Citing fears over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, the U.S. Army Europe has embarked on conducting Operation Atlantic Resolve (OAR) as a show of force near Russia’s border with Europe. America and Europe fear that Russia could attempt similar land grabs from its former Soviet satellite states.
As part of OAR, heavy military vehicles deployed from the USA will be positioned at strategic locations in eastern Europe and the Baltics. In total, 3,300 troops will bring 2,500 pieces of equipment across the Atlantic Ocean. The total will include 87 Abrams tanks, roughly 140 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 18 Paladin howitzers, and 395 other tracked vehicles.
The USA’s official position is that the deployment is nothing more than a large-scale exercise meant to stress logistics skills that would be needed in case of a war on the continent. The equipment arrived by ship in Antwerp and will be prepared for onward transport to Eastern Europe. Some of the equipment will use inland waterways from Antwerp to Mannheim, Germany, to test an additional mode of transport besides road and rail. While 280 of the wheeled vehicles will use Europe’s road network, spaced out into smaller columns. The majority of the equipment will make the trip by rail to various locations in the three Baltic nations as well as Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.
In conjunction with OAR, Europe is showing its might by conducting Exercise Sabre Strike (ESS). The 2nd Cavalry Regiment from the Bavarian town of Vilseck will partake in the exercise being conducted in Poland and the Baltics from June 3-15. The United States will contribute 12,500 troops out of a total of 18,000 participants to that drill.
OAR and ESS demonstrate two things. First, America continues to bear the cost burden for more than its fair share of protecting Europe. Oddly enough, I can find no information on the general or detailed cost figures for OAR, but you can bet it runs into the tens of millions. Furthermore, if Europe planned a show of force against Russia as part of ESS, why are nearly 70% of the troops from the USA? Second, one has to think of America’s reaction to the Cuban Crisis in which the Russians attempted to place nuclear missiles in Cuba in defiance of America’s Sphere of Influence (SOI). America’s SOI was sacrosanct and to preserve it, America would go full nuclear under President Kennedy if necessary. Today, American military troops dance on the very border of Russia and claim that Moscow is the aggressor.