President Joe Biden is reportedly preparing for a military move in eastern Europe.
According to the Washington Examiner, U.S. troops will soon be deployed to the region as Russia remains poised to invade Ukraine.
“Not a lot”
For the past several months, Russian troops have been stationed in increasing numbers along the Ukrainian border, and the Kremlin appears to be threatening an invasion in hopes of ensuring that its neighbor is never admitted into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Currently, more than 100,000 troops are said to be stationed along the Russia-Ukraine border as the Russian military sends fighter jets and other military equipment to the area.
Negotiations involving Russia, the United States, and NATO have been ongoing but no progress has yet been made. Biden and other world leaders are becoming concerned that an invasion of Ukraine is imminent.
Speaking from Joint Base Andrews on Friday, the president revealed that he would be authorizing a mission involving U.S. troops in the region.
Although Biden said “not a lot” of service members will be involved, he confirmed: “I’ll be moving troops to eastern Europe and NATO countries in the near term.”
“A final decision”
It is worth noting that the troops will not be headed to Ukraine. The president has made it clear that the U.S. will not provide troops, though he advised that Ukraine could receive ammunition and other forms of military assistance.
Biden has attempted to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from going forward with an invasion. Although he has threatened “severe” economic sanctions, it remains unclear whether it will be enough to dissuade his Russian counterpart.
Earlier in the week, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that 8,500 U.S. troops had been placed on high alert. It was not immediately clear if these are the same service members now on their way to eastern Europe.
Kirby also indicated that the troops would be used if NATO decides to respond with force to the tense situation in the region or if “other situations develop.”
Thus far, NATO has deployed ships and jets in an effort to deter Russia. For his part, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin advised that a military conflict can still potentially be avoided, noting that he does not “believe that President Putin has made a final decision to use these forces against Ukraine.”