German Troops in ‘Line of Fire’: First Foreign Deployment Since WW2

This week Germany has begun deploying troops to the Baltic state of Lithuania, which marks the first such external deployment of its kind for Germany’s military since World War II — and which is the result of Berlin adopting a firmer ‘counter-Russia’ posture after more than two years of war in Ukraine. 

While merely two dozen soldiers have reportedly arrived Lithuania thus far, the German contingent will be stationed there permanently. Currently Germany leads a NATO deployment in Lithuania of some 1,000 troops, but which is temporary.

“This is the first time that we have permanently stationed such a unit outside of Germany,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said during a ceremony seeing the troops depart from Berlin. He hailed it as “an important day for the German army.”

Crucially, and sure to trigger deep alarm for Moscow, the permanent German force in Lithuania is slated to grow to 4,800 by the year 2027. 

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