“In a significant move to deter possible Russian aggression in Europe, the Pentagon is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 American troops in several Baltic and Eastern European countries,” nytimes.com reports. “The proposal, if approved, would represent the first time since the end of the Cold War that the United States has stationed heavy military equipment in the newer NATO member nations in Eastern Europe that had once been part of the Soviet sphere of influence.” Stored. I like that. So when can I store a proper fully-automatic rifle in my gun safe? *crickets chirping* Anyway, considering the size of the Russian forces amassed on its borders, the U.S. stockpile is small beer, a symbolic move . . .
The “prepositioned” stocks — to be stored on allied bases and enough to equip a brigade of 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers — also would be similar to what the United States maintained in Kuwait for more than a decade after Iraq invaded it in 1990 and was expelled by American and allied forces early the next year . . .
As the proposal stands now, a company’s worth of equipment — enough for about 150 soldiers — would be stored in each of the three Baltic nations: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Enough for a company or possibly a battalion — about 750 soldiers — would be located in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and possibly Hungary, they said . . .
American military specialists have conducted site surveys in the countries under consideration, and the Pentagon is working on estimates about the costs to upgrade railways, build new warehouses and equipment-cleaning facilities, and to replace other Soviet-era facilities to accommodate the heavy American weaponry. The weapons warehouses would be guarded by local or security contractors, and not by American military personnel, officials said.
What could possibly go wrong? Other than Russian special forces parachuting in and taking over in about, what? An hour? Still, it’s a start. And good luck to American military personnel in these states if the excrement hits the rotating air circulation device.