US commander on US military presence in Europe after Ukraine conflict: ‘We’re still going to need more’
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General Tod Wolters, head of US European Command, announced actions the US could take in Europe, not during the current Russian invasion of Ukraine, but after that conflict unfolds.
Wolters told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that while U.S. forces in Europe have fallen from 60,000 to 100,000 due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, he expects the United States to United need another raise once this one is over.
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“I think what we need to do from a US force perspective is look at what’s happening in Europe after the Ukraine-Russia scenario is completed and look at the European contributions and…based on the breadth and depth of European contributions, be prepared to adjust US contributions,” Wolters said in response to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss. “And I suspect we’re still going to need more.”
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In addition to increasing the number of forces, Wolters said the United States will need to review its intelligence capabilities in the region. When Wicker asked if there was an ‘intelligence gap’ that led the US to overestimate the Russians and underestimate the Ukrainians entering the conflict, Wolters admitted that ‘there could be’. .
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“As we have always done in the past,” Wolters continued, “when this crisis is over, we will conduct a comprehensive after action review in all areas and in all departments and find out where the weak points were and we will ensure we can find ways to improve, and that could be one of those areas.”