This latest move by the Trump administration telegraphs that American policy toward freezing Russia out of the Eastern European orbit has not changed.
The United States in the last week has initiated Patriot missile sales to multiple East European and Baltic countries, as well as deployed the missile system in Lithuania for NATO war game exercises.
“The deployment of Patriots is important because it demonstrates that such moves are no longer a taboo in the region,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimondas Karoblis told Reuters, referring to the NATO exercise that began on Tuesday.
“It proves that the missiles can be brought to wherever they are needed, which is very important,” Karoblis added.
The missile systems will take part in multinational defense drills, titled “Exercise Tobruk Legacy 2017,” which will run until July 22. The exercise will train NATO ground-based air defense units to coordinate with one another and “refine airspace command and control procedure,” according to the Lithuanian Defense Ministry.
A deal was also struck last Thursday between Poland and U.S. arms contractor Raytheon, the missile’s producer, that includes eight of the systems, which is expected to be finalized by this November.
In light of tensions in the region, largely sparked by the American-orchestrated coup in Ukraine in 2014—dubbed the “most blatant coup in history” by Stratfor founder George Friedman—Poland has made moves to modernize its military, spending over $14.5 billion on new weapons and gear, which includes better missile defense units.
The United States in the last week has initiated Patriot missile sales to multiple East European and Baltic countries, as well as deployed the missile system in Lithuania for NATO war game exercise…