PRESS RELEASE—Jamestown Board Member Philip Breedlove Testifies Before House Intelligence Committee
Washington DC—Jamestown Foundation board member and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Philip M. Breedlove, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) participated in an open panel yesterday with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Other panelists included The Honorable Sue M. Gordon, former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence; General David H. Petraeus (Ret.), former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and Dr. Heather Wilson, former Secretary of the United States Air Force. The panel discussion was filmed by C-SPAN, and may be viewed here.
General Breedlove offered his insights regarding the current situation in Ukraine and Russia, calling for the United States to develop a comprehensive strategy toward the Black Sea in conjunction with our Ukrainian partners and NATO allies. He suggested that as a great power, the United States should have the capability and personnel to keep an eye on both Russia and China at the same time.
General Breedlove noted that while the United States Intelligence Community had a huge pool of Russian and Soviet analysts at the height of the Cold War, the cadre of experts on the region had shrunk dramatically after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and even more so by the time of Russia’s invasion and illegal annexation of Crimea and the Donbas. He credited these issues for the United States’ troubles in understanding Russian forces on an operational and tactical level.
On the matter of Ukraine, General Breedlove pointed out Vladimir Putin’s reinvasion of Ukraine in 2022 renewed the unity of NATO, recommitting it to the precepts of cooperative security, crisis management, and collective defense. General Breedlove cautioned, however, that there is a serious risk of Russia “freezing” the conflict, warning that the United States must act decisively in response to the growing military relationship between Russia and Iran, especially with regard to Iranian drone exports. An American answer, he posited, might go as far as to include sending our own similar tech to Ukraine.
Similarly, General Breedlove praised the United States and its allies for providing weapons systems to Ukraine, but warned that the decision-making process has in many cases been far too slow, creating severe delays of key weapons and munitions deliveries. In particular, General Breedlove emphasized the need to bolster Ukraine’s air defense capabilities. His opening statement may be found in full here.