Wolters told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that while U.S. forces in Europe have increased from 60,000 to 100,000 due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, he expects that the U.S. will need another increase when it is over.
“I think what we need to do from a U.S. force perspective is look at what takes place in Europe following the completion of the Ukraine-Russia scenario and examine the European contributions and … based of the breadth and depth of the European contributions, be prepared to adjust the U.S. contributions,” Wolters said in response to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss. “And my suspicion is we’re going to still need more.”
In addition to increasing the number of forces, Wolters said the U.S. will have to examine their intelligence capabilities in the region. When Wicker asked if there was an “intelligence gap” that led to the U.S. overestimating the Russians and underestimating the Ukrainians going into the conflict, Wolters admitted that “there could be.”
“As we’ve always done in the past,” Wolters continued, “when this crisis is over with, we will accomplish a comprehensive after-action review in all domains and in all departments and find out where are weak areas were and make sure we can find ways to improve, and this could be one of those areas.”