Home / DoD / AF Gen. Philip Breedlove Nominated to Lead NATO, European Command; Michael Auslin Comments

AF Gen. Philip Breedlove Nominated to Lead NATO, European Command; Michael Auslin Comments

BreedloveAir Force General Philip Breedlove has been nominated by President Obama to serve as as the new NATO supreme commander and the head of U.S. European Command, according to a Global Post article.

If his nomination is approved by the U.S. Senate, Breedlove will succeed Admiral James Stavridis who has served as supreme commander since 2009.

General John Allen was Obama’s original choice for the post but Allen had to withdraw his name from consideration because of family issues.

According to a Military Times article, Breedlove has spent “a third of his 35 years in the service have been spent in Europe, starting with his early military days as an F-16 fighter pilot in Spain to his current post as USAFE and AFAFRICA commander, where he leads about 36,000 active-duty, reserve and civilian employees.”

If Breedlove is approved by the Senate as expected, he will face a multitude of restraints that could make his new command a difficult task.

“There is the possibility of really great unrest, and the EUCOM commander is going to be in the middle of it,” said Michael Auslin, a resident scholar in Asian and security studies at American Enterprise Institute.

“As the federal budget wrangling continues, it’s uncertain what effect the financial squeeze will have six months to a year from now on operations affecting combat readiness, from aircraft maintenance to flying hours. It’s almost unprecedented to have a combatant commander face all of these different constraints,” he added.

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