US, NATO Boost Presence Near Russia

US sees Black Sea as growing hotspot

US military officials are discussing an intention to shift military forces out of Central Europe, and into the Black Sea, which they believe is a growing hotspot in NATO tensions with Russia. European Command says this will increase operational capabilities in the area.

NATO’s military deployments tend to be Russia-centric, previously shifting into the Baltic states to get troops close to Russia, and now having done that, the Black Sea is the new target. Defense Secretary Mark Esper tied this to US troop cuts from Germany.

NATO has talked about trying to get their handful of Black Sea states to invest more in their navies, but the most recent incidents have seen the US repeatedly deploying spy planes around the Russian border, only to get intercepted and driven away.

This too shows US interest in the region, which is the site of a substantial part of Russia’s Navy, and where NATO has been keen to confront Russia on behalf of its neighbor, the Ukraine.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.