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​Pentagon mulls deployment as Poland asks for 10,000 troops

Published time: April 19, 2014 06:57
US soldiers stand  in front of a Patriot missile battery at an army base in the northern Polish town of Morag (AFP Photo)

US soldiers stand in front of a Patriot missile battery at an army base in the northern Polish town of Morag (AFP Photo)

The Pentagon may deploy more ground troops in Poland, although the number may be much smaller than what the eastern European NATO member wants to see. Washington is seeking to reassure allies amid fears of a Russian aggression.

Warsaw and Washington may announce the deployment of additional American troops in Poland next week, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said following a meeting with his US counterpart, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday.

He added that Poland would play a leading role in the NATO build-up of troops in Eastern Europe, “under US patronage,” the Washington Post reported. He added that the US needs to “re-pivot” back to Europe from Asia to counter “Russian aggression” in Ukraine.

Siemoniak earlier called on the Pentagon to deploy as many as 10,000 American troops in his country. Poland already hosts some 100 to 150 US military servicing a battery of surface-to-air Patriot missiles, which was deployed in 2010 to give Warsaw more confidence for hosting elements of the NATO anti-ballistic missile shield in Europe.

The Polish minister’s calls were mirrored by NATO’s top military commander, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, who said in an interview this month that one of the options the alliance has on the table is to move a 4,500-member combat brigade from Fort Hood, Texas, to Europe.

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel(L) and Poland’s Minister of National Defense Tomasz Siemoniak(R) conduct a press conference April 17, 2014 (AFP Photo / Paul J. Richards)

The Pentagon so far has not given any details about the planned deployment, saying it has multiple options under consideration. But a senior US official told Fox news on Friday that around 130 soldiers may be sent to Poland on a rotational basis.

The US military also announced on Friday the dispatch of a US Army company of about 150 soldiers to Poland to take part in a two-week land-forces exercise.

NATO’s military response to the Ukrainian crisis was to deploy additional aircraft for patrols in European airspace and to send American warships into the Black Sea.

Relations between Russia and the West became strained after an armed coup in February deposed President Viktor Yanukovich following months of protests. Moscow considers the events to have been orchestrated by the EU and the US and does not recognize the post-coup authorities as legitimate.

Moscow reserved the right to use its military force in Ukraine, should massive violence occur there targeting ethnic Russians. It also accepted Crimea, when it voted to break up from Ukraine and become part of Russia. Russia is eyeing the ongoing turmoil in eastern Ukraine cautiously, where Kiev is trying to suppress anti-government protests with the use of military force.

NATO members in Eastern Europe are concerned that the Russian military is strong enough to defeat their national militaries and have been calling on the US to ensure their protection from possible aggression. Moscow believes that the alliance is seeking justification for its existence by blowing the tension over Ukraine out of proportion.

Comments (436)


Marcel 05.06.2014 13:22

Dondon Dondon 07.05.2014 13:41

We need troops on the ground in ukrain To help train the army asp.We the people of the us need to cut all ties with Russia and china if they wasn't your enemy than thay are now.I call on the PENTAGON to let japan build 3 new japaness carriers do to china and Russia aggression.


So much hatred... Mmm... its obvious from which country you are from. Perhaps dialogue is better then warmongering?


Marcel 05.06.2014 13:18

denisovich 22.04.2014 07:26

I really like the Russian times. They report from a Russian perspective but they allow for open commentary and dissent. That is definitely a step in the right direction.


Is your beloved US better in this regard? Do you think the US will report from both sides? e.g. I don't recall they showed the interview with mr. Lavrov for example.


Marcel 05.06.2014 13:14

denisovich 22.04.2014 07:28

When is the last time the US annexed something? I believe it was the same year Stalin sent the Tatars packing.


"Annexing " (as you call it) is the trigger? Really? The US drone attacks, its rendition flights, torturing (gitmo, Abu Graib) attacking numerous countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc, etc.), killing thousands, regime changes, etc. etc. is worse than the peacefull reunification of crimea? Really? I can hear you thinking: "Why do they hate us so much, we only do the good thing, we bring peace, freedom, prosperity, wealth and democracy".

View all comments (436)
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