“Atlantic Resolve”: U.S. Soldiers Arrive in Bulgaria

Written by on February 16, 2017 in Bulgaria, Latest - No comments

A large number of U.S. Army soldiers has arrived at the joint Novo Selo barracks in eastern Bulgaria. They brought along what the armed forces call “heavy equipment”, meaning tanks and similar vehicles. More of those are scheduled to arrive before this week ends. According to the Bulgarian army, up to 120 U.S. soldiers are now being accommodated at Novo Selo.

In Romania, Bulgaria’s northern neighbor, a total of 350 American soldiers have arrived in the meantime, and 150 more are supposed to show up within the next two weeks. A total of 80 battle tanks and many armored vehicles were transported to this region.

This troop deployment in south-eastern Europe is part of the NATO operation “Atlantic Resolve”, designed to counter Russia’s aggressive approach. The Americans and their allies want to show Moscow they mean business and that they are committed, even after the changes at the White House.

The increasing presence of U.S. troops in Europe, a continent which has not looked the way it does since the end of the Cold War, was agreed on by the Obama Administration. As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump had called NATO “obsolete” and talked about leaving the alliance. But his brand new Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on his first trip to Europe in this position, Trump now “firmly backs NATO”. That amounts to a 180-degree turn, regarding the new President’s position. One of many u-turns.

But the U.S. demands more commitment from its partners. In Brussels, Mattis told the Europeans, Americans could not “care more for your children’s security than you do.”

According to the Bulgarian army, the frequency of joint drills at the Novo Selo barracks will be increased further. A rotation mechanism is in place at the U.S. Army, meaning soldiers will come and go, with new ones following them. Some of them belong to the 3rd armored combat team from Fort Carson in Colorado.

Last month, thousands of U.S. soldiers were deployed in Poland.

By im.





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