Eastern European NATO members fear they will be next to come under attack from Moscow, according to the Washington Post.
The Baltic states and Poland have pleaded for the US to speed up weapon deliveries and expand the presence of American troops in their countries, according to the Washington Post on Saturday.
The Russian military operation in Ukraine has caused Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to fear that they will be next to come under attack, according to the outlet. HIMARS, Reapers, counter-battery radars, these are what we need most in terms of military lethal power that is imminently needed to deter Russia, Kusti Salm, secretary general of the Estonian Defense MinistryDefense Ministry, was quoted as saying. He was talking about the US High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, combat drones, and technology used to detect incoming fire.
Latvian defense minister Artis Pabriks told the Washington Post that Riga needs additional financial support in order to buy new weapons and strengthen its air and coastal defenses.
Polish officials have urged the US to speed up the delivery of weapons promised to Warsaw, according to the Post. Poland is waiting for Patriot missile batteries, HIMARS, F-16 fighter jets and Abrams tanks to arrive in Poland, all along multiyear schedules set before the Russian offensive begins in Ukraine, the outlet said.
The Polish Embassy in the United States revealed on August 4 that efforts to strengthen the defensive capabilities of countries helping Ukraine in the ongoing war were a topic of a meeting between the head of Poland's national security bureau, Pawel Soloch, and US President Joe Biden's national security advisor, Jake Sullivan.
A senior US defense official who spoke to the Post on condition of anonymity said the countries that are now providing Ukraine with weapons will need to backfill these capabilities in the future, though he didn't say how long that would take.
According to the outlet, while the eastern European countries realize that not everyone in Congress supports the idea of moving more US troops to Europe, many of them insist that having a greater presence of troops in Europe is necessary to keep Moscow at bay. The US is committed to its defense cooperation with the Eastern European NATO allies. The first federal spending package authorization for $180 million for the Baltic Security Initiative was included in the 2022 federal spending package.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said earlier this week that the US will conduct more military exercises with the Baltic nations and will provide additional training for their troops.
In June of this year, Biden announced that the US will increase its military presence in Europe for the long haul and establish its first permanent base in Poland.
The secretary of Russia's Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, accused Washington of trying to turn Eurasia into a conflagration space of warring nations. He said in June that the rapid military build up in Eastern Europe might have disturbing consequences for the region's security.