Washington, DC: Today, leaders of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH) and Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL), urged Secretary Hagel and Secretary Kerry to update the U.S. defense policy and force posture in Europe and respond assertively to President Putin’s ongoing threats to deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea.

We believe the U.S. must immediately take actions to respond to Russia’s threats to European security and to change President Putin’s calculus,” the lawmakers wrote.  “In our opinion, the Administration must immediately move to update the U.S. defense policy and force posture in Europe. These policies, which have not been updated to reflect that Russia has no interest in being a partner to the West, and, in fact, views the West as a military threat, were naive at inception and are simply dangerous at present.”

Congressman Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces:

“Despite the fact that the President’s ‘reset’ with Russia has been over for quite some time, the defense policy of the United States and our strategic capabilities in Europe still reflect an outdated and dangerously misguided view of Russia.

 Putin’s position that he has both the right and the intention to deploy nuclear weapons in the Ukrainian territory of Crimea has further escalated his ongoing pattern of aggression and proven his flagrant disregard for international agreements and treaties.

In order to change the outcome, we must face the reality in front of us: Putin is an adversary of the United States. It is imperative that President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Secretary Hagel and the rest of the Administration abandon the false narrative of what they want Russia to be and shift their focus, strategy, and posture to what Putin's actions are.” 

Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Armed Service’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee: 

“You don’t deal with a thug like Vladimir Putin by asking nicely.  He breaks treaties, he invades countries and then stations his nuclear forces on their soil, and he cozies up to terrorist regimes like Assad’s, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, and the mullahs in Tehran.  What’s next?  Who’s next?  Concessions on missile defense and arms control only emboldened the former KGB officer.  We cannot continue to wait for the Administration to wake up and see that then- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s ‘reset' was a failure from day one.  

I have said repeatedly that I will work with the Administration if they show me they are taking these matters seriously.  For months I’ve been asking the Administration how they will prevent Putin from stationing his nuclear forces on Ukrainian soil in Crimea.  The Administration has no plan; the security of our allies cannot afford a continued delay.”

Full text of the letter below: 

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