Europe faces a 'real threat' from Russia, warns US army commander
By Justin Huggler, Wiesbaden
The commander of the US army in Europe, Lt-Gen Frederick "Ben" Hodges, says that Nato must remain united "as insurance" against Russia
The commander of the US army in Europe has warned that Nato must remain united in the face of a "real threat" from Russia.
"It's not an assumption. There is a Russian threat," Lt-Gen Frederick "Ben" Hodges said.
"You've got the Russian ambassador threatening that Denmark will be a nuclear target if it participates in any missile defence programme. And when you look at the unsafe way Russian aircraft are flying without transponders in proximity to civilian aircraft, that's not professional conduct."
Gen Hodges spoke to the Telegraph on the sidelines of a military debriefing after anexercise to move live Patriot missiles 750 miles across Europe by road and deploy them on the outskirts of Warsaw.
The sight of a US military convoy crossing the German-Polish border more than 20 years after the end of the Cold War made international headlines and brought traffic to a standstill as people posed for selfies beside the troops.
The intention of such a highly visible deployment was to send a signal, Gen Hodges said.
"That's exactly what it was about, reassuring our allies," he said.