Philip Breedlove, NATO Commander

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.

Friendly and capable, Breedlove is also as tough as they come.  See a hint of the steel beneath here at Rolling Thunder motorcycle commemoration from Memorial Day 2012.071212-F-IL243-007



London’s tell-all Daily Mail praised him in an insightful column by Edward Lucas here.