NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Phillip M. Breedlove today called on the need for NATO to counter Russia’s “hybrid military model, especially as it relates to the Ukraine crisis and further aggression, with a new strategy. 

His remarks came during a panel discussion with Prime Minister of Estonia Taavi Roivas at the Atlantic Council Future Leaders Summit. Moderated by Future Leaders Summit delegate Mark Simakovsky, a Russia country director for the US Department of Defense, the discussion focused on challenges NATO faces in responding appropriately to Russian aggression in Ukraine and steps NATO is taking to address these challenges.  

According to Breedlove, NATO is currently not flexible or responsive enough to capably respond to Russia’s tactics, which include aggressive actions in the cyber and energy arenas paired with military force. He said Russia has employed this hybrid model with great success. 

To adapt, Breedlove recommended that NATO incorporate a “three-legged stool” strategy into its ongoing strategic evolution:

  1. Responsiveness, or the ability to rapidly respond in-kind to Russia’s snap-exercises.
  2. Enhanced forward troop presence, pre-positioning, and regular rapid response training to ensure readiness and act as a deterrent.
  3. Establishment of a headquarters in forward operating areas tasked with Article 5 readiness to coordinate rapid response activities.