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U.S. Admiral Says NATO Needs Maritime Strategy Versus Russian Aggression, Chinese Arctic Interest

July 17, 2020 (EIRNS)—Adm. James Foggo, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe and of NATO’s Allied Joint Forces Command, turned over his command to Adm. Robert Burke in a ceremony in Naples, today. He told Stars & Stripes in an interview ahead of the change of command ceremony that NATO needs a new maritime strategy because the world has changed a lot in the ten years since the last maritime strategy was crafted. The current plan “misses the return, or the resurgence of the Russian submarine force.... It misses the rise of China as a great power (and) it misses completely the illegal annexation of Ukraine,” he said, reflecting the anti-Russia/anti-China orientation of the U.S. National Security Strategy. Moscow’s 2014 intervention in Ukraine and ramped up naval maneuvers stretching from the Arctic to the Mediterranean are the chief reasons why an updated strategy is needed, Foggo claimed. So is China, he added, which now describes itself as a near-Arctic state despite being far from it. (Ironically, the U.S. would also be “far from” the Arctic, had Russia not sold it Alaska.)

Burke, in a statement after assuming command that reflects the same bias, said China and Russia pose “overt challenges to the free and open international order.” He further said that “Maritime forces are going to be key in this era of great power competition.”

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