The announcement of the U.S. deploying tanks to the Baltics appearing as a one-paragraph announcement in the January 31, 2017, print Wall Street Journal “World Watch” led me to the Journal’s online article “U.S. to Deploy Tanks to the Baltics” by Julian E. Barnes in Brussels and Drew Hinshaw in Warsaw (with contributions from Juris Kaža in Riga, Latvia). The article’s subhead states “Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are to receive the tanks, a signal that Washington remains committed to their defense.”
The article begins:
The U.S. Army will send tanks this week to countries on Russia’s frontiers in the largest such deployment since the Cold War, a step aimed at reassuring America’s European allies that Washington remains committed to their defense.
After joint U.S.-Polish exercises in northern Poland on Monday, some of the M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks used in the drills will be transported to the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, where they will remain until a new North Atlantic Treaty Organization deterrent force is operational in the spring.
I am particularly interested in the apparent “heating up” of a new Cold War in Eastern Europe because my husband Mitch and I were stationed in Munich, Germany, from September 1970 to May 1972 as part of the U.S. Army’s defense of Western Europe from possible Soviet invasion. Mitch was an officer in the 18th Military Intelligence Battalion and I eventually got a security clearance and worked for the 66th Military Intelligence Group.
Living under the threat of Soviet tanks rolling into West Germany from East Germany required various military requirements, such as keeping our car’s gas tank half full so that we could presumably evacuate if the Soviets invaded. I have detailed these experiences in my Cold War memoir TALES OF AN AMERICAN OCCUPYING GERMANY available to be read for free on Wattpad at http://budurl.com/TAintro
I am also personally interested in what happens in Latvia. My maternal grandmother for whom I am named was born in Viski, a village in Latvia. My cousin Bruce Dumes made a website about Viski — see http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/Viski/ — and emailed me about Viski “ … where our family lived from at least the early 1800s until they came to America. Domashi was a village in Belarus ( no longer there) from whence our name allegedly came. When they were assigning names, those originally from Domashi became Dumesh. That was in the 1840s or so.”
The Journal article details the U.S. troops and equipment sent to the Baltics:
Based in Fort Carson, Colo., the 3rd Brigade arrived in Bremerhaven, Germany, in early January with about 3,500 soldiers, 144 Bradley fighting vehicles, 87 tanks and 18 Paladin artillery systems.
The brigade will be stationed in Europe, with a headquarters in Poland, for the next nine months, after which it is to be replaced by another unit. During its deployment, elements of the brigade will also be sent to Hungary, Poland, Germany and Romania.
The U.S. has also boosted its European presence by building up stocks of equipment, increasing the number of helicopters and deploying 900 additional combat-support soldiers.
With all the other turmoil involving the U.S. on the international scene, it is still important that the U.S. continue its commitment to protect European countries from the menace of Russia. We should not take our eyes off this particular ball.
© 2017 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks. Phyllis is available by skype for book group discussions and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Her Kindle fiction ebooks may be read for free with a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription — see www.amazon.com/author/phylliszimblermiller — and her Kindle nonfiction ebooks may also be read for free with a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription — see www.amazon.com/author/phylliszmiller