A headline in the US military magazine Stars and Stripes last September was eye-catching. It told readers that there were “Big guns, better chow for US soldiers on Russia deterrence mission” in Lithuania. Apparently the guns and chow were provided for the “500 173rd Airborne Brigade soldiers that swooped into the Baltics this month on a mission to deter Russian aggression.”
Then the UK’s Observer newspaper informed us that “US Special Forces have been deployed close to the border with Russia as part of a ‘persistent’ presence of American troops in the Baltics. Dozens of special ops solders are being stationed along Europe’s eastern flank to reassure NATO allies Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The move will also allow the US to monitor Russian manoeuvres amid fears of further destabilisation following its annexation of Crimea in 2014… US special operations forces will complement around 4,000 Nato troops posted to Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia in the coming months.”
It was noted by Nick Turse on January 9 that “for the past two years the US has maintained a Special Operations contingent in almost every nation on Russia’s western border. As Special Operations Command chief General Raymond Thomas put it last year, ‘We’ve had persistent presence in every country — every NATO country and others on the border with Russia doing phenomenal things with our allies, helping them prepare for their threats.”
What threats? What Russian aggression? What destabilisation? Russia has never threatened any Baltic State and there is not the slightest piece of evidence that Russia wants to invade Lithuania.
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