Shortly after 4,000 U.S. troops were deployed in Poland and Lithuania, the White House continues to aggravate Russia by sending soldiers to Norway. This marks the first time that American troops were sent to the Arctic country since World War II.
Norway, which shares a border with Russia, accepted hundreds of soldiers from North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune on Monday for a six-month deployment. According to Rune Haarstad of the Norwegian Home Guards, the deployment involves training the U.S. soldiers in an Arctic environment.
“For the first four weeks they will have basic winter training, learn how to cope with skis and to survive in the Arctic environment,” he said according to Reuters.
Due to Norway’s close proximity to Russia and NATO’s recent military deployments in Poland, the move to station U.S. soldiers in these countries can be viewed as part of the international alliance’s actions against NATO.
It is being considered as a pre-emptive step to ensure that NATO and its allies are poised to strike in case Russia does something drastic. This began following Vladimir Putin’s alleged aggressive actions in nearby countries and the reported deployment of nuclear-ready missiles in Kaliningrad.
However, despite these military deployments, Haarstad pointed out that the U.S.’ military exercises in Norway have nothing to do with the growing tension between Russia and NATO.
Aside from Norway and Poland, it was also confirmed that the U.S. deployed special forces in Lithuania earlier this month.
According to Asta Galdikaite, the spokesperson for the Lithuanian Defense Ministry, the presence of these U.S. operators in the country serves as a deterrent against Russia following its annexation of Crimea.
“The United States was the first to offer additional safety assurance measures to the Baltic countries following deterioration of the security situation in the region after the annexation of Crimea,” she said according to The Sun.
“U.S. Special Operations Forces presence in Lithuania is one of the deterrents,” she added.