U.S. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, supreme allied commander, Europe, gives a press conference at the end of the 178th Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence Session at NATO alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday. Photo by Stephanie LeCocq/EPA-EFE
Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Growing modernization could give the Russian military dominance over NATO if the military bloc fails to adapt, the top commander said Wednesday.
U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, NATO supreme allied commander, Europe, said in a news conference in Brussels that he has concerns about Russia's military.
"I think that, as an alliance, we are dominant. There are domains within this that were challenged. I think cyber is one of those. [Russia is] very competent in that," he said.
"There are others where because of the modernization you noted, while we are dominant, we will not be in five years per se if we aren't adapting like this to include our structure but also within the nations, our capabilities, across the military functional areas as well as our domains."
Scaparrotti's comments come amid two days of talks in Brussels in which alliance defense heads are working on plans to building two new command headquarters to counteract Russian aggression. The new headquarters would allow a faster movement of NATO forces across Europe.
"A resurgence of Russia as a strategic competitor, growing unrest and instability in Africa and the Middle East, as well as terrorism, [are] reshaping our strategic environment," he said.
The relationship between Russia and much of the West, including NATO, has been strained since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine.