U.S. Begins Military Training Exercises in Eastern Europe

Posted April 23, 2014 at 11:59am

The New York Times reports that “American military exercises in Eastern Europe are to begin Wednesday as part of a move to ease the anxieties of eastern European countries alarmed by Russia’s efforts to reassert its hegemony in the region, Western officials said.”  

“The Russian incursion into Ukraine, including the seizure of Crimea and moves by Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country, has fanned fears in the former eastern bloc, where memories of decades of Russian domination run deep. The conflict in Ukraine has been seen as a test of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s resolve to maintain the post-Cold War order, including borders cemented after the fall of Communism that eastern European countries regard as sacrosanct.”  

“American officials said that about 150 paratroopers from the United States Army’s 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Vicenza, Italy, would arrive Wednesday in Swidwin, in northwestern Poland, to begin exercises with Polish troops.”  

“Troops will also be deployed in the coming days for similar exercises in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, United States officials said. Rear Adm. John F. Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said Tuesday that the exercises would last about a month and would involve ‘real infantry training.’”