Between 3,500 and 4,000 U.S. Army troops entered Poland as part of an arrangement that will see U.S. troops deployed there on a “continuous” (i.e. permanent) basis.
The U.S. troops are to fan out across Poland, as well as the Baltic States, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.
Along with the soldiers making up three armoured brigade combat teams, the U.S. shipped “a full set of tanks and artillery” and more than 2,500 “military vehicles” to Poland.
While much is said about the encirclement of Russia by U.S. and NATO troops it is important to note that the U.S. is taking over territory of more and more sovereign countries in Europe all in the name of deterring Russia.
Not only does this represent a threat to Russia and its peoples but also the peoples of eastern Europe whose governments are placing their countries in the service of U.S. war preparations.
The permanent stationing of U.S. military in these countries means that in the name of security for U.S. and other NATO troops and equipment there will be stepped up criminalization of all those who do not accept that their territories are used in the service of war. In addition the U.S. military will also directly interfere in the affairs of these countries in the name of protecting U.S. national interest.
While most of the troops arrived directly in Poland from the U.S., others — along with equipment — arrived in Germany at the port of Bremerhaven then travelled by road convoy across Germany to Poland. Protests greeted them in Bremerhaven with people marching on city streets carrying signs and banners reading, “No NATO deployments! End the militaristic march against Russia!” and “Out of NATO.”
By contrast, the Polish government and military officials welcomed the U.S. troops with fanfare, organizing “Safe Poland” picnics for the occasion to try and encourage residents to mingle with the U.S. soldiers as well as their Polish counterparts and view the military hardware they had brought.
Poland’s Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz is reported to have said that a total of 7,000 U.S. and NATO troops will be stationed in his country soon. He said U.S. troops would help ensure “freedom, independence and peace in Europe and the whole world” and that Poland was proud of “joint efforts that guarantee the security of Europe and of the eastern flanks of NATO.” In remarks at a welcoming ceremony he also said, “‘We waited for you for a very long time, for decades.”
U.S. European Command General Curtis Scaparrotti said: “Today, marks a significant moment in European deterrence and defense as our rotational Armored Brigade Combat Team crossed from German to Polish soil. The European infrastructure and integrated support has enabled our force to rapidly be ready and postured should they need to deter Russian aggression.”
Spokesperson for the Russian government Dmitri Peskov said, “We see it as a threat to us. This is an action that threatens our interests, our security, moreover, this is a third nation that is increasing its military presence near our borders in Europe, and it’s not even a European nation. One thousand or 10,000 — we’re talking about the increase of military presence.”
In April, the U.S. will also be sending a squadron from its 2nd Cavalry Regiment to northeastern Poland. While the January 9 deployment is not under NATO, the upcoming April deployment is. At its Warsaw Summit in July NATO announced plans to send four multinational brigades of about 1,000 troops each, along with an array of tanks, other armoured vehicles and drones to the Baltic States and Poland in early 2017. At a meeting of NATO defence ministers in October it was reported that troops from Britain and Romania would be joining a U.S.-led NATO brigade in Poland. Troops from several other countries would join brigades stationed in Lithuania (commanded by Germany), Estonia (commanded by Britain) and Latvia (commanded by Canada).
On January 16 330 U.S. marines arrived at the Norwegian base in Vaernes.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says the U.S. is “actively investing in the development of military infrastructure and potentials of rapid deployment of major military units close to the Russian borders, including updating of the network of airfields where US large transport airplanes could land.” She also made reference to an arms depot the U.S. recently re-commissioned in the Netherlands “to house a brigade set of heavy armour” and to a similar facility it intends to create in Belgium and two more in Germany.