Move aims to reassure NATO allies and send message to Russia
The Pentagon has drawn up plans to position American troops, tanks and other armored vehicles full time along NATO’s eastern borders to deter Russian aggression, in what would be the first such deployment since the end of the Cold War.
The Pentagon intends the plans as an escalation of a proposal it announced last year, when it said it was looking at ways to increase U.S. military deterrence in Eastern Europe, such as prepositioning older materiel in the region.
Some countries on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s eastern flank have expressed concern about the depth of the U.S. commitment to their defense—especially in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Ukraine.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work said the new plan should allay such worries because it would position more of the U.S. Army’s best and most-modern equipment in the area, while rotating in a brigade’s worth of U.S. Army troops.
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The new gear includes 250 tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Paladin self-propelled howitzers as well as more than 1,700 additional wheeled vehicles and trucks.
Combined with equipment already in Europe, “there will be a division’s worth of stuff to fight if something happens,” Mr. Work told The Wall Street Journal. “If push came to shove, they’d be able to come together as a cohesive unit that has trained together, with all their organic equipment, and fight. That’s a lot better than what we have right now.”Read the rest of the story HERE.
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