President Joe Biden has been briefed on sending 3,000 to 5,000 troops to Eastern Europe as part of a NATO initiative to strengthen allies close to Ukraine and Russia, and he is considering the action, Fox News reports.
The troops would be stationed in Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and other NATO countries may also send troops to those areas to help bolster defenses and warn Russian President Vladimir Putin not to invade neighboring countries.
NATO has been in the process of determining its next steps with regard to the roughly 100,000 troops that Russia has amassed on the border with Ukraine, as well as intelligence reports suggesting that Russia might invade Ukraine within the month.
Biden has warned Putin repeatedly not to enter Ukraine and has threatened severe economic sanctions against Russia if Putin were to make such a move.
The plot thickens
On Saturday, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said it had intelligence that Russia was also planning to install a more Moscow-friendly administration in Ukraine. Former Ukrainian Member of Parliament Yevhen Murayev would be more to Moscow’s liking than current President Volodymyr Zelensky, the UK claimed.
Putin, through a spokesperson, denied that it had any plans to tamper with Ukraine’s leadership, and called the UK’s report “nonsense.”
While most lawmakers in both parties are extremely reluctant to involve the U.S. in any conflict between other countries, it may be a mistake to hang back and allow Russia to take over valuable resources in Ukraine without intervening to check Russia’s power.
A difficult decision
Biden has a difficult decision ahead of him. He needs to walk the line between helping Ukraine and restraining Russia, without committing U.S. troops to combat.
Right now, Biden seems weak given the many crises he’s unable to handle in his own country. He also botched the recent Afghanistan military withdrawal, adding to the perception of weakness.
Most recently, he appeared to give Russia a green light to invade Ukraine during a press conference. “My guess is he will move in, he has to do something,” Biden said. The White House later clarified his comments.
Biden is likely to be criticized for any decision he makes, but one can only hope that he somehow gets this one right, or else the consequences could be dire for the entire world.