An additional 300 U.S. troops will be sent to Afghanistan to assist local forces in fighting the Taliban, Brigadier Gen. Roger Turner told reporters in a conference call this weekend. "We're viewing this as a high-risk mission," Turner said. "We're not in any way viewing this as a noncombat mission, or something to take lightly." This is the first time Marines will be in Helmand province since President Obama declared combat operations in Afghanistan complete at the end of 2014, though about 8,400 U.S. troops have been active in the country throughout 2016.
Meanwhile, the military will also increase its presence in Eastern Europe, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tim Ray, deputy commander of U.S. European Command, announced on Sunday. "Let me be clear," Ray said, "this is one part of our efforts to deter Russian aggression, ensure the territorial integrity of our allies, and maintain a Europe that is whole, free, prosperous, and at peace."
Some 2,800 pieces of military equipment to be used by 4,000 U.S. troops have arrived in the German port of Bremerhaven in recent days. The United States already has 70,000 service members in Europe and maintains a substantially more powerful, better-equipped, and better-funded military than Russia.