Last month, the U.S. sent 150 troops to Poland for military exercises (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27671691). This week, U.S. President Barak Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sent a dozen U.S. Air Force F-16s to train in Poland and increased the boots on the ground there to 300 (http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/12/world/la-fg-wn-poland-fighters-20140312).
These were the right actions. As the Los Angeles Times wrote in the headline for the article linked above, such deployments, even for short periods of training, have a an effect of reassuring our Eastern European allies and deterring our Russian adversaries. These actions demonstrate the U.S. commitment to the NATO Alliance and to European security.
These exercises mark the anniversary of Lek Walesa and the Solidarity movement ousting Communist rule in Poland. They also mark an alliance that began in the American War for Independence when Polish military engineer Koscusko built fortifications at West Point. The alliance continued in the 1980s when Walesa and Pope John Paul II (who was Polish) stood with President Reagan and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher against the Soviet Union. And more recently, the Poles fought with the U.S. alongside the UK, Canada, Australian and New Zealand in Iraq and Afghanistan during the War on Terrorism.
Bravo Mr. President. Bravo Mr. Secretary.
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What do you think about the U.S. sending troops to Eastern Europe? Are we showing enough resolve to deter Vladimir Putin? Let us know in the comments below.
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