US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said Monday that the United States would "contribute weapons, aircraft and forces, including commandos, for NATO's rapid reaction force" and hinted commandos would be used against separatists in eastern Ukraine."
On Tuesday, when visiting Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, Carter stated that because of Russia's alleged intervention in Ukraine, the US would deploy tanks, artillery and other hardware in Eastern Europe on the Russian border.
If it happens indeed, it will be the first time since the Cold War, when the US positions military hardware in Eastern Europe.
"These are responses to Russia's provocations," Carter said. "Aggressive rhetoric, aggressive behavior - the kind of thing that doesn't belong in Europe" are responsible for the militarization on Russia's border and the stationing of military hardware in nearby Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.
The Defense Secretary added that financial sanctions imposed on Russia following its opposition to the coup in Ukraine have not achieved the result sought by the United States.
NATO, being a big bureaucratic empire, has to find a reason for existence, Jonathan Steele, a Guardian columnist believes. "That's a good thing for the US arms manufacturers to cascade or sell their arms to Western European countries, and so there is a lot of heavy corporate interest involved in all this demonization of Russia," he told RT. "The Ukrainian crisis is about Ukraine, it's not about the Baltics, it's certainly not about Central Europe or Western Europe," he added.
The Russian armed forces took possession of one of the German PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers delivered to Ukraine, the Bild* newspaper reports.