Defense Secretary James Mattis is warning of an "arc of instability" on Europe's periphery.

Speaking to the Munich Security Conference on Friday, Mattis assured allies that the U.S. would stand with NATO partners to confront shared threats.

"We all see our community of nations under threat on multiple fronts as the arc of instability builds on NATO's periphery and beyond," Mattis said.

Mattis told the assembled heads of state and more than 70 defense ministers that President Donald Trump backed NATO.

Although Mattis did not mention Russia by name, his remarks come amid heightened tensions with Moscow, with a Russian spy ship loitering mere miles off the eastern U.S. coast.

On Thursday, Mattis said at NATO headquarters in Brussels that "there's very little doubt that [Russia has] either interfered or they have attempted to interfere in a number of elections," though he declined to specifically cite the U.S. presidential election.

On "America's News HQ" today, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has adopted a more aggressive posture because he was emboldened by the Obama administration.

"We all know that Putin is a thug, and he has a military that is trying to flex its muscle and send a message," Blackburn said. "We probably should not be surprised by such activity."

She said that Trump needs to show Putin that the U.S. will not put up with shows of strength against our nation or our NATO allies.

Watch more above, and let us know what you think in the comments.

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