The troops will help train local forces and add to intelligence gathering operations carried out by the CIA
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.
General Raymond Thomas, head of the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command, said the Baltic states were “desperate” for America’s help in deterring potential Russian aggression.
He told The New York Times: “They’re scared to death of Russia. They are very open about that.”
Lithuanian defence ministry spokeswoman Asta Galdikaite confirmed the US had offered “additional safety assurance measures to the Baltic countries following the deterioration of the security situation in the region”.
The troops will also help train local forces and add to intelligence gathering operations carried out by the CIA.
Full article: US Special Forces deployed at Russian border to defend Baltic states ‘scared to death’ by Vladimir Putin (The Independent)