Aug 8, 2021 - World
Senator asks Pentagon to help Greece fight wildfires
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) penned a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urging the Pentagon to provide additional support to Greece as the country battles devastating wildfires.
State of play: Dozens of wildfires broke out in Greece last week after the country suffered its worst heatwave in decades. They have continued to rage unabated and forced hundreds to evacuate.
- Greece has deployed its army to fight the fires and has received international assistance from Cyprus, France and Israel. Germany also said it would send firefighters and vehicles.
- Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the situation a "nightmarish summer," adding the government's priority "has been, first and foremost, to protect human lives."
- Extreme heat waves are also among the clearest manifestations of human-caused global warming, studies show.
The big picture: Menendez said he applauded a decision by the Department of Defense to deploy a P8 aircraft to Greece to help monitor for "threats to infrastructure and residential areas."
- "These efforts have saved lives and I urge the Department to fulfill additional requests for assistance, including the deployment of CH-47 helicopters," Menendez wrote.
- "Greece is a close and valued NATO ally. I urge the Administration to take all measures necessary to support the people of Greece in their time of need," he added.