NATO Commander: US Should Bring Back U-2 Spy Planes to Target Russia

Says Russia a 'Long-Term Existential Threat' to US

US General Philip Breedlove, the outgoing Supreme Allied Commander for NATO, is calling for the US to bring back U-2 spy planes to Europe to conduct increased surveillance of the Russian military, insisting NATO needs more intelligence collection against them.

High-flying U-2 planes were a major component of US surveillance of Soviet territory through much of the Cold War. However, in recent years the U-2 has largely been supplanted by the use of satellites for reconnaissance, and the planes have been scheduled for retirement for a decade now.

Gen. Breedlove, who has been pushing for an ever-increasing US military presence in Europe to target Russia, argued that Russia poses a “long-term existential threat” to the United States, and that more surveillance of the nation is needed.

Experts indicate that even if the U-2s are sent to Europe, they almost certainly will not overfly Russian territory, but will instead climb to a high operating altitude within NATO airspace and surveil Russian border areas.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of