Photo: General Christopher Cavoli/7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command/wikimedia.org
U.S. Army General Christopher Cavoli was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday evening, June 23, Voice of America reports.
Cavoli, who currently in command of US Army forces on the European continent, will succeed US Air Force General Todd Walters as head of US European Command, as well as commander-in-chief of NATO forces.
Cavoli will assume command at a July 1 ceremony. He is taking over the reins as Russian forces advance into the Donbas.
Ukrainian leaders are increasingly calling on the Biden administration to provide Ukraine with longer-range artillery and the latest weapons, such as combat drones.
Cavoli also takes office at a time when NATO is considering granting membership to Sweden and Finland, Scandinavian countries that have maintained official neutrality for decades. All 30 NATO member countries must vote on the admission of Sweden and Finland to the Alliance. However, Turkey has raised objections that could hinder the expansion of the bloc.
In May, testifying at his confirmation hearing for a position on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Cavoli supported NATO expansion and commended the military capabilities of both countries.
NATO will host a long-awaited summit in Madrid next week, at which leaders are expected to adopt a new strategic concept, discuss increasing the Alliance forces on the eastern flank, as well as continuing assistance to Ukraine. Putin's invasion of Ukraine has resulted in a consolidation of NATO positions.
Cavoli confirmed his support for Alliance members increasing their defense spending beyond the current 2 percent of gross domestic product set by the 2014 Wales Pledge.< /p>
The four-star general speaks fluent Russian and received a master's degree from Yale University in Russian studies. He served as Director for Russia on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
His promotion was approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 15th. The Senate also confirmed several other American military commanders in command posts in Europe.
Prepared by: Sergey Daga