- - Thursday, October 8, 2015

Britain will station troops on a more permanent basis in the Baltic NATO countries, including Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. The troops, numbering approximately 100 to begin with, will be part of a new NATO training, evaluation and capacity-building mission comprised of multiple NATO nations. The deployment will be open ended but not technically permanent to avoid violating an agreement signed with Russia at the end of the Cold War.

The Guardian reported, “This is further reassurance for our allies on the eastern flank of Nato – for the Baltic states and for Poland,” said UK Defense Secretary Fallon. “That is part of our more persistent presence on the eastern side of NATO to respond to any further provocation and aggression.”

The United States already has semi-permanent forces in the Baltics as well as Germany. The British troop deployment compliments RAF Typhoon fighters already forward-based to patrol NATO airspace on the border with Russia and the Baltic Sea. The United Kingdom also announced an increase in the number of troops deployed to Ukraine to train forces there as well.

NATO has also agreed to increase the size of its rapid-response force to approximately 40,000 troops, twice its current size. The British deployment and the recent parade of American armor throughout Eastern Europe is an attempt to deter Russia from attempting to repeat its strategy in Ukraine, which caused civil unrest among the Russian speaking population, a holdover from the end of the Cold War, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to rectify.

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