He’s the man standing between Putin and NATO members: General Phillip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and the military head of NATO.
Breedlove doesn’t mince words. “Russia is continuing to destabilise Ukraine in other ways. Russian irregular forces, Russian-backed forces, and Russian financing are very active in eastern Ukraine. This has to stop,” Breedlove told Reuters after a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels on May 24, 2014.
Breedlove is the third airmen to serve as SACEUR. He’s that sought-after combination of serious intellect and warrior credentials and he knows Europe well. Breedlove was an F-16 fighter pilot in Spain and Germany in the 1980s. Read his resume after that and the word that jumps out is command: a squadron in Korea, then major fighter wings in Korea, Arizona and Italy. Selection to command of three different wings is rare and a sign that Breedlove’s superiors held his warfighting skills in the highest regard.
London’s tell-all Daily Mail praised him in an insightful column by Edward Lucas here.