This Is Happening

[Content Note: War; militarism.]

Seems like something we oughta know about:
The new Army commander in Europe plans to bolster the U.S. armored presence in Poland and the Baltic states and keep rotations of U.S. troops there through next year and possibly beyond to counter Russia.

Lt. Gen. Frederick "Ben" Hodges, who replaced Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell earlier this month as commander of U.S. Army Europe, said the Army was looking to add about 100 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to the forces in Eastern Europe.

"We are looking at courses of action for how we could pre-position equipment that we would definitely want to put inside a facility where it would be better maintained, that rotational units could then come and draw on it and use it to train, or for contingency purposes," Hodges said in a briefing from Vilnius, Lithuania.

Hodges visited a training site in Lithuania that could be used to store armor and said he would look at similar sites in Estonia and Poland.

"Certainly, I don't see a need to build infrastructure -- a FOB [Forward Operating Base] if you will -- or anything like that, that would be used for U.S. forces," Hodges said.

Since taking command, Hodges has made clear his concerns about Russia, which annexed Crimea last March and has supported the separatists in eastern Ukraine. U.S. Army Europe, which had 280,000 troops at the height of the Cold War, now has 31,000.

The rotations of U.S. troops on training missions in Eastern Europe would provide "deterrence against Russian aggression," Hodges said.
Up until this point, the U.S. has provided only non-lethal aid to Ukraine—about $100 million worth, in the form of night-vision goggles, counter-mortar radars, protective gear, vehicles, blankets, and MREs. And this doesn't appear to change that policy, despite the fact that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko "has been pleading with the U.S. for advanced weaponry to counter the Russian troops and rebels."

Per "a senior administration official traveling with Vice President Joe Biden on his trip to Ukraine last week," the administration believes there's no point in arming Ukraine because "no matter how many weapons we provided to Ukraine, they were going to get outgunned by the Russians."


Instead, the decision is to bolster our military presence in the region with tanks and armored vehicles, and just sit there making sure Russia knows we'll use 'em if they get too "aggressive."

Welcome to the Cold War 2.0.

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