Plans for more troops in Europe remains on track, for now
The Pentagon is moving ahead with plans to deploy more troops, attack helicopters and artillery to Europe early next year as part of a multibillion-dollar effort to reinforce NATO’s defenses along Russia’s periphery, the military said on Thursday.
A Fort Carson-based armored brigade is set to rotate to Europe in January as part of an effort to ensure a year-round presence of tanks and additional troops on the Continent. The deployment, part of the $3.4 billion European Reassurance Initiative, calls for series of other moves aimed at improving the military’s ability to respond to a crisis in Europe.
Yet questions have begun to swirl with the election of Donald J. Trump as president about whether the United States will remain committed to the plan. The Pentagon played down those concerns Thursday.
The military is “executing the plans as they were constructed with our NATO allies in close consultations with NATO, so we’re proceeding forward and we’ll leave it to the next administration to speak to their policy choices,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told reporters.
Cook declined to speculate about whether the Trump administration would remain committed to reinforcing the military’s presence in Europe, which before Russia’s 2014 intervention in Ukraine had been on steady decline.
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