Head of the United States Air Force Deborah James said on Wednesday that Russia is the biggest threat to US national security and America must expand its military presence in Europe.
The remarks of James came during an interview with Reuters.
"I do consider Russia to be the biggest threat," said James, adding that the US is boosting its presence in Europe in response to the Russia’s recent “worrisome” actions in the region.
"This is no time to in any way signal a lack of resolve in the face of these Russian actions," said the civilian leader of the US Air Force.
According to the secretary, many of the NATO allies face budget challenges to support the NATO’s spending, except for four of 28 members which stand as one of the major problems for the organisation’s effectiveness in the region against Moscow.
"This is not something that came up out of thin air,” she said.
“This is something that we as NATO members agreed to do. All of us need to be advocates."
The relations between NATO and Russia have been tense since Moscow seized Crimea and allegedly supported the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.
The West has long been striving to dissuade Russia from its military presence by counterbalancing with its NATO-led increased military presence towards the edge of Russian borders, where the constituent states of the former Soviet Union currently became members in the Euro-Atlantic alliance.
Since Russia has annexed Crimea and deployed nuclear arsenal back to the Peninsula, the US and its NATO allies alarmed and raised concerns on the issue as the Pentagon accused Moscow of “playing with fire” through violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
For the current level of the relations, the Kremlin blames the US administration and NATO for the eastward enlargement further into the post-Soviet space, while the Euro-Atlantic alliance raised concerns over Moscow’s recent military presence towards Eastern Europe.