Speaking today at a Pentagon briefing, Army Chief Gen. Ray Odierno, who is retiring later this month, declared Russia to be America’s “most dangerous threat,” insisting that they are “constantly assessing” potential NATO reactions in the Baltics and could start a war through miscalculation.
Odierno is the latest in a series of US military chiefs who are claiming that Russia is a major threat, and who are trying to downplay the seriousness of groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda by contrast. In his comments today, Odierno said Russia was a “more mature” threat than other “potential adversaries.”
Though US officials are constantly presenting all of this as “Russian aggression,” both sides have been engaged in tit-for-tat training exercises across Eastern Europe for months, with a new report cautioning both NATO and Russia are “actively preparing for war.”
The report, from the European Leadership Network, concluded that either side ought to show restraint by limiting the size and scope of their military exercises in the area. So far there is no sign of that happening, with both sides trying to trump the other with the biggest preparatory operations since the Cold War along the frontier.