Tensions are rising in the European region as Russia reportedly tries to ignite political division. Moreover, the United States has acknowledged the threat as Pentagon looks into deploying more troops and establishing a better base in light of the said threat.
Thousands of troops could potentially be placed in Europe as the United States discuss plans to move one or more of its Army brigade and combat teams to Europe. The move is in light of the rising Russian threat. According to a report from the Military Times, the move could comprise of 3,000 to 5,000 personnel which also signals the first time in years that the U.S. European Command has bolstered its presence in the European region. EUCOM Commander, Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove reportedly talked with Pentagon officials on the matter.
“They are looking at ways to increase the permanent Army forces in Europe,” the report quoted one of the officials. “They’re trying to figure out ‘how much do we need, and where would it come from?’”
Breedlove also expressed his concern about the size of the present ground force in the continent. “We do not have, in my opinion, enough U.S. forces permanently stationed forward … so I believe that the permanent forces forward need to be reviewed,” Breedlove told reporters in the previous week. The plans and discussions came in place following rising concerns that Russian forces can overwhelm US and NATO troops in the eastern border.
In another report from The Guardian, Jānis Sārts, director of NATO’s strategic communications center of excellence in Riga, recently discussed the threat of Russia causing division and confusion in the continent. It appears that Russia is investing in trolling the internet and while the number of Moscow-backed trolls does not seem significant, NATO did say that they could be the tying denominator for a bigger agenda.
“What we have to do is understand the strategies, the methods, the tactics, and, of course, from that understanding create an ability to resist, respond, and win and protect our societies, the hearts and minds of our people, our value systems, the way our societies work,” Sārts explained.
As to what Russia is preparing for, the official has this to say: “For the unknown. It is establishing a network that can be controlled. You can use it as they have tried to do in Germany, combined with the legitimate issue of refugees, to undercut the political processes in a very serious way. Angela Merkel has been a very adamant supporter of continued sanctions against Russia.”
There is also the question whether Russia is trying to punish Germany.
“If it was just punishment, that would be OK, but it is testing whether they can build on pre-existing problems and create a momentum where there is political change in Germany.” Sārts added. Russia is also funding extreme forces in the region. Whether left or right, extreme forces can be used for any agenda.