US nominates army general Curtis Scaparrotti as top Nato commander

Scaparrotti (above) is currently commander of US forces in South Korea.
Scaparrotti (above) is currently commander of US forces in South Korea.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama nominated US Army General Curtis Scaparrotti on Friday to become Nato's top military commander, the Pentagon said, a key role as Nato builds up its posture in eastern Europe in a bid to deter Russia.

Scaparrotti, currently commander of US forces in South Korea, would succeed US Air Force General Philip Breedlove as Nato Supreme Allied Commander Europe. His appointment requires US Senate confirmation.

US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement on Friday that Scaparrotti's previous postings coordinating US and international forces had prepared him well for the Nato command.

"General Scaparrotti is one of the US military's most accomplished officers and combat leaders, and it is my hope that the Senate will act quickly on his nomination," Carter said.

Breedlove has been an outspoken critic of Russian military moves during his tenure.

Nato, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, said in a statement on Friday that it had approved Scaparrotti's nomination.