NATO and the EU Need ‘Grand Strategy’ to Resist Putin, says General cannot deter Russia alone and must formulate a “grand strategy” for security in Europe with the EU, the alliance’s highest-ranking operational European officer has warned.

Sir Adrian Bradshaw, a British general and Nato’s deputy supreme allied commander, said in an interview with the Financial Times that Russia would remain a threat for as long as President Vladimir Putin holds power. He said there could be “catastrophic” consequences if the west lost coherence in its response “to a competitor that has his hands on all the levers of power”.

It’s the responsibility of Nato . . . not only to be the architect and executor of military strategy, but to understand clearly how military strategy is integrated with the other arms of national power and to flag up where action needs to be taken in the non-military domain,” said Gen Bradshaw.

“We need to move in the direction of the ability to formulate in the old-fashioned terms, grand strategy . . . I think it has quite serious implications regarding the relationship between Nato and the EU.”

Gen Bradshaw said Nato was grappling with a spectrum of Russian aggression towards the west — from provocative military manoeuvres on Europe’s borders to subversion, alongside a tide of digital propaganda and efforts to manipulate the US presidential election. Given its effects and the west’s response, Mr Putin “might consider that his methodology . . . works quite well”, the general admitted….

[Bradshaw] “The threat from Russia is that through opportunism and mistakes and a lack of clarity regarding our deterrence we find ourselves sliding into an unwanted conflict which has existential implications.”

Image: Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Sir Adrian Bradshaw (photo: Marina Dore/NATO Rapid Deployable Corps)