Many of the US tanks deployed to eastern Europe by former President Obama to counter supposed Russian aggression reportedly arrived at a German port with dead batteries or insufficient fuel.
Nearly 4,000 troops and 90 tanks from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, a component of the 4th Infantry Division based at Fort Carson, Colorado, were hastily redeployed by former President Obama to the western Polish city of Zagan to counter Russian “aggression” in eastern Europe.
Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe, revealed that some of the tanks arrived in the German port city of Bremerhaven with dead batteries due to an error by the contractor, which had forgotten the procedure to shut down the tank’s electronic systems; some of the tanks also did not arrive with full fuel tanks.
Five of the tanks are reportedly still stuck at the German port as military officials try to figure out how to move them to their staging area in Poland.
“It is stuff we used to know,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “We need to re-establish the benchmark.”
Hodges also expressed concern that the military lacks detailed information about the infrastructure in many of the eastern European countries that once comprised the Warsaw Pact after several vehicles were damaged attempting to pass under bridges with insufficient clearance during military exercises in Romania back in 2015.
Another battalion of American troops is to be redeployed to the northeastern Polish city of Orzysz sometime in April. That deployment is significant as the Polish city lies near Kaliningrad, a heavily militarized Russian enclave in eastern Europe where Russia recently deployed nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles.
Prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Obama had accelerated pre-planned troop deployments to eastern Europe in anticipation of Trump’s efforts to seek peace with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump has made no secret of his desire to walk back tensions with Russia, a sentiment reportedly shared by the Russian government.
“Following the difficult relations we had under Barack Obama, President Putin is ready to meet in the interests of global security and stability,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in comments to Russia’s lower house of parliament. “We share the position expressed by President Trump for re-establishing normal relations. This means we need to work in a businesslike way.”