In a move that may be considered a major escalation in the Ukraine war, the United States and NATO could decide to send tanks and other heavy weapons to Eastern Europe, in order to demonstrate their resolve to Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
Though the proposal is said to be pending approval from the Pentagon, photographs in circulation reveal that these weapons are already en route to the region. This would be the first time since the last cold war that a military build-up such as this had taken place in Eastern Europe.
James Stavridis, a retired NATO commander, said that this “is a very meaningful shift in policy” and that it “provides a reasonable level of reassurance to jittery allies.”
Latvia Minister of Defense, Raimonds Vejonis, said that if “something happens, we can’t wait days or weeks for more equipment, we need to act immediately.”
Though these weapons wouldn’t be much, compared to what Russia can unleash on short notice given its geographic location, it would be strong indicator to the Kremlin that the West is ready to take things to the next level. This would also likely be interpreted by Russia as a violation of an agreement between the Kremlin and NATO, which stated that substantial ground combat forces would not be stationed permanently near Russian borders.