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Refocus Needed on Broad Capabilities

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U.S. Army
Tuesday, April 04, 2017

April 4, 2017

A recent report warns that the U.S. and its European allies must refocus attention on beefing up broad warfighting capabilities in response to unrest in Eastern Europe and the threat posed by Russian aggression.

For the U.S. Army, that means increasing forward presence and countering Russia’s investment in key capabilities that “allow it to conduct decisive operations in regional conflicts,” according to the report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a nonprofit public policy research group specializing in national security issues.

The U.S. Army in Europe should focus on enhancing long-range rocket artillery, anti-armor munitions, heavy armor, tactical drones, electronic warfare systems and suppression of ground-based enemy air defense systems.

Force reductions in the European Theater have hit the Army hard with only two brigade-sized combat units remaining: a Stryker brigade combat team in Germany and an airborne infantry brigade combat team in Italy. Neither is equipped for a conventional battle against heavy forces, the report says.

“Although the United States military is still the best fighting force in the world, its presence in Europe has been greatly diminished since the Cold War, and it is now dangerously close to reaching—if not already beyond—the threshold of acceptable risk in the Baltics,” the report says.