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January 18, 2017

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US troops enter Poland, 1st deployment to Russia’s doorstep

Updated Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 | 2:37 a.m.

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — American soldiers are rolling into Poland, fulfilling a dream Poles have had since the fall of communism in 1989 to have U.S. troops on their soil as a deterrent against Russia.

U.S. Army vehicles and soldiers in camouflage crossed into southwestern Poland on Thursday morning from Germany and were heading for Zagan, where they will be based.

U.S. and other Western nations have carried out exercises on NATO's eastern flank, but this U.S. deployment will be the first continuous deployment to the region by a NATO ally.

Despite the celebrations, a cloud also hangs over the historic moment: anxieties that the enhanced security could eventually be undermined by the pro-Kremlin views of President-elect Donald Trump.

Poland and the Baltic states are nervous about Russian assertiveness displayed in Ukraine and Syria.