In a throwback to the Cold War, the US is stationing thousands of troops and tanks right in Russia’s backyard to “enhance deterrence capabilities” in the region.
Soldiers with the 3rd Armoured Brigade made their way to Poland on Monday, where they are taking delivery of more than 2,700 pieces of vehicles and equipment, to include M1A2 Abrams tanks. According to the Pentagon, the unit is there to certify the gear before shipping it off to other NATO allies close by.
Eventually, tanks and other materiel will be stationed in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, and Romania. The move is part of a US exercise called “Operation Atlantic Resolve,” which would see units deployed to the region regularly every nine months.
“These forces here were a direct response to the destabilizing efforts of the Russian government in the Ukraine,” Lt. Gen. Tim Ray, Deputy Commander of US European Command, told KUSA.
Russia invaded the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in 2014 and eventually annexed it. Since then, a number of Baltic states have expressed fears of similar moves against them. Many have been building up their militaries and have been increasing training, sometimes alongside US troops.
Atlantic Resolve calls for additional US troops and the expansion of joint training exercises with NATO allies. The Pentagon is also staging ammunition, fuel, and other equipment in the region to reduce deployment times should “aggressive regional actors” require a response.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said it is “stupid and unrealistic” to think Russia would attack anyone, according to CBS News.
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