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Votel told Fox News’ Catherine Herridge. The intent is to create a situation where NATO can't continue to thrive. Votel said he did not have unique insights into Russian President Vladimir Putin but he believes Putin sees the expansion of NATO ...as a threat to him and I think what they (Moscow) are attempting to do is create these frozen conflicts and create situations that are very, very difficult to resolve along their border. That does, could pose an existential threat, Votel added. He also said Russia is using a hybrid approach to warfare where state and non-state actors are mixing military and non-military capabilities. The result is a coercive effect...using information operations, using manipulation of media , using social media. Since January, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia – three traditional U.S. allies - have completed significant nuclear energy deals with Russia. Asked if this is evidence of Putin's effort to further expand Russia’s reach, and the seeds of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, Votel replied it was proof of Moscow's push to challenge the U.S. and expand its influence. Votel said SOCOM is assisting those countries that want to resist Russian influence. We work with partners to help develop their capabilities, we help our embassies with some of their messaging activities that they are doing out there to make sure that truthful information is getting out to populations. We use our civil affairs capability to help connect governments to their populations and strengthen those relationships. In doing that, (we) reduce those vulnerabilities of populations who may be vulnerable to this type of pressure they get from outside countries . Asked about Al Qaeda, Votel said the terror group was diminished in east Africa, Syria and Yemen, but the lesson of the last decade is that the U.S. and its allies must maintain pressure or the groups will reinvent and reconstitute. The leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is believed to be in Pakistan, and has been noticeably silent on the June drone strike that killed the organization's number two , Naser al Wuhayishi, who also was the leader of the Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen. To me it is a good sign it’s an indication that we have been very effective at isolating him so that is kind of my initial reaction.

– Joseph Votel

Found on FOX News  5 years ago    Politics
We help our embassies with some of their messaging activities that they are doing out there to make sure that truthful information is getting out to populations. We use our civil affairs capability to help connect governments to their populations and strengthen those relationships. In doing that, (we) reduce those vulnerabilities of populations who may be vulnerable to this type of pressure they get from outside countries . Asked about Al Qaeda, Votel said the terror group was diminished in east Africa, Syria and Yemen, but the lesson of the last decade is that the U.S. and its allies must maintain pressure or the groups will reinvent and reconstitute. The leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is believed to be in Pakistan, and has been noticeably silent on the June drone strike that killed the organization's number two , Naser al Wuhayishi, who also was the leader of the Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen. To me it is a good sign it’s an indication that we have been very effective at isolating him so that is kind of my initial reaction.

– Joseph Votel

Found on FOX News  5 years ago    Politics

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