US to boost ground, naval forces in NATO countries

ROME (AP) — The United States plans to join a NATO effort to increase its rotation of ground and naval forces in Eastern Europe as part of its response to Russia's incursion in Ukraine.

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes says the move is aimed at having a continued presence in NATO countries that feel threatened by Moscow's provocations. He says the U.S. expects European nations to join the effort.

Rhodes says the scope of the force increase and the specific countries where they would be deployed had not been decided, but would be discussed at a NATO meeting next week. He says the U.S. has a particular focus on Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.

Rhodes briefed reporters aboard Air Force One as Obama headed from Brussels to Rome.

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