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US General: Russia Has 'Changed the Security Environment in Europe'

US Commander in Europe on Russia, Women in Combat
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General Ben Hodges, the commanding general of U.S. Army Europe, sat down with VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb to discuss Russian aggression in Ukraine, the Islamic State threat to European allies and U.S. women in combat.

Hodges told VOA that Russia has “changed the security environment in Europe.” He said the Crimea crisis would be a longer-term challenge as Russia has “shown zero indication that they are willing to walk away” from the peninsula.

On the Islamic State threat in Europe, Hodges said that to preserve the perimeter of the EU, there must be the ability to share security information and even biometric data.

On the subject of U.S. women now being able to serve in combat roles, Hodges said he was excited about the decision and proud of the Army’s role in the process.

“I think probably soon we're going to say, ‘Dang it, why didn't we do this 10 years ago?’ ” he said.

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    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.