This article was written by guest contributor Jason Ditz
In a high-profile interview today, President Obama downplayed the military risks of plans to deploy US ground troops to Eastern Europe, saying Russia wouldn’t dare confront the US militarily and knows the US troops are “significantly superior.”
The US, of course, spends roughly ten times what Russia does annually on its military, and much of Russia’s military arsenal remains leftovers from the Cold War.
At the same time, there is a very real risk that as the US pushes further and further eastward in Europe, they could precipitate a clash with the Russians at any rate. Any conventional US military advantage is likewise muted by both sides having enough nuclear weapons to exterminate the entire human race many times over.
President Obama’s fascination with repeatedly needling Russia on the issue is also of concern, as he has made multiple statements mocking Russia‘s comparative military weakness, and following them up with demands for Russia to return Crimea to the Ukrainian interim government.
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