U.S. infantry arrived at a military base in Estonia last week in Washington’s renewed effort to train allied troops and secure Europe’s eastern flank amid the Ukraine War.
Col. Mati Tikerpuu, the commander of the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the Estonian Defense Forces, said in a statement that these new troops will include a “battalion command element that will allow us to integrate our allies on a brigade level and gain an additional maneuver unit.”
The troops will be stationed at the Taara base in Võru and will train alongside Estonia forces. The base is about 20 miles from the Russian border.
Colonel Richard J. Ikena, the 1st Infantry Division artillery commander, said in a statement that the troops are excited to be in the country and look “forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder, alongside our allies. This is an opportunity to learn from one another, deepen our interoperability, and form stronger bonds.”
Besides the new forces, the U.S. is expected to deploy a HIMARS platoon and various command and control equipment and systems.
Moscow, in turn, has condemned the buildup of the alliance’s forces on its borders and the funneling of arms into Ukraine, RT.com reported. The Kremlin said this will only prolong the conflict without changing the outcome.
TREND FORECAST: Kaja Kallas, the Estonian prime minister, has been one of the leading voices in opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and like other Baltic states, has been egging on a major confrontation with Russia.
She wrote an op-ed in Foreign Affairs titled, “No Peace on Putin’s Terms.” She also disparaged any attempt to negotiate.
“I keep reminding my colleagues who want to pick up the phone and talk to Putin,” she said. “OK, fine—talk to him. But don’t forget he is a war criminal. Right now he’s stealing Ukraine’s grain and threatening famine to get sanctions lifted. His state propagandists talk openly about hunger as Russia’s last hope. This is who you’re dealing with.”
The Trends Journal reported in June that it seems to be the smallest countries that are looking for a wider conflict with Russia. (See “BALTIC STATES TALK TOUGH WHEN IT COMES TO PUTIN.”) Therefore, with a population of just 1.3 million, should WWIII escalate, Russia will swiftly overrun and occupy Estonia.
U.S. To Train More Ukrainian Troops in Germany
The Pentagon announced last week that it will provide Ukrainian forces with combined arms and joint maneuver training at a military base in Germany in an effort to get more skilled fighters back on the front line during its conflict with Russia.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said the training is “a logical next step in our ongoing training efforts, which began in 2014, to build the Ukrainian Armed Forces capacity.”
“While there’s an understandable focus on the equipment being provided to Ukraine, training is and has been essential to ensuring Ukraine has the skilled forces necessary to better defend themselves,” he said.
He told reporters last week that the soldiers will be from the U.S. Army Europe and Africa Command’s 7th Army Training Command. The training is expected to begin in January and will happen at U.S. ranges in Germany. About 500 Ukrainian troops are expected to train each month there. The U.S. has already trained 3,100 Ukrainians. Allied countries have trained about 12,000 Ukrainian troops.
Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, told Voice of America that there is a “heightened urgency” for advanced training of Ukrainian forces.
“The winter is going to be a very dynamic time. I think some people think about the winter as a time to rest and refit, but we don’t see any sign that the Ukrainians are going to hold up, and we certainly would expect that the Russians may try to also advance,” Cooper said.
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on how the U.S. is at war with Russia, but it will not be officially declared until a nuclear explosion. (See “U.S. AT WAR WITH RUSSIA: SPECIAL FORCES ARE ON THE GROUND IN UKRAINE” and “U.S. DISREGARDS RUSSIA’S WARNING…AGAIN, SAYS UKRAINE CAN TARGET TERRITORY SEIZED BY RUSSIAN FORCES.”)