U.S. considering boosting forces in Europe for defense against Russia

Military Times reports: The Pentagon is discussing plans to permanently move one or more Army brigade combat teams back to Europe, where the top American commander has signaled an urgent need to shore up allied defenses against the Russians, Military Times has learned.

If approved, the move could involve thousands of troops — an average BCT is composed of between 3,000 and 5,000 personnel — and mark the first time in decades that U.S. European Command has increased its footprint on the continent.

The EUCOM Commander, Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, discussed his proposals with top-level Pentagon officials while in Washington last week, according to a defense official familiar with the plans. Any increase would come in addition to the brigade-size force that would rotate through Eastern Europe as part of the $3.4 billion “European Reassurance Initiative,” which was included in the Pentagon’s latest budget request. [Continue reading…]

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