The United States Army is planning to prepare for possible conflicts with Russia by relearning the tactics it used to deter the Soviet Union’s armed forces in the Cold War, a new report has revealed.
After spending more than a decade fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US Army is now turning its attention to Eastern Europe, where tensions between Russia and the US-led NATO military alliance have been running high, The New York Times reported Sunday.
American commanders want their forces to forget about the large, secure bases they used to operate from in Iraq and Afghanistan and instead get adapted to the region’s different terrain.
This would require the troops to practice using camouflage netting to disguise their positions and dispersing into smaller groups to avoid sophisticated surveillance drones.
Apart from that, hundreds of desert-tan battle tanks and armored military vehicles must be repainted dark green to blend into European terrain.
Unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, where the soldiers were allowed to move freely both on the ground and in the air, Europe’s strict laws for all things military means they will be required to coordinate their every single step with local authorities.
Recently, Austrian border agents stopped an American Army supply convoy rushing ammunition from Germany to Romania for three days due to restrictions for military convoys during busy summer vacation travel periods.
Last month, 25,000 American and allied forces from three former Warsaw Pact countries — Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria—took part in a military exercise in Bulgaria, rehearsing old tactics including nighttime aerial assaults by hundreds of paratroopers.
“We have to figure out how to adapt to this new environment,” said Colonel Clair A. Gill, who commands the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, which flies different helicopters such as Apache, Black Hawk and Chinook. “I don’t think we’re there yet.”
The development comes amid heightened tensions on Russia’s western borders, following a growing military buildup by the US-led NATO alliance.
The US and its allies have been deploying weapons and equipments to NATO’s eastern frontier since 2014, after the Crimean Peninsula’s reintegration with Russia in a referendum.
Russia, in response, has deployed troops and nuclear missiles on its borders and stepped up military drills in the region.