Article By Jonathan Day

Thousands of US troops have begun joint training exercises with the Polish Armed Forces, as part of NATO’s efforts to reinforce its borders with Russia.

Around 3,500 Americans from 3rd Armored Brigade, backed by 2,700 vehicles took to a training range in Zagan for a live-firing exercise.

The partnership with Poland’s 11th Armoured Cavalry Division is part of a nine-month deployment on Operation Atlantic Resolve – the response by the US Army to Russia’s past military actions in eastern Europe.

Lt Gen Ben Hodges, the commanding general of US Army Europe, said the mission was “a visible and credible expression” of America’s commitment to the alliance.

He added:

"The best way to prevent a war is to prepare for it."

He then spoke of the “shared interest in peace in this vital part of the world”.

US President Donald Trump has in the past referred to NATO as “obsolete” and has signalled he could seek warm relations with Russia.

However, US Defense Secretary General James Mattis has expressed an opposing view, describing America’s commitment to the alliance as “unshakeable”. 

Thousands more NATO troops will deploy to the region in the coming months, including 800 British soldiers, supported by the French and Danish armed forces, into Estonia. 

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