News / Europe

NATO Commander: We Need to Be Ready for ‘Little Green Men’

FILE - NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. General Philip Breedlove, speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Canada, May 6, 2014.
FILE - NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. General Philip Breedlove, speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Canada, May 6, 2014.
VOA News

NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe says the alliance would respond militarily if any of its member countries faced an incursion similar to the one sustained by Ukraine’s Crimea prior to its annexation by Russia earlier this year.

“If NATO were to observe the infiltration of its sovereign territory by [anonymous] foreign forces, and if we were able to prove that this activity was being carried out by a particular aggressor nation, then Article Five would apply,” said U.S. General Philip Breedlove in an interview with Germany’s Die Welt, referring to NATO’s collective defense principle.

“That’s when the alliance principle goes into force. This means a military response to the actions of this aggressor,” said Breedlove.

The U.S. general said that the “big problem” facing NATO today is a new type of warfare that the alliance is in the process of preparing for. Citing the Crimea precedent and pointing to developments in eastern Ukraine, Breedlove said that it's imperative that the alliance be prepared for anonymous warriors.

FILE - Armed men in unmarked uniforms, believed to be Russian soldiers, are seen walking at the Crimean port of Yevpatoriya March 8, 2014.FILE - Armed men in unmarked uniforms, believed to be Russian soldiers, are seen walking at the Crimean port of Yevpatoriya March 8, 2014.
x
FILE - Armed men in unmarked uniforms, believed to be Russian soldiers, are seen walking at the Crimean port of Yevpatoriya March 8, 2014.
FILE - Armed men in unmarked uniforms, believed to be Russian soldiers, are seen walking at the Crimean port of Yevpatoriya March 8, 2014.

“To be honest, it's of utmost importance that NATO be ready for so-called 'little green men.' Armed military personnel without sovereign insignia, who create unrest, occupy government buildings, incite local populations, train and provide tactical advice to separatists, and in doing so, strongly contribute to the destabilization of a country.”

Such scenarios, said Breedlove, could also occur in other eastern European countries, and NATO must take steps there to prepare police and military forces to deal with such challenges.

Breedlove said that the new reality confronting NATO is part of a new type of hybrid warfare referred to as DIME: Diplomacy, information, military and economy. And in the case of Ukraine, Russia can be seen using all of these instruments of power, said he.

“Diplomatically, Russia is trying to push the argument that Ukraine’s authorities are the problem. In the information sphere, we see an information and disinformation campaign aiming to mask Russia’s intentions. Militarily, we see daily troop movements, cross-border shelling and the use of all [types of] military capabilities. And, lastly, economic warfare through [the manipulation of] energy supplies,” said Breedlove.

He added that this type of hybrid model brings all means to bear, and that mixture he called “very troubling.”

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ser from: Russia
August 19, 2014 5:09 AM
If someone will see greenmen, he should consult a psychiatrist, including generals.

by: Not Again from: Canada
August 19, 2014 12:51 AM
Gen. Breedlove only sees half of the reality, that the NATO/EU confronts, one is the "green men" like the Crimea scenario- they were men covering their faces from Russia; which Breedlove, like much of the rest of his EU team, has difficulty/are in fear of identifying them = they were Russian special forces, including Russian naval forces, which took over and transferred the sovereignty of Crimea from the Ukraine to Russia full lock stock and barrel, in a very deliberate, planned, and well carried out operation, firing only a few shots.
Such little green men (= Russians), will always pose a problem, physical and psycological, for as long as leaders, including Breedlove, have difficulty enunciating what they know, to this day, to be the truth.
The second part of the problem, is the EU NATO "partners?" who excel at delaying/offuscating/seeking endless clarifications/fearing their own shadows, and in preventing any actions; they make the alliance totally in-effective, because they have few real deterrent resources to offer. They (NATO EU Allies) have become addicted to riding on the back of the US deterrent effort; a problem that was allowed to grow over the past 20+ yrs. The problem = a dramatic decline of military forces and military defensive capabilities, to the point that the NATO EU allies no longer excercise their forces at the higher organizational levels(division/corps/naval squadrons/naval fleets/air arms, etc) beyond regiments or a few aircraft or a few naval units at a time. Much of their forces' equipment are very much obsolete, other very much rusted out, with designs and capabilities that were developed well before many, if not most, of the current members of those forces were born. Hence the "little green men" from Russia do not fear the big greyed men and their rusted out equipment, that the NATO/EU team could manage to stand up. All in all it is a recepee for war.
The biggest of all problems, which NATO faces, in my view, is that the military leaders have become politicians, and the politicians are trying to be military practitioners, both will fail in their usurped undertakings/roles, as it is clearly evident on a global scale; day by day global instability increases and is reaching extremely dangerous levels = major wars breaking out on most continents. The corrective actions required will be to re-invigorate/modernize their deterrence capabilities, renew their forces, and rationalize their strategies to ensure global stability is improved.

by: F. Sandragon from: Maryland
August 18, 2014 12:11 PM
What a silly headline. Clickbait = puerile attempts at humor, trivializing an issue

by: Hugo from: Germany
August 18, 2014 1:32 AM
If EU wants to survive and save peace in and out of its borders,then we should substitute Russia 's gas with USA's one or reduce consumption of it dramatically. Russia and Putin's totalitarian and terroristic regime will not survive without our money.

by: harry from: australia
August 18, 2014 12:33 AM
Why isnt the West openly supporting Ukraine militarily.Sanctions will hurt Moscow as much as a mosquito bite.Putin would think twice if confronted by NATO.In the absence of that Putin will do whatever to dedtabilise Ukraine.Besides if the West pussyfoot around the Russians who knows which nation would be their next target.Obama,Cameron and co better man up to meet this real threat.

by: On the Balcony from: Ukraine
August 17, 2014 9:46 PM
The quickest and surest way for NATO to eliminate the threat of "little green men" (and learn how to effectivelt combat DIME) is to fully commit itself to helping Ukraine win its fight against them.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More