EU File: NATO counters Russian aggression in Ukraine’s Crimea, Donbass, possible thrusts toward Mariupol, Odessa, Baltic states, with ongoing “Atlantic Resolve” deployments, drills in FSU, ex-Soviet Bloc; Latvia hosts troops from Lithuania, Germany, Luxembourg, USA, Canada, NATO’s “Summer Shield” designed to “enhance Latvian Land Force’s capacity and capability to integrate fire-and-maneuver at battalion and brigade level’; Pentagon deploys: 1) 12 A-10 Thunderbolt IIs to Romania, mission designed to “deter Russian aggression in region,” follows arrival of 4 “Warthog” tank-buster aircraft in Poland; 2) 12 F-15s to Bulgaria for joint exercise; 3) 290 US paratroopers from Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade to W. Ukraine for joint training with 900 Ukrainian National Guardsmen; NATO military chief, Gen. Breedlove, comments on recent US Army Stryker convoy through Baltics, Poland, Czech Rep., Germany: “The exercise tested many things that hadn’t been done for a long time in NATO … like multiple border crossings and which bridges are capable of handling the vehicles”; Lithuanian State Security Dept. claims 1/3 of Russian diplomats in EU spying for Russia’s SVR, warns “Moscow could test the alliance with unconventional tactics”
April 2, 2015
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Breedlove’s comments are noteworthy. “Dragoon Ride” was more than a morale booster for Central and Eastern Europeans fearful of another Russian invasion/occupation. NATO is testing its own abilities in its main theater of operation: Europe.
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