Barack Obama has spent eight years taking an already shaky friendship with Russia and turning it into an incredibly contentious relationship instead. Yet Obama still looked the other way when Russia did things like invade Ukraine or shoot down airplanes. It’s only now, just before Donald Trump takes office, that Obama has decided to do something… and it could spawn World War III.
Obama has deployed United States special forces to the Lithuanian border, on the heels of reports that Russia is planning on deploying nuclear-ready missiles in the Kaliningrad province of Russia. Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania all share a border with Kaliningrad. Lithuanian Defence Ministry spokeswoman Asta Galdikaite confirmed that presence of U.S. troops, saying, “The United States was the first to offer additional safety assurance measures to the Baltic countries following the deterioration of the security situation in the region after the annexation of the Crimea.” She added that the American military presence would serve as a deterrent against Russian aggression.
United States General Raymond T. Thomas added that the American military has a “persistent” presence in the Baltic states, saying that many of the countries are “scared to death” of Russia. Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevicius confirmed this, saying, “Iskander missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads have been deployed. There are S-400 missiles and modernised jets.”
“Russia likes to create problems, conflict and then suggest some ideas how to mitigate, how to mediate – and some of our colleagues say ‘look they are cooperating’,” Linkevicius added.
The deployment of American troops follows Obama’s decision to kick 35 Russian diplomats out of the United States. While not many people would argue against deploying troops to the Baltic states to deter Russian aggression, Obama’s strange handling of the situation does not inspire confidence that he will do anything except increase tensions.