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A recent announcement from Washington that the United States is giving a four-fold boost to its military spending in Europe has sent waves of joy through Lithuania, but it appears that most of the US military presence will be concentrated in Western Europe, which has the necessary infrastructure already in place to support American forces, rather than Eastern Europe.
Baltic States disappointed as new US forces to be concentrated in Western Europe
© DELFI (R. Achmedovo nuotr.)

US Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute said on Tuesday that additional heavy weaponry from the Unites States would be pre-positioned in Western European countries based on bilateral agreements. Meanwhile Eastern Europe will continue to host military equipment necessary for exercises of American troops which, the ambassador said, would become even more intense.

The US Department of Defense said last week it would raise its spending on deterring Russia and increasing the US presence in Europe to USD 3.4 billion.

The move is a response to security concerns of NATO allies in Eastern Europe over Russia's aggression in Ukraine.

Half of this spending will be used to pre-position tanks and other military equipment in Western Europe.

Lute described the pre-positioning heavy equipment in Europe as “modern deterrence” or “21st century deterrence”, a flexible, rapid-reaction force in contrast with the heavy, fixed force that existed during the Cold War. He rejected media criticism that the US move is provocative. "NATO has not invaded anyone recently," he said.

 Douglas Lute
Douglas Lute
© AFP/Scanpix
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