US forces planning to practice moving weapons to Sweden (6)

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, supreme commander of US forces in Europe (AP/Scanpix)
3/9/2016 9:35 AM
Category: News

In response to Russia’s increased military activity and especially its unannounced exercises along the Western border, the US forces in Europe are planning to practice moving weaponry like their Patriot air defense system from their European bases to Sweden. Sweden is not a member of NATO.

As Swedish TV4 reported, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the US forces’ supreme commander in Europe, would like to respond to increased Russian military activity with a show of strength.

To ETV’s “Aktuaalne Kaamera,” the general said that having equipment in the Baltic countries, in Poland, and Germany was what gave them the speed to be able to prevent a crisis. “Look at the exercises the Russians do, particularly the snap exercises with thousands of troops, hundreds of vehicles, dozens of aircraft and ships, moving very quickly, no transparency, you don’t know about it till it’s happening,” Hodges said.

Hodges said to Swedish TV4 that he would like to practice moving weapons like the Patriot air defense system to Sweden. “Nations in the Nordic region as well as in the Baltic are uneasy when they see that happening right on their border. And of course the invasion in Crimea happened within the context of a snap exercise,” the general said.

In Hodges’ words, Russia’s behavior in the area wasn’t just because of Putin. He pointed out that its military philosophy was to push forward until it encountered resistance, and that this was the only response they would respect.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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