Poland and Lithuania have confirmed that talks are underway for the United States to station heavy military weapons in warehouses across the Baltic states. The confirmation came after unnamed Pentagon officials who have spoken on condition of anonymity with The New York Times revealed the government’s plan of basing battle tanks, armored vehicles, high-caliber weapons and as much as 5,000 troops.
The confirmation came as the Pentagon launched its first law of war manual on June 12.
U.S. shall decide soon
The Pentagon is already in negotiations with its plans of stationing heavy military equipments and as much as 5,000 troops across warehouses in the Baltic states, a U.S. official confirmed to Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius told Reuters he is anticipating “concrete decision” regarding the matter soon.
“The threats to the Baltic region have increased. This has been discussed many times and I view positively (the fact) that talks lead to concrete decisions which, I think, will become a reality,” the Lithuanian prime minister said.
Poland’s defense minister has spoken in the same tune, saying he is expecting for Pentagon to announce its decision soon.
“During talks in Washington in May I have been assured that the decision will be taken soon. This is another step to increase U.S. presence in Poland and the region,” the defense minister tweeted as seen by Reuters.
U.S. putting heavy weaponry in Baltic
The Pentagon is poised to station weaponry enough to arm 150 soldiers each to be deployed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, The New York Times reported Sunday. The U.S. will also arm a battalion or as many as 750 soldiers each to be located in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. The plan is aimed at deterring possible Russian invasion in Europe, unnamed sources told The New York Times.
Sources said the Pentagon is expected to announce its decision ahead of NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels which is set to take place before June ends. The last time that U.S. stationed heavy military arsenals in the region was back during the Cold War era.
Pentagon launches first law of war manual
On June 12, Pentagon announces its first law of war manual, compiling legal parameters in relations to conducting warfare. The defense department said the manual will serve as source for legal practitioners and other military and civilian personnel on the international law principles governing armed conflict.
“It reflects the U.S. military’s longstanding commitment to the rule of law and represents an important milestone in our ongoing implementation of the law of war,” said DoD General Counsel Stephen Preston.
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