Tuberville Presses Defense Official About Growing Russia Threat

WASHINGTON: Today, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) questioned the Commander of United States European Command, Christopher Cavoli, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Senator Tuberville pushed General Cavoli on the increasing likelihood of a conflict with Russia and the United States’ current military readiness levels.

Excerpts from Senator Tuberville’s remarks can be found below, and his full remarks can be found on YouTube and Rumble.

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Good morning, both of you.

General, since the Crocus Massacre, I guess that was in Moscow, […] Russia has picked up their pace in Ukraine. Is that correct?”

CAVOLI: “Yes. I’m not sure it’s a consequence of that though, but yes, Sir.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Yeah. With Secretary Blinken coming out a couple of weeks ago, basically saying that Ukraine will be in NATO – I’m sure that didn’t fly too well in Russia. So, it’s obvious to me, just being in all these meetings and hearings, not just [with] you, but other people – [that] we’re getting ready to go to war with Russia.

Have we got a game plan for that? For how many people we’re going to need on the ground, young men and women from the United States when this war starts?”

CAVOLI: “Sir, we have standing operational plans around the globe for a variety of problems.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “How many do you think it’s going to take for us to beat Russia. Because Ukraine can’t beat Russia.”

CAVOLI: “Sir, can I take that in a closed session please, Sir?”


CAVOLI: “Thanks.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “What about the budget?

Sixty billion is going to be a drop in a bucket to the American taxpayer. We’re $35 trillion in debt.

What is this going to cost us? I know y’all have surely put the numbers [together of] our conflict versus Russia when this all starts. Have we done that?”

CAVOLI: “Sir, the number I would have to talk in closed session about also. But I agree, if we were to go to war with Russia, […] the money we’re spending in Ukraine would be a drop in the bucket.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Yeah. Where are we going to get our energy from when this starts?

Because, they don’t have any in Europe. The Saudis, I don’t know where they’re going to help us out. We’re going to buy […] from Iran, because we’re not pumping the oil and gas that we need. 

Where are we going to get our fuel for a war like this?”

CAVOLI: “Sir, that’s outside of my area of expertise, but I’m sure I can get you the answer.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Do we have enough right now? You know, to get a war started on the ground there for our troops.”

CAVOLI: “Yeah. We do, Sir.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Okay. Who is Turkey going to fight with when this war starts between the United States and Russia?”

CAVOLI: “Turkey will fight with the Alliance is my prediction, but all nations have their sovereign right to make that decision when the time comes.”


CAVOLI: “It’s the same.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Do you think most everybody else will stick with us in this fight?”

CAVOLI: “I do.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Everything that I read over the past few months is most of the militaries in NATO are boutique militaries. Do you agree with that?”

CAVOLI: “I’m not sure what a boutique military is, Sir.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Small. A shadow of what it used to be. [They] haven’t been preparing.”

CAVOLI: “Yeah. I would agree with that. For instance, the U.S. Army is now 450,000. When I joined it, it was 785,000.

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “So, with Ukraine, fighting right now as they are.

Do we have any count of numbers of how many soldiers that they have actually fighting? That they have in their military against Russia?”

CAVOLI: “Yes, absolutely, Senator.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Yeah. Do you have a number of that?”

CAVOLI: “Yeah. It’s between 900,000 and 1,000,000 right now.”


CAVOLI: “Yes, Sir.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “How about Russia?

How many do they have deployed within Ukraine – not on the borders – but how many do they have deployed in Ukraine?”

CAVOLI: “Inside the country, 470,000, outside the country, more, and then they have the rest of their military.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Yeah. My understanding is after the Massacre, they have been growing at 40,000 soldiers a month that are volunteering for the military. 

Is that pretty good intel or not?”

CAVOLI: “I’m tracking 30,000, but yes.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Thirty thousand. So [they are] growing more than it was, […] before the Massacre.

Is that correct?”

CAVOLI: “The size of the Russian military is bigger today than it was when the war started, and it’s bigger today than when the Massacre started. Yes. 

In fact, I think what you’re pointing to is they have initiated their annual spring conscription. […] This year, they did 150,000 they announced that they intend to take in under the draft that’s right about average for a spring conscription. The difference is this year they are offering those conscripts after one month of service, the option to sign a contract, [and] get paid in exchange for being able to be sent to Ukraine to fight.”


Do you feel a sense of urgency in our supply chain now of building the munitions that we need?

Because they have not been there. I know in my state of Alabama, there’s not been a lot of sense of urgency of building javelins and things like that. Now we’re building them as fast as we can, but there’s no sense of urgency.”

CAVOLI: “Sir, I sense an increased urgency in demand. I can’t speak to whether there’s an increased urgency in the base itself to produce.”

SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Thank you, General.”

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.