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  • “The thing I worry about the most is freedom of movement. The Russians are able to move huge formations and lots of equipment a long distance very fast,” Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, commander of US Army Europe, told BBC’s Hardtalk show on Monday.
“The thing I worry about the most is freedom of movement. The Russians are able to move huge formations and lots of equipment a long distance very fast,” Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, commander of US Army Europe, told BBC’s Hardtalk show on Monday.

“The thing I worry about the most is freedom of movement. The Russians are able to move huge formations and lots of equipment a long distance very fast,” Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, commander of US Army Europe, told BBC’s Hardtalk show on Monday.

Russian capabilities to deploy troops at long distances are “scary” as they outweigh those of NATO, the commander of US Army Europe has said, calling for “a military Schengen zone” that would allow troops to move back and forth within the bloc’s territory.


“The thing I worry about the most is freedom of movement. The Russians are able to move huge formations and lots of equipment a long distance very fast,” Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, commander of US Army Europe, told BBC’s Hardtalk show on Monday.

“The Russians…can move anywhere inside of Russia, as fast as they want,” Gen. Hodges claimed, speaking during the Anakonda 2016 exercises in Poland, which are viewed as NATO’s largest Eastern European war games since the Cold War.

Top US commander said he was “concerned” that the Russian military was able to “deploy 20,000 troops and a lot of equipment on the border of a NATO country, or maybe somewhere like Georgia or Ukraine,” benefitting from “what we call freedom of movement on the interior lines.”

The Russian Army’s rapid deployment speed leaves that of NATO far behind, Gen. Hodges claimed. NATO’s leaders should have more options “other than a liberation campaign,” namely a “military Schengen zone” that would allow the military to move freely.

“A British convoy, an American convoy, a German convoy should be able to go anywhere inside NATO” at three days’ notice, he asserted.

“Their snap exercises that they [Russia] do, I personally am surprised each time they do it. And so you can see why that scares me,” Gen. Hodges said, obviously referring to the Russian Army’s large-scale military drills intended to test troops’ readiness and combat capabilities.

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