The nominee to become chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff says Russian Federation presents “the greatest threat” to national security and its behavior is “nothing short of alarming”.
Dunford told committee Chairman John McCain, an Arizona Republican, that it would be “reasonable” for the United States to provide sophisticated anti-tank and artillery assistance to the Ukrainian government in response to the situation in eastern Ukraine.
He said he was “not aware” of any Russian objections to Dunford’s characterization.
Before the hearing, Dunford provided written answers to a broad range of national security questions posed by the committee.
Dunfordalso cited Russia’s nuclear program and China’s military buildup as among the threats the US faces, DoD News reports. The United States has yet to provide lethal weaponry to Ukraine to aid in its fight, despite support for the idea from Defense Secretary Ash Carter and outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, CNN reported.
Yet Earnest said that much has changed since 2012, when Obama mocked his GOP opponent, Mitt Romney, for calling Russian Federation the top USA geopolitical threat.
When asked if embedding US special operations forces with Iraqi units could boost their efforts against Islamic State militants, Dunford replied that American troops can always help make foreign allies more effective.
And in an interesting turn, Dunford did say that the “most significant” shortfall that he sees in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance is defense against cyberattacks.
James said Washington was responding to Russia’s recent “worrisome” actions by boosting its presence across Europe, and would continue rotational assignments of F-16 fighter squadrons.
The questioning of Dunford was cordial from senators in both parties, suggesting that his nomination has widespread support. They also notably leave out Iran, which is locked in fierce negotiations with the administration over the future of its nuclear program.
“That’s certainly the case in Afghanistan”, he said.
Dunford, a ex- commander of troops in Afghanistan and the current commandant of the Marine Corps, said he included China second because of USA interests in the Pacific and China’s rapidly advancing military capabilities. He attributed the low number to a rigorous vetting process.
MCCAIN: Given your experience in the military, do you think it’s a good idea to train people and send them into a conflict to be attacked and barrel bombed by another entity and not defending them?
Be Civil – It’s OK to have a difference in opinion but there’s no need to be a jerk.