The United States has put 8,500 troops on High Alert to be Sent in EuropeWorld | January 25, 2022, Tuesday // 15:53| views
At the behest of President Joe Biden, the Pentagon has put about 8,500 U.S.-based troops on high alert, which could be sent to Europe if Russia invades Ukraine, the Associated Press and Reuters reported, quoting Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
He said yesterday that a final decision had not yet been made and that this would only happen if NATO decided to deploy its rapid reaction force or if “another situation arose” over tensions over Russian troop gatherings on Ukraine's borders.
“The goal is to reassure our NATO allies,” Kirby said, adding that the United States has no plans to deploy troops in Ukraine itself.
The spokesman said that Defense Minister Lloyd Austin had recommended to Biden about 8,500 troops to be ordered to prepare for a possible deployment in Europe, given that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not easing his military pressure on Ukraine.
Most of those 8,500 troops would be sent as part of NATO's rapid reaction force if deployed. Kirby said he could not rule out the possibility that US troops already stationed in Europe could be redeployed as additional reinforcements.
The United States is refining its military plans to respond to all scenarios of the crisis around Ukraine, the White House said today at a time when Washington is working to strengthen NATO's presence on the alliance's eastern flank, Reuters reported.
White House spokeswoman Jen Saki told reporters that the United States has never ruled out the possibility of supporting NATO's eastern flank countries before a possible Russian attack on Ukraine.
Biden met with members of the National Security Council at Camp David on Saturday and was briefed on the possibility of deploying additional forces in NATO member states in Eastern Europe in response to the build-up of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine.
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