In spite of recent claims that the United States had no intentions of sending military boots to Eastern Europe, today the Department of Defense admitted that 150 Army paratroopers based in Vicenza, Italy, have arrived in Poland. They are members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.
As a direct response to the recent political climate in Ukraine and the Russian invasion of the Crimean Peninsula, some 600 American troops are being sent to Poland, Romania, and the Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia.
No match for the 40,000 Russian forces that have amassed on the eastern border of Ukraine, the U.S. troops are meant as a show of support to NATO allies in the area.
There is no love lost between the Baltic Nations and Russia, as the once independent states were sucked into the former U.S.S.R. and forced to live under Communist rule for decades.
In the process of downsizing forces under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) the U.S. has closed dozens of bases in Europe since 2005. In February, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the U.S. is in the process of downsizing our military to its lowest levels in 74 years.
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