THE JUNE 18 Globe editorial, “Increasing US presence in Baltics has little upside,” cautions against permanently stationing US heavy weaponry in the Baltic countries. But Estonian Americans believe there is a lot of upside and little downside to showing Russia how serious the United States is about protecting NATO allies. To take no action out of fear of Russia’s reactions plays into Vladimir Putin’s hands. Putin uses “diplomacy” only as a tool to achieve what he wants. Strong American leadership and action are the most effective counters to Putin’s aggression.
Bolstering existing bases in Italy and Germany, expanding NATO’s rapid reaction force, and continuing military training exercises are welcome, but insufficient, reassurances. The 150 US military troops in each Baltic country and Poland must be quickly augmented by adequately armed forces in case of need. Placing permanent military assets and troops in the Baltic region shows clear Western resolve, and lessens the likelihood of Russian incursion into NATO territory.
Blaming Ukraine for not adhering to the Minsk cease-fire agreement — needed because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — is disingenuous. Ukraine should be given the weapons it needs to defend itself, for it is the front line in Europe’s defense. Estonian Americans support concrete measures to enhance the security of the region.
Marju Rink-Abel, President
Eric Suuberg, Vice president
Estonian American National Council
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