US Commander Asks for More Troops in Europe to ‘Counter Russia’

Notes Russia Has 'Heavy Force' Deployed in Russia

Speaking with the Senate Appropriations Committee, top US commander in Europe Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti pushed for more funding for “long-term investment” in US military facilities in Europe, able to support further escalations of US deployments of both ground troops and combat equipment onto the continent.

Gen. Scaparrotti played up the continued false narrative of “Russian aggression,” which has been securing the Pentagon so much extra funding in recent years, suggesting that the US needs more permanent deployments of combat troops around the Russian frontier to counter them.

The problem, as Scaparrotti sees it, is that Russia has a “heavy force” deployed in Europe, which is to say that materially their entire military is present inside their own country, whereas the US, which has the significant disadvantage of not being physically located in Europe, only has a relatively limited military presence on the continent, with other troops dedicated to occupations and wars around the world, and many deployed in the United States itself, which again isn’t in Europe.

Of course, the US and the rest of NATO have dramatically escalated their deployments in Eastern Europe in the past year already, building up forces around the border between Russia and NATO’s Baltic states, but these “spearhead” forces aren’t presented as “permanent” forces, which allows the Pentagon to spin their European presence as much smaller than it really is.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.