The Pentagon announced Wednesday that President Joe Biden has formally approved the deployment of 3,000 US troops to Poland, Germany, and Romania, in an effort to bolster NATO countries in Eastern Europe in the face of tens of thousands of Russian troops amassed along Ukraine’s border.
According to US officials, the deployments to Eastern Europe are a show of support for NATO allies who are feeling threatened by Russia’s military moves near Ukraine and the threat of an invasion.
According to Pentagon press secretary John Kirby, the deployments would include approximately 2,000 troops deploying from the United States to Poland and Germany. Furthermore, approximately 1,000 troops currently stationed in Germany were being transferred to Romania.
Kirby stated that the upcoming moves would be temporary and emphasized that these forces will not fight in Ukraine.
The move is the most significant indication to date that the US is bracing for the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin launching an invasion of Ukraine, despite Russia’s refusal to de-escalate following several rounds of diplomatic talks with the US and NATO.
An official said Biden signed off on the additional troops after meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley at the White House on Tuesday morning. Later Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the “US de facto is continuing to pump up tensions in Europe.” According to Peskov, the deployments are the best proof that “we, as Russia, have a clear reason to be concerned.”
Biden said on Wednesday that the decision was “completely consistent” with what the US had previously told Russia. “As long as he acts aggressively, we’ll make sure to reassure our NATO allies and Eastern European allies that we’re there, and Article V is a sacred obligation.”
At the same time that the US was preparing to send troops to Europe, the White House announced on Wednesday that it would no longer refer to a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine as “imminent,” implying that the term had sent an unintended message.
“That was something I used once. I believe others have used it before. And then we stopped using it because I believe it sent a message that we didn’t intend to send, namely that we were aware that President Putin had made a decision “Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, stated.
According to a senior Polish diplomat, the announcement of US troop deployments to Poland was welcomed news for Polish officials. According to the diplomat, Polish officials have been discussing the possibility of sending more US troops to the country with their American counterparts in recent days.