Army chief of staff says Russia poses 'most dangerous military threat' to the U.S.

Gen. Raymond Odierno estimated that only a third of the United States' brigades are capable of operating at the level of Russia's hybrid warfare maneuvers.
By Jared M. Feldschreiber  |  Aug. 13, 2015 at 2:16 PM
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PENTAGON CITY , D.C., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Gen. Raymond Odierno, the outgoing Army chief of staff, said Wednesday that Russia poses the "most dangerous" threat facing the United States, thanks largely in part to its "sophisticated" operations in Ukraine.

Odierno estimated that only a third of the United States' brigades are capable of operating at the level of Russia's hybrid warfare tactics, CNN reported.

"They are more mature than some other of our potential adversaries, and I think they have some stated intents that concern me in terms of how the Cold War ended," Odierno said at a Pentagon press briefing, reported The Hill. "They have shown some significant capability in Ukraine to do operations that are fairly sophisticated, and so, for me, I think we should pay a lot of attention."

Odierno also said he is "greatly" concerned by the prospect of Russia violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Baltic states, all three NATO members. An attack would require the U.S. military to come to their defense under Article V of the organization's founding treaty.

"What I worry about is miscalculation -- [Russia may] perceive... that NATO might not be as concerned, and they make a mistake and miscalculate and do something that violates Article V of our NATO agreement... That's something greatly concerns me," he said.

U.S. Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford said during his nomination at the Senate Armed Services Committee in July, "Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security... If you look at their behavior, it's nothing short of alarming."

The White House distanced themselves from Dunford's remarks at the time, partly since during the 2012 presidential elections, Barack Obama had mocked his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, for labeling Russia as America's top geopolitical adversary.

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