American soldiers attend a official welcome ceremony for the US troops in Zagan, Poland, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
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American soldiers rolled into Poland Thursday, fulfilling a dream some Poles have had since the fall of communism in 1989 to have U.S. troops on their soil as a deterrent against Russia.Some people waved and held up American flags as U.S. troops in tanks and other vehicles crossed into southwestern Poland from Germany and headed toward the town of Zagan, where they will be based. U.S. and other Western nations have carried out exercises on NATO's eastern flank in past years, but the new deployment – that includes some 3,500 U.S. troops – marks the first-ever continuous deployment to the region by a NATO ally.Poland and the Baltic states also feel threatened by Russia's recent deployment of nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, the Russian territory wedged between Poland and Lithuania.
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