US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James stated that Russia is the number one threat to the United States, Reuters reported.
"Russia is the No. 1 threat to the United States. We have a number of threats that we're dealing with, but Russia could be, because of the nuclear aspect, an existential threat to the United States," James stated while speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the annual Reagan National Defense Forum.
The Air Force Secretary also mentioned that Russia’s intercepts of US aircraft as well as activities in cyberspace “cause great concern”.
In addition to James, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson and Pentagon chief arms buyer Frank Kendall, also voiced concern over the threat posed by Russia.
According to Kendall, while US policy has recently focused on threats in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East, more attention is now being paid to Russia. "Russia’s behavior has caused us… to rethink the balance of capabilities that we're going to need,” he said.
Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson pointed out the importance of frequent contacts with Russia, saying at the same time that he often deals with officials from China, but not from Russia or Iran. The Admiral noted the increased activity of the Russian fleet over the world, in particular in the Mediterranean Sea and in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean.