in tackling Daesh and resolving the Syrian crisis has apparently not done enough to make America's top brass change its minds when it comes to its threat assessment: US Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley has reiterated that Russia still tops the list of threats to the United States.

    "Russia presents the only capability on Earth – of any organization or country – that is literally an existential threat to the United States," Milley told attendees of the Association of the US Army ILW Breakfast on Thursday. The US Army chief of staff has made similar comments in the past.

    In Milley's view, Russia is dangerous due to its military nuclear capabilities, although throughout the course of history nuclear weapons have only been used twice and not by Moscow.

    The general also accused Russia of displaying aggressive behavior. He recalled the ongoing Ukrainian civil war, which the West has largely blamed on Russia. For its part, Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the Ukrainian conflict and does not pose threat to any nation. In addition, Russian officials and diplomats have made every effort to resolve the crisis in the neighboring country within the framework of the Minsk process.

    Milley mentioned Russia's "significant investment" in its military as another factor that makes the country a threat, listing several major upgrades to the Russian Army, including new military hardware (the Armata battle tank), structural reorganization (more agile combat brigades) and the composition of the Armed Forces (more volunteers).

    Milley's remarks were part of an overview of the current strategic environment in the world. The security challenges, which the United States faces, according to the general, could best be described using a "4+1" formula. The big four threats include Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, while the "1" refers to the "continuous" fight against international terrorism.


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    threat, Mark Milley, Iran, China, US, Russia
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