NATO commander raises option of US troops in Eastern Europe

 

U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO's top military commander in Europe, opened the door Wednesday to deploying U.S. troops to Eastern Europe to counter Russian moves.

He told The Associated Press in an interview that he would not "write off involvement by any nation, to include the United States."

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Breedlove has been tasked with developing a plan to shore up NATO countries close to Russia by next week.

"Essentially what we are looking at is a package of land, air and maritime measures that would build assurance for our easternmost allies," he said.

Pressed in the interview on whether he meant "NATO's frontline states closest to Russia," Breedlove reiterated, "I would not write off contributions from any nation."

That could mean U.S troops being deployed to NATO members bordering Ukraine.

GOP lawmakers have been pressing the military to get more involved in aiding Ukraine's defense as Russian troops mass on the border. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and other members of the committee Tuesday introduced a bill that would provide military advice and technical assistance to Ukraine.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has called for going a step further and providing weapons to Ukraine.