Biden: US boosting Europe military presence over Russia threat

The US currently has more than 100,000 military personnel deployed across Europe, an increase of about 20,000 since just before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that the US will significantly increase its long-term military presence in Europe, including by establishing its first permanent presence in Poland to bolster regional security in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the opening of the annual summit of the Alliance’s leaders in Madrid, Biden said, “NATO is strong and united” and the steps to be taken during the meeting will “further enhance our collective strength.” “.

Biden opened his participation in the summit by announcing the permanent stationing of a US military garrison in Poland. He also said the US will send two additional F-35 fighter squadrons to Britain and will send more air defense and other capabilities to Germany and Italy.

“Today I announce that the United States will strengthen our forces in Europe and respond to the changing security environment and strengthen our collective security,” he said.

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Stoltenberg, who earlier on Wednesday said the alliance faces its greatest challenge since World War II over Russian aggression against Ukraine, welcomed Biden’s announcement.

“This truly shows your crucial leadership and strength in the transatlantic bond,” Stoltenberg said, thanking Biden for the “unwavering support you and the United States have for Ukraine.”

Biden said the US will permanently base US Army V Corps forward command in Poland, a move he said would strengthen US-NATO interoperability over the alliance’s eastern flank. The move marks the first permanent deployment of US forces to NATO’s eastern edge. Biden added that the US is also increasing its rotating troop deployments in Romania and the Baltics.

Celeste Wallander, a US deputy secretary of defense for international affairs, told reporters that a permanent presence in Poland will be key to helping NATO navigate the changed security environment in Europe caused by the Russian invasion. The United States provides the bulk of NATO’s military power.

US officials stressed that the permanent deployment applied only to headquarters units and not combat troops, and was therefore consistent with a 1997 NATO-Russia agreement in which the alliance agreed not to deploy permanent combat troops in Eastern Europe as it built more constructively want relationships in post cold war environment.

Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski told Poland’s state-run news agency PAP that the decision to add a US command structure is a “manifesto of ever closer US-Poland cooperation” and would give NATO allies a glimpse of the Russian threat at the forefront give front.

The combat units that Biden is deploying to Romania and the Baltic region are deployed on a rotating rather than permanent basis to uphold this agreement.

“There has been no communication with Moscow about these changes, nor is there any commitment to do so,” said John Kirby, a spokesman for Biden’s National Security Council.

Biden announced Tuesday after arriving for the summit that the US would station two more destroyers at its naval base in Rota, Spain, bringing the total to six.

The US currently has more than 100,000 troops deployed across Europe, an increase of about 20,000 since just before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began four months ago.

Biden predicted this week’s meetings would become a “historical summit” as leaders approve a new strategic framework, announce a series of steps to increase their defense spending and capabilities, and pave the way for the historically neutral Finland and Sweden would be free to join NATO.

Biden said Putin thought NATO members would fragment after he invaded Ukraine, but got the opposite reply instead.

“Putin was looking for the Finlandization of Europe,” Biden said. “You will get the NATOization of Europe. And that’s exactly what he didn’t want, but that’s exactly what needs to be done to ensure security for Europe.”

Turkey, the last remaining holdout to allow the Nordic countries to join NATO, reached an agreement on the eve of the summit late Tuesday to support their entry into the 30-nation alliance.

While the White House said the US is not a direct party to the negotiations, a senior administration official said Biden spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday to encourage him to clear the way for Sweden and Finland to join. The two leaders are scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon to discuss other issues, the White House said.

Biden will also sit down with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Wednesday, who are attending the NATO summit, as the alliance seeks to strengthen its ties in the Indo-Pacific region and address challenges from China.

The White House said the three leaders would also discuss North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Biden: US boosting Europe military presence over Russia threat

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