ICYMI: Inhofe Discusses United States European Command at SASC Hearing

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), discussed United States European Command with General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Commander of the United States European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

Click to watch Sen. Inhofe’s introduction.

As prepared for delivery:

The Committee meets today to receive testimony on the posture of U.S. European Command. We welcome our witness, General Scaparrotti, EUCOM Commander and NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.

Chairman McCain asked that I submit a statement for the record on his behalf and read the following excerpt:

“The United States faces a new strategic reality in Europe. The first step in addressing it is to recognize the scope, scale, and seriousness of the challenges Russia presents to our national security and to the international order. Then we need a coherent strategy and policy to deter and, if necessary, defeat aggression against the United States and our allies. We must be prepared to face the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.”

Your testimony today is extremely relevant as the United States is engaged in a renewed great power competition with Russia. 

The National Defense Strategy prioritizes China and Russia as the most challenging threats.  Specifically, the National Defense Strategy recognizes this reality of a changing world order and provides the strategic guidance necessary to prevent conflict in Europe—or, if necessary, to fight and win.

We clearly see the growing threat from Russia, especially in Europe. Vladimir Putin recently discussed Russia’s new nuclear capabilities, including a new ICBM, inter-continental hypersonic missile, nuclear powered cruise missile and undersea drone. This is in addition to Russia’s aggressive behavior in Ukraine and the cyber domain.  

Then there is China and their militaristic expansion in the Pacific.  While that is not a part of your AOR, that situation could take away assets from your AOR.  

This week we received testimony from the Director of National Intelligence in which he stated “The risk of interstate conflict, including among the world’s great powers, is higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War.”

General Scaparrotti, we ask you to help this committee begin to think through the requirements necessary to implement the new strategy, and what resources and authorities you may need to ensure overmatch and the ability to win in your AOR should it become necessary. 

We look forward to hearing from you on the range of issues affecting the security situation in Europe, from Russia’s rapid military modernization and the ongoing hostilities in Ukraine to strengthening the NATO alliance and supporting the European Deterrence Initiative.

Watch Sen. Inhofe’s Q&A here.