Biden Has Approved Deploying More Troops to Europe in 'Coming Days' Amid Ukraine Tensions, DoD Says
14:00 GMT 02.02.2022 (Updated: 17:01 GMT 02.02.2022)
© AP Photo / Mindaugas Kulbis / Members of US Army's 4th Infantry Division 3rd Brigade Combat Team 68th Armor Regiment 1st Battalion prepare to unload some Abrams battle tanks after arriving at the Gaiziunai railway station, some 110 kms (69 miles) west of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017.
© AP Photo / Mindaugas Kulbis /
On Friday, the White House announced that Washington would be moving additional troops to Eastern Europe, without specifying how many would be sent or where they would be deployed. On Wednesday, Warsaw announced that 2,500 additional US troops would be stationed in Poland.
US President Joe Biden has signed off on the deployment of additional US troops to Eastern Europe, with the forces to be stationed in countries on NATO's eastern flank to "ensure a robust defence" of US allies, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby has announced.
The troops, to be deployed in Poland, Romania and Germany, will not "fight in Ukraine," Kirby emphasized. Rather, about 1,000 US personnel will be redeployed from Germany to Romania "in the coming days," and 2,000 will be shipped from the US to Poland and Germany, also "in the next few days."
These deployments are separate from the 8,500 troop-strong 'heightened alert' force stationed in the US which could be sent to to Europe if necessary, and there may be more announcements regarding America's military posture and additional troop deployments in the coming days and weeks, the spokesperson said.
"These are not permanent moves," Kirby said. "It's important that we send a strong signal to Mr. Putin and to the world," he added, referencing the US 'commitment' to NATO. The Pentagon spokesman also repeated the talking point about Russia's alleged plans to "invade" Ukraine.
"We don't know if Russia made the final decision to invade Ukraine...[but] Russia clearly has the capability to invade Ukraine," Kirby said.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Washington's decision to deploy additional forces to the three European countries, saying the come on top of other recent US contributions to NATO's "shared security."
Earlier, administration officials told CNN that Biden had given the formal go-ahead on the deployment of additional US troops in the region.
Separately on Wednesday, US officials told the Wall Street Journal that over 2,000 troops from Fort Bragg in North Carolina would be sent to Poland and Germany, with roughly 1,000 Germany-based US personnel to be relocated to Romania.
Officials also told the business outlet that the Pentagon will bolster its 'heightened alert' force with several thousand more personnel, with those forces capable of being airlifted to Europe at a moment's notice.
Earlier in the day, Polish National Security Bureau chief Pawel Soloch announced that 2,500 US troops would be deployed in Poland, on top of the 5,500 already stationed in the country.
2 February 2022, 06:54 GMT
The United States already has over 70,000 troops in countries across Europe, with about half of them stationed in Germany, and others deployed in Italy, the UK, Spain, Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Norway, Hungary, France, Kosovo and Turkey. US forces have been stationed in Europe since World War II, with their presence justified during the Cold War by the alleged threat posed by the USSR. After the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union collapsed, the US maintained its European presence, and the US-led NATO alliance began expanding eastward, notwithstanding documented commitments to Moscow not to do so.
2 April 2019, 15:22 GMT
In recent months, US and NATO officials have accused Russia of engaging in a military buildup on the Ukrainian border in possible preparation to invade the country. Russia has vehemently denied these claims, and accused Washington of deliberately exacerbating tensions as a pretext to expand the US and military footprint in Eastern Europe.
Over the past two weeks or so, even Ukraine's pro-Western officials have called on their patrons to pump the breaks when it comes to the 'Russian invasion' claims, with some even accusing Western media of deliberately and artificially pumping up tensions for reasons unknown.
Moscow presented the West with a pair of security proposals aimed at significantly easing tensions between NATO and Russia via restrictions on troop, missile, aircraft and warship deployments, and a call for a written guarantee from the Western alliance to halt its eastward expansion and limit troop numbers on the bloc's eastern flank. On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin complained that the West has basically ignored these proposals.
"We did not see our three key demands adequately considered: Stopping NATO's expansion, refusing [not to deploy] strike systems near Russia's borders, and returning the bloc's military infrastructure in Europe to how it was in 1997," Putin said.
1 February 2022, 16:09 GMT
Russia has warned that it will be forced to set up a system of "counter-threats" if its security concerns are ignored, but has not elaborated on how it may do so apart from hints of expanded military cooperation with Latin America and new missile deployments. US UN ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield warned last month that Washington would consider any Russian military activity in the Western Hemisphere as an "aggressive action" and respond in a "strong" manner. She did not elaborate on why a hypothetical Russian military deployment near the US would be considered "aggressive" while the real-life US buildup near Russia is not.