The U.S. Army plans to send 100 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles into Eastern Europe as a deterrent to “Russian aggression.”
Lt. Gen. Frederick “Ben” Hodges, the commander of U.S. Army Europe, told reporters of the decision while in Lithuania.
The officer said that he didn’t believe Russia would plan a convention attack against NATO members states but that its leaders want to create ambiguity and “plant the seeds of uncertainty so that [NATO] members lose confidence that the rest of the alliance would come to their aid if they were, in fact, attacked,” Military Times reported Monday.
Besides Lithuania, the Pentagon is considering sites in Estonia and Poland to house its armored vehicles.
“We are looking at courses of action for how we could pre-position equipment that we would definitely want to put inside a facility where it would be better maintained, that rotational units could then come and draw on it and use it to train, or for contingency purposes,” said Lt. Gen. Hodges, Military Times reported.
The Pentagon’s decision comes after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March and Moscow’s ongoing military operations in support of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Russian officials deny charges that they are fueling unrest in the region.