According to Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, NATO intends to send four battalions worth of ground troops to the Russian border along the Baltic, with the troops to be deployed in Poland as well as around the former Soviet states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
Work claimed the deployments are a response to recent Russian military exercises inside Russia, saying they are “extraordinarily provocative” from NATO’s perspective. Russia in turn says the exercises are a response to repeated NATO buildups on their border.
According to Work, the US is going to provide two of the battalions, with the other two coming from Britain and Germany, respectively. This adds to two solid years of NATO buildup in the region, including both troops and pre-positioning of armored vehicles in the region.
NATO officials say they are hoping to get other, smaller member nations to contribute some troops as well, though there is growing exhaustion in the alliance on predictions of an “imminent” Russian invasion of Eastern Europe, something which clearly isn’t happening. Even Germany’s deployment is liable to lead to a public backlash.
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