The hot war with Russia began a while ago
Putin taunts Britain again: Two Russian warships are escorted through English Channel by Royal Navy amid escalating global tension
US plans to ramp-up its military presence in Eastern Europe against Vladimir Putin's 'sabre rattling' were welcomed by the Government today.Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said Britain would support any decision by US president Barack Obama to deploy new missiles in Europe – and refused to rule out placing them in the UK.Mr Fallon's remarks came as Nato looked set to agree plans this week for large-scale deployment of military kit in Eastern Europe – including the largest number of American tanks on the continent since the Cold War.+3Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said Britain would support any decision by US president Barack Obama to deploy new missiles in Europe – and refused to rule out placing them in the UKThe move is set to be agreed at a meeting of defence ministers in Brussels on Wednesday – marking a 'turning point' in the alliance's policy towards Russia following the country's invasion of eastern Ukraine and annexation of the Crimea.A senior Nato official told the Sunday Times: 'This will mark a real change of our collective defence: the US is coming back to Europe to play its role. The number of US tanks in Europe will reach a level not seen since the Cold War.'Tanks, armoured vehicles, drones, weapons and a number of rotating troops will be deployed across countries including Poland and the three Baltic states.The move would enable a rapid deployment of Nato forces in case of emergency.Six Nato command and control centres are to be established from Estonia in the north to Bulgaria in the south, to facilitate the rapid deployment of forces.Nato ministers are also expected to agree on ways to help Estonia, Lithuania and LatviaFallon discusses Putin's 'sabre rattling' with Andrew Marr+3Mr Fallon's remarks came as Nato looked set to agree plans this week for large-scale deployment of military kit in Eastern Europe – including the largest number of American tanks on the continent since the Cold WarThe meeting follows two weeks of large-scale Nato military drills on sea and land in the Baltic and in Poland, including the first deployment of the alliance's new spearhead force for rapid reaction.Douglas Lute, the American ambassador to Nato, said ministers would agree on measures that would 'fundamentally change our force posture'.Speaking this morning on BBC's Andrew Marr show, Mr Fallon said Mr Putin was 'clearly building up his conventional forces' and needed to be faced down.He said: 'It is sabre rattling and that is why we have to continue to strengthen Nato – offer Nato more reassurance with these larger scale exercises.President Obama is set to sanction biggest deployment of US tanks in Europe since the Cold War'We are doing our bit, but it's very important we keep sending Putin this message – that we are determined to our collective defence of Nato.'Asked if he supported the US move to weapons back to Europe, Mr Fallon said: 'That's a decision for the Americans, [but] if that's their decision, yes.'He said Britain had not been asked to deploy weapons in the UK. He said: 'That's not been raised with me by the US defence secretary.'Mr Fallon also insisted Britain would 'fulfil our commitments' to Nato amid questions over whether the Government will abandon the organisation's 2 per cent military spending target.The Defence Secretary refused to commit explicitly to maintaining the outlay as a proportion of GDP.But he urged people to look at the Government's record, and dismissed criticism that the UK was withdrawing from the international stage.Speaking on the BBC, Mr Fallon said figures due out this week would confirm the 2 per cent threshold is being met this year.Pushed on whether spending would remain at that level, he replied: 'I want us to fulfil our commitments.'Our manifesto commitment was to spend more on equipment and I have described to you that we are modernising everything for the armed forces.'It was also to replace our nuclear deterrent and it was also a commitment not to cut further the size of the regular army.'+3Speaking this morning on BBC's Andrew Marr show, Mr Fallon said Russia's president Vladimir Putin was 'clearly building up his conventional forces' and needed to be faced downChallenged that he and other ministers were 'weaving and dodging' on the issue, Mr Fallon said: 'The reason is very simple - we can't set the budget on this programme.'We will set the budget for the three years of the parliament in September and then you will have your answer. But we already have three very strong specific commitments in the manifesto.'Look at the record. We are doing 2 per cent at the moment.'Mr Fallon's comments come after US president Barack Obama raised concerns that UK defence spending was set to fall below the Nato target.The Prime Minister was tackled by Mr Obama on the topic during the G7 summit in Germany earlier this month.
Show of U.S. strength just miles from Putin’s borders: Thousands of troops conduct exercises by air, land and sea over Alaska amid mounting tensions with Russia
Tank columns and Apache helicopters among hundreds of vehicles taking part in three-week exercise to test Army's ability to deploy at short notice
Russia announces it will deploy its ballistic Iskander missiles in Europe in response to America's missile shield in latest hint that Putin is preparing for war
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