The American Air Force is contemplating deploying US B52 strategic bombers and 800 US Air Force personnel to United Kingdom in support of joint exercises with NATO allies and partners taking place across Europe in June 16. But Russia considers this move as a destabilizing step that undermines international security. The United States and its NATO allies have bolstered their own military exercises due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and supporting insurgents in eastern Ukraine, as well as Moscow’s heightened military force on patrol off the coasts of the Baltics and Western Europe.
The US B-52H Stratofortresses bombers can carry over 312,000 pounds of fuel and a 70,000 -pound payload for more than 8,000 rules.
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control stated that “NATO amassing troops are practicing battle tasks with the support of US strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons close to Russian borders does not contribute to de-escalation of tensions in Europe. The military buildup carried out by certain countries and their alliances, moreover near the borders of our country, does damage to the international security and destabilizes the situation.”
The nuclear-capable B-52 bombers will take part in a series of joint exercises specifically in the Baltic Sea, the Arctic and along Russia’s border with several NATO partners.
The deployment of about a dozen American Special Operations forces to each of the Baltic States is part of the military strategy to deter any future Russian aggression
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have increased spending on new defense equipment to $390 million in 2016, from $210 million in 2014. Latvia and Lithuania have also increased their defense budgets since 2014, and this spring will send battalions of 800 to 1,200 troops to each of the three Baltic States and Poland.
Despite Trump claimed that his Europe trip last month was but a “great success for America,” several allied leaders have questioned the future of US leadership on the world stage following a NATO meeting in Brussels where the President scolded NATO allies for not paying their fair share for defence thus failed to endorse core security commitments.