WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) questioned Air Force General Tod Wolters, Commander of the United States European Command (EUCOM) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), and Army General Stephen Lyons, Commander of the United States Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today. Senator Cramer began by thanking them for their service and highlighting his desire to work with military leaders on Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) efforts.
“I have some concern about the gap being created between legacy and new programs,” said Senator Cramer. “I want to be a part of the solution.”
Senator Cramer then questioned General Wolters on the nuclear triad and the negative impacts dismantling it would have on our allies in Europe.
“We know our credible deterrent is our triad. It’s the backstop for most of our operational plans around the world,” said Senator Cramer. “If the United States didn’t have this credible nuclear umbrella, would that change Europe’s conventional and nuclear posture?”
General Wolters confirmed it would affect the security of our European allies and further strengthen our mutual adversaries if America’s nuclear capabilities were diminished.
Senator Cramer then pivoted to tying national security to energy security, asking General Wolters about Nord Stream 2, a Russian natural gas pipeline currently under construction which would increase Russia’s exports to the European Union. The senator concluded by highlighting French company Engie recently backing out of a deal to import U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas, opting instead to import Russian natural gas, which has higher emissions levels.
“For those people who want to transfer their climate guilt to other parts of the world, they should know that Vladimir Putin’s natural gas, sent by pipelines to France and other European countries and allies of ours, emits about 40 percent more greenhouse gases than liquid natural gas produced and shipped from the United States,” said Senator Cramer. “We need to help our public better understand the ramifications of climate change globally and the ramifications of hurting America’s domestic production of fossil fuels that are in high demand around the world and not let our allies, much less our adversaries, be dependent on not as clean and certainly not as secure energy resources.”