Washington ramps up its presence in Eastern Europe with more U.S. Air Force F-16 combat planes deploying to Romania.
Even if the aircraft will take part in a pre-planned joint exercise, the deployment of the American warplanes close to Ukraine, is a just the last of a series of actions aimed at reassuring eastern Europe and Baltic allies worried by Russia’s seemingly aggressive posture.
Twelve Aviano F-16s are currently stationed in Poland, along with three C-130s and parachutes, whilst F-15Cs from RAF Lakenheath are providing Baltics Air Policing from Šiauliai, Lithuania, where tension is high and Russian Air Force’s intense military activity has heightened the security concerns.
Furthermore, the Pentagon is sending 175 new troops to Mihail Kogalniceanu military base in Romania, near the Black Sea port of Constanta, to boost the local presence of some 265 Marines already stationed there as part of a Black Sea Rotational Force.
Last but not least Washington is flexing muscles with long range round trip missions of its B-52 and B-2 strategic bombers.
Therefore, even if no F-22 Raptor stealth jets are deploying to Poland or Romania, Obama administration is slightly amassing forces around Ukraine, as Kiev prepares for battle.
With Russian planes in Crimea and Belarus, and U.S. and NATO planes in Poland, Romania and the Baltic states, this is already a new Cold War, isn’t it?