The Marine Corps commandant thought to be taking over the Joint Chiefs of Staff told lawmakers Russia was the “greatest threat” to US national security, echoing claims made by Air Force’s civilian chief and the recently published US military strategy.

In a pre-confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Joseph Dunford called Russian actions “nothing short of alarming,” backed weapons deliveries to the Ukrainian government and warned that budget sequestration will hurt the US military’s capabilities.

“Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security,” Dunford said. “If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia.”

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