Even as China captures the attention of defense policymakers, Russia remains the most urgent and immediate threat to the United States, Gen. Glen VanHerck , the Commander of US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command stressed in an interview with Air Force Magazine.
According to the general, Russia is the stronger warfighting threat today while China is the long-term existential threat to the US.
VanHerck pointed that Russia is the primary military threat from a kinetic standpoint – submarines, bombers, cruise missiles, those kinds of capabilities – while in non-kinetic – cyber space Russia and China are equals.
Yet, he stressed that they have to both be feared and underlined that should America’s strategic deterrence fail, it needs more robust forward deterrence.
Speaking on the the sidelines of the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md, VanHerck pointed out that along with nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles are another form of deterrence,.
A self-proclaimed DOD Arctic advocate, VanHerck also emphasized the importance of investing resources in improving Washington’s Arctic capabilities.
On the other side of the story, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev #returned the favour”, blaming Washington in an interview with the Argumenty i Fakty for aggressive interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states where it cannot achieve its goals by open military intervention.
According to Patruchev, Washington in such cases is trying to isolate unwanted countries from the outside world, even by cutting them off the supply of elementary means of survival to them.
He blasted Washington’s geopolitical experiments, claiming they’ve set off a domino reaction that decimated entire regions, including the West, and called the United States the main instigators of disorder in the world.
Pointing to Afghanistan as an example, he argued that the irresponsible withdrawal of the US troops has increased the problems the region has to face since they not only did not solve, but even exacerbated them.
He said that Afghanistan, in fact, has become a litmus test, confirming once again that no friends exist for Washington in the world, but only its own selfish interests.
According to Patrushev, the US and its allies should be held responsible for ramping up terrorist, extremist and other threats, destroying the sovereign states’ economies and for stoking inter-ethnic and political tensions.