The Pentagon has proposed moving a considerable amount of tanks and other heavy weaponry to several Baltic and Eastern European countries. The proposed move would act as a deterrent against further Russian aggression in Europe. Col. Steven H. Warren told the Times that military is still looking for the best locations for the equipment and went on to say that no concrete plan had been made yet.
“The U.S. military continues to review the best location to store these materials in consultation with our allies,”
As NPR noted, the relocation of the military equipment would be the first time since the Cold War that the United States has stationed such equipment in the region. The New York Times estimates that the equipment would be enough for around 3000-5000 soldiers.
While speaking with Reuters, Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius said that the U.S. will likely follow through with the proposed plan. The Defence Minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, also believed that the plan would come to fruition and that it would happen soon.
“The threats to the Baltic region have increased. This has been discussed many times and I view positively (the fact) that talks lead to concrete decisions which, I think, will become a reality.”
The New York Times wrote that the move would send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin. American military involvement in the region would show Russia that the United States is committed to protecting its allies.
“would be the most prominent of a series of moves the United States and NATO have taken to bolster forces in the region and send a clear message of resolve to allies and to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, that the United States would defend the alliance’s members closest to the Russian frontier.”
Tensions have been high in the region ever since Russia annexed Crimea, a Ukrainian territory. Fear that Russia would continue its invasion into neighboring countries have been in the minds of leaders of nations that border Russia. Though the U.S. condemned the invasion of Crimea, nothing was really done other than putting sanctions on the Russian Federation.
The proposal would have to be approved by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, as well as President Obama. The NPR‘s Tom Bowman said that the equipment could move into the region as early as this fall.
The possible countries where the U.S. may station some of its military equipment in Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, and Hungary.
[Photo by Mark Wilson / Getty Images]