The Obama administration is hearing growing calls to permanently station a substantial number of troops in Eastern Europe as a deterrent to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putting a large number of U.S. or NATO troops in Eastern Europe would violate a 1997 treaty with Russia, but those arguing for the placement say Putin already broke that treaty by backing the takeover by Russian-backed groups of Ukrainian territory.
“Russia’s aggression and more dangerous military posture in Eastern Europe is a critical test for NATO,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said in a written statement. “Now is the time to bolster our Baltic allies and Poland by basing at least one battalion in each of the four countries. This would restore the confidence of our allies and reestablish a safer balance in the region.”