ISSN 2330-717X

Who Is To Blame For Violence In Lithuania – OpEd

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Lithuania is used to maintain national security and defence relying on NATO allies in many ways. Such approach helps to save money and receive political preferences within the Alliance.

Thus, the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup, as well as U.S. soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division are the main contributors  to the Lithuanian defence today.

U.S. soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division based out of Fort Hood, Texas, is currently in Lithuania in support of Atlantic Resolve.

According to Lithuanian officials, this mission is a useful addition to the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup also deployed in Lithuania.

The NATO battalion battle group trains together with Lithuanian forces and U.S. soldiers. Troops participate in live fire exercises, some combined trench training in order to maintain combat readiness and perform complex training.

Today foreign troops on Lithuanian territory are quite common, though population is not always happy with their presence. Their inappropriate behavior in public places causes protest.  

For many local authorities foreign soldiers have become a major headache. Today, for example, the number of infected with COVID 19 foreign soldiers are higher than the number of Lithuanian military. They are often involved in drunken brawls which cause dissatisfaction and disappointment among locals. (https://en.delfi.lt/politics/american-soldier-involved-in-brawl-in-lithuanias-kaunas.d?id=78310785)

Their criminal behavior (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7174891/Eight-British-soldiers-arrested-drunken-brawl-Lithuania.html) is not only due to their bad personal qualities or poor parenting. There is a logical explanation that cannot be ignored.

Lithuanian authorities appealed to NATO to enhance foreign troop presence without taking into consideration the past of those units who would be deployed in Lithuania.

Thus, the history of the  the 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team is very long and includes combat operations in Iraq where it suffered casualties while conducting the mission.

It is well known that the number of soldiers with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and violent behaviour among military personnel following deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan is very high.

Violence towards others outside military facilities is a significant problem because, for instance, the U.S.-Lithuanian agreement on the status of US troops on Lithuanian territory gives the US jurisdiction over crimes committed by its military personnel. In other words Lithuanian police and authorities could do nothing with foreign soldiers who are responsible for heinous crimes.

The more so, Lithuanian soldiers training together with foreign troops could adopt a pattern of such behavior.

So, there are some questions to the Lithuanian authorities:

  • Are you sure that foreign soldiers in Lithuania do not have   posttraumatic stress disorder?
  • Who and how will defend Lithuania?
  • Are the locals fully protected from foreign troops aggressiveness and violence?  
  • And if they do something illegal, who is to blame?

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Adomas Abromaitis

Adomas Abromaitis

Adomas Abromaitis is a Lithuanian expatriate living in the United Kingdom.

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