WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services’ Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, convened this week the first hearing of the Subcommittee for the 115th Congress. The purpose was to identify the challenges of increasing Russian anti-access area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities in Europe, specifically, Russia’s continued power projection with advanced missile systems that threaten U.S. allies and partners in the region.
The witnesses, including experts from the U.S. European Command and the Intelligence Community, also discussed the U.S. capacities and capabilities needed to overcome those challenges. An in depth knowledge of the threat as well as the means required to defeat it are vital to ensuring the U.S. can support the freedom and territorial integrity of our partners and allies in the region such as Ukraine and the Baltic nations.
Senator Ernst released the following statement after concluding the hearing:
“Today’s meeting of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee was critical to understanding the nature and scope of the threats faced by our partners and allies in Europe. The aggression of President Vladimir Putin towards his neighbors and his blatant disregard for their sovereignty and territorial integrity was on full display when he annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. Putin’s aggression is being reinforced by the placement of A2/AD capabilities from the Arctic to the Middle East. These capabilities, including advanced air defense systems, surface-to-surface missiles, and coastal defense weapons, in Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea and in Crimea on the Black Sea bracket our Baltic and Ukrainian friends and directly contribute to their insecurity. Understanding the threat will help us determine what capabilities are essential so we can rebuild the technological advantages that have ensured peace and stability in Europe for over 70 years.”