US troop deployment to Poland proportionate, says Nato

VILNIUS: A senior Nato official on Friday called Washington’s deployment of an armoured brigade to Poland and other eastern allies a “proportionate and measured” response to Russian military activity near the region. “Through the so-called Atlantic Resolve operation there is US armour coming back to Europe and it is a response to what Russia has been doing,” Nato Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller told the Baltic news agency BNS.
US troops and tanks began streaming into Poland on Thursday as part of one of the largest deployments of US forces in Europe since the Cold War, an operation that Russia angrily branded a security “threat”.
“I do want to emphasise that it is proportionate and measured,” Gottemoeller said of the deployment of some “3,500 personnel, 87 tanks and 144 Bradley fighting vehicles.” “This is an important step, but it is meant for deterrence and defence,” she added.
The Atlantic Resolve mission will see US soldiers and heavy equipment also deployed in Nato partners Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary on a rotational basis. Tensions between Russia and the West have escalated over the past two years, triggered by Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its military campaign in Syria since late 2015.
Also last year, Moscow’s deployment of nuclear-capable Iskander missiles into its Kaliningrad outpost and frequent military drills in the Baltic region rattled neighbouring Nato members Poland and Lithuania.