US general: No need to add ground forces in Sweden, Finland

May 26, 2022, 3:53 AM | Updated: May 27, 2022, 10:27 am
FILE - Gen. Christopher Cavoli, Commander of United States Army Europe and Africa, walks past a gua...

FILE - Gen. Christopher Cavoli, Commander of United States Army Europe and Africa, walks past a guard of honor as he arrives to attend the African Lion military exercise in Grier Labouihi complex, southern Morocco, June 9, 2021. Cavoli, the U.S. general nominated to take over European Command tells senators that Sweden and Finland's push to join NATO won't require putting more U.S. ground forces into either country. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy, File)

(AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sweden and Finland’s push to join NATO won’t require adding more U.S. ground forces into either country, the U.S. general nominated to take over European Command told senators Thursday. But Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli said military exercises and occasional American troop rotations will probably increase.

Cavoli, who currently serves as head of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, said the increased military focus will probably continue to be on eastern Europe — where nations are more worried about potential Russian aggression and any spillover of the war on Ukraine.

“The center of gravity of NATO forces has shifted eastward,” Cavoli told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his nomination hearing. “Depending on the outcome of the conflict, we may have to continue that for some time.”

Cavoli was asked about the U.S. troop presence in Europe, which has grown from fewer than 80,000 to about 102,000 since the buildup to Russia’s invasion. He said the increase had no ties to the more recent move by Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership.

Sweden and Finland submitted their written applications to join NATO last week in one of the most significant geopolitical consequences of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Cavoli noted that the U.S already has strong military ties with both countries, and that additional exercises and other engagements are likely to grow.

If confirmed, Cavoli will be key as the Pentagon assesses its military structure across Europe. Defense officials have noted that historic troop concentrations in Germany, Italy and Britain may well shift and spread out into other eastern nations, such as Poland and the Baltics.

Eastern European countries have been clamoring for more U.S. weapons and troops, as a hedge against Russia. Cavoli said the U.S. also has to continue to strike a delicate balance and ensure its actions in Europe don’t inflame relations with Russia and spark a broader conflict.

“One must not shy away from activity to stay strong and outline our priorities,” he said, but the U.S. also must be careful “not to overdue that and create a problem where there wasn’t one.”

Cavoli’s nomination to be the top U.S. commander in Europe includes the job of NATO Supreme Allied Commander, which gives him a critical role in the Russian war on Ukraine. Committee members voiced support for his nomination, which is expected to be easily confirmed by the Senate.

Cavoli has extensive expertise on Russia. He served as a foreign area officer with a concentration on Eurasia, spent time in Russia, and speaks Russian, Italian and French. He was also the director for Russia on the Joint Staff. He would replace Gen. Tod Wolters, who currently heads European Command but is finishing his three-year tour there.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Gov. Phil Bryant speaks about his legacy following a life of public service, Jan. 8, 2020, i...
Associated Press

Texts: Favre also sought welfare money for football facility

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — After Mississippi spent millions of dollars in welfare money on Brett Favre’s pet project, a university volleyball arena, the retired NFL quarterback tried two years later to get additional cash from the state’s welfare agency for another sports facility, new court documents show. The governor at the time, Republican Phil Bryant, […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Man arrested in California plotted mass shooting

CHICO, Calif. (AP) — A 37-year-old man was arrested Sunday in Northern California on suspicion of threatening to kill police officers and planning a “Las Vegas-style” mass shooting, authorities said. The suspect was taken into custody by SWAT officers at a Super 8 motel in Chico after detectives obtained evidence of his plot, according to […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Official: 2 killed amid crashes during pop-up NJ car rally

WILDWOOD, N.J. (AP) — Authorities in New Jersey say at least two people were killed amid multiple crashes at a pop-up car rally in Wildwood over the weekend. Mayor Pete Byron told NJ Advance Media Sunday that there were a series of car crashes related to the “unsanctioned” car meet-up event, NJ.com reported. Byron said […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Little evidence of political argument before teen’s death

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — There is little indication that an 18-year-old who died after being struck by an SUV in North Dakota was a political extremist like the driver claimed. Investigators say none of the witnesses they have interviewed support the idea that there was a political argument before authorities say Shannon Brandt struck Cayler […]
16 hours ago
Demonstrators hold placards outside the Iranian Embassy in London, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. They wer...
Associated Press

Unrest erupts near Iranian embassy in London over death

LONDON (AP) — Violent street protests erupted outside the Iranian embassy in London on Sunday, with rocks thrown at police and five protesters arrested. Large crowds have been gathering all week outside the Knightsbridge compound in protest against the death in Iranian police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Iran. She had been arrested by […]
2 days ago
Cuba's President Miguel Diaz Canel walks with his wife Lis Cuesta Peraza before casting his vote at...
Associated Press

Cuba holds unusual vote on law allowing same-sex marriage

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba held a rare referendum Sunday on an unusually contentious law — a government-backed “family law” code that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt, as well as outlining the rights of children and grandparents. Cuba holds parliamentary elections every two years, though no party other than the Communist is allowed, […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
US general: No need to add ground forces in Sweden, Finland