Senator McCain wants US troops permanently based in Estonia


John McCain has pledged US support to the security of Russia’s three Baltic neighbors amid worries that the US may not be fully committed to the defense of NATO allies following statements by US President-elect Donald Trump. He added that Washington should consider basing troops permanently at least in Estonia.

McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says that while Washington remains committed to “strong” NATO operations, bilateral US-Estonian military cooperation could be made more effective by upgrading US troop status from less-than-a-year rotation to permanent.

The Arizona senator, known for being critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Tuesday started a tour to the three NATO members with fellow Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar. After Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, they head for Ukraine, Georgia and Montenegro.