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Two German Bundeswehr soldiers in uniform, with weapons.

Interview with retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges

Adapting to the Russian Way of Warfare

July 2019, Number 09.03

QUESTION: When talking about your legacy in Europe, the freedom of movement — the creation of a military Schengen zone — the infrastructure for mobility is at the core. How and in what way do these elements boost the deterrence architecture? Where is the Alliance in this effort of building this freedom of movement space?

ANSWER: An aspect that gives me a lot of confidence is the fact that the EU (European Union) is taking on this military mobility as one of its main projects under PESCO (the Permanent Structured Cooperation). The EU has the resources to improve infrastructure, it has the authorities and political mechanisms necessary to help improve the cross-border permissions. That is encouraging. Another aspect that makes me optimistic is that both NATO and the EU recognized the importance of this, and they are collaborating on improving it. Several countries have worked very hard, particularly Poland and the Baltic countries, to reduce the amount of time required to get permissions to cross borders. The problems are related to the capacity and capability and capability of the infrastructure. There is not enough rail to move large numbers of NATO forces quickly…”

Excerpt from Small Wars Journal, “Adapting to the Russian Way of Warfare, per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 9, No. 3, 2019: 48-55.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.