Pentagon: US Should Deploy More Troops in Bulgaria as Tensions Rise between Ukraine and Russia

April 10, 2021 by  
Filed under Featured, News

Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says the United States should deploy more troops along the Black Sea in Bulgaria and Romania to deter potential aggression from Russia as tensions between Moscow and Washington heat up.

Esper, now a fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, said “I think we need to continue to stand up to Russia and trying to deter their bad behavior.”

Washington should look to reassure European allies and boost the NATO alliance by deploying more forces in Poland, “into the Baltics, if it makes sense, and places like Romania and Bulgaria, if not on a permanent – on a rotational basis,” Esper said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.

President Joe Biden called on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to reduce tensions stirred by a Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s border and proposed a summit of the estranged leaders to tackle a raft of disputes.

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and fighting has increased in recent weeks in eastern Ukraine, where government forces have battled Russian-backed separatists in a seven-year conflict that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people.

When he was running the Pentagon last year, Esper advocated a similar shift as former President Donald Trump announced his intention to cut the U.S. troop contingent in Germany by about a third, saying Berlin had been taking advantage of the United States while not meeting financial obligations to NATO.

The United States announced on Tuesday that it will ramp up its forces in Germany amid the latest tensions with Russia over Ukraine, abandoning Trump’s plan to withdraw around 12,000 of the 36,000 U.S. troops there.

The Guardian: US to deploy marine unit in Bulgaria

July 5, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, News

1000Troops with tanks, armored vehicles and artillery to be in place by September to help counter European concerns about Russia’s involvement in Ukraine

A Marine Corps unit equipped with tanks, light armored vehicles and artillery will be sent to Bulgaria in September as part of US efforts to reassure Nato allies worried by Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. Brig Gen Norman Cooling, the deputy commander of the US marines in Europe and Africa, said on Thursday that 155 troops equipped with four Abrams battle tanks, six light armored vehicles and three howitzers were scheduled to be deployed at the Novo Selo training area by early September. He spoke as NATO defense ministers met in Brussels.

“It’s certainly our intent to convince the Russians and Mr Putin to refrain from aggression and return to the community of peaceful nations,” Cooling said.

The US defense secretary, Ash Carter, said this week that more US military equipment would be positioned in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Germany as NATO seeks to bolster its forces in eastern Europe. Cooling said that in addition to being a deterrent, the unit would train with Bulgarian, Romanian and other troops over the next 18 months to improve US forces’ ability to operate with counterparts using different equipment and methods. “Ideally this culminates with integrated exercises, with units from more and more allied nations that are able to call for fire from one another’s artillery, our tanks maneuver in support of their infantry units, and vice versa,” he said.

Read more about Chaplaincy in Bulgaria and the proposal of the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association to reestablish chaplaincy in the Bulgarian as submitted to NATO’s Manfred Wörner Foundation in 2006