Just in case you were not aware, NATO has some 28 member countries that are supposed to protect themselves against Russia.
Warsaw—President Barack Obama said he would send more U.S. military equipment and increase joint exercises in Poland as he proposed a new $1 billion fund Tuesday to bolster European security.
The moves come as an extension of the White House campaign to reassure anxious Eastern European allies that the U.S. would act if what it sees as Russian aggression in Ukraine spreads to other parts of the region.
Mr. Obama also promised further deployments of American forces to Eastern Europe and said the proposed fund would pay for storing more military equipment and expanding exercises in Poland.
The fund—which the White House announced as Mr. Obama arrived in Poland at the start of a four-day visit to Europe—would require approval from Congress. It would pay for the increased military exercises and stepped-up U.S. presence in Europe, including further navy deployments to the Black and Baltic seas.
As Eastern European allies have grown fearful of Russia, the U.S. has sought to reassure them through an expanded series of exercises and deployments, including fighter jets and a company of about 150 soldiers in Poland.
Mr. Obama said shortly after arriving in Poland that European security is the “cornerstone of our own security and it is sacrosanct.”
“It is a commitment that is particularly important at this point in time,” Mr. Obama said in an airport hangar with U.S. and Polish troops.
Poland has been pushing for a larger deployment of U.S. forces as a deterrent after Russia moved to annex the Ukrainian region of Crimea and amid unrest in eastern Ukraine that the West accuses Russia of instigating. Russia denies starting the turmoil.
Polish President Bronisław Komorowski said the U.S. and Poland were “on the same page” and promised that his country would increase its military spending to 2% of its gross domestic product. The 2% GDP spending target is the official North Atlantic Treaty Organization standard, but few countries meet it.
A NATO military officer confirmed that most Russian troops have now pulled back from the Ukrainian border, a move the U.S. has said will help de-escalate tensions.
“Everyone is interested in developing as good a relationship with Russia as possible,” Mr. Komorowski said.
Mr. Obama agreed but insisted the U.S. wouldn’t be “sacrificing principle in pursuit of relations.”…
Russia didn’t immediately comment on the proposal, but officials have warned that any expansion of NATO military presence in Eastern Europe would constitute a threat to Russian security and lead the Kremlin to consider deploying more weapons of its own along its western borders. Russia has already been building up military forces in the Kaliningrad region, an enclave between Lithuania and Poland…