Pentagon considers moving weapons to eastern Europe, risking tension

Pentagon considers moving weapons to eastern Europe, risking tension
Credit: Seth Robson/Stars and Stripes

The Pentagon is considering positioning heavy weaponry and equipment in Baltic states and eastern Europe to support training with regional allies, officials said Saturday, a move that could heighten tensions with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

Capt. Greg Hicks, a military spokesman, said that Gen. Philip Breedlove,  commander of U.S. European Command and supreme allied commander of NATO Europe, had made a recommendation related to pre-positioning of equipment to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

“The decision rests with [Carter],” Hicks said.

Hicks declined to characterize Breedlove’s recommendation. But officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said that the proposal, if approved, would put equipment such as Humvees or Bradley fighting vehicles at sites in countries that might include Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria or Hungary.

Officials said no decision has been made, but suggested that Carter could approve the proposal ahead of a NATO ministerial meeting later this month.

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