WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is installing new military leadership in Europe at a moment of heightened worries about Russian aggression, doubts about the future of arms control and tensions among NATO allies.
These pressures are reflected in stepped-up U.S. military maneuvers in Europe, including the unusual simultaneous deployment last week of two U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups in the Mediterranean Sea.
At ceremonies Thursday in Germany and Friday in Belgium, Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters will take over for Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti as head of U.S. European Command and as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Scaparrotti is retiring.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan had planned to attend the ceremonies but canceled on Wednesday, citing the crisis in Venezuela and the situation on the U.S.-Mexican border.