US President Joe Biden has ordered the deployment of 3,000 troops to bolster NATO defenses in Europe, stepping up the alliance’s response to a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby announced the decision during a briefing with reporters on Wednesday. It involves sending about 2,000 soldiers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Poland and Germany – and sending about 1,000 soldiers from a mounted cavalry unit from Germany to Romania.
“President Biden has been clear that the United States will respond to the growing threat to Europe’s security and stability. Our commitment to NATO Article Five and collective defense remains rock solid,” Kirby said.
“These are not permanent moves,” Kirby said, adding that they were “designed to respond to the current security environment. Also, these forces will not be fighting in Ukraine,” he said. .
As Russian military buildups along the Ukrainian border intensified in recent weeks, Biden put 8,500 troops on standby for deployment to NATO’s eastern flank and had discussed details of a possible movement with American allies.
The actual deployment of 3,000 American troops comes at a delicate time in negotiations led by Antony Blinken, the American secretary of state, and Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, to defuse the conflict – Moscow and Washington exchanging written documents on security in Europe, including missile deployments, arms control and the transparency of military exercises.