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Saturday, September 24, 2022
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U.S. to Increase Military Power in Europe Over Ukraine War


U.S. soldiers stand next to U.S. Army Stryker wheeled tanks at the Grafenwoehr training area. | Image by Armin Weigel/Getty Images

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On Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden vowed to increase the American military presence significantly in Europe over the long term to bolster regional security and project NATO unity after Russia invaded Ukraine.

On the first full day of the 2022 Madrid summit, Biden said, “NATO is strong and united” and that steps to be taken during the gathering will “further augment [its] collective strength.”

The White House said Biden’s pledge means the U.S. will keep 100,000 troops in Europe, up from 20,000 troops before Russia invaded Ukraine, for the “foreseeable future.”

“Today, I’m announcing the United States will enhance our force posture in Europe and respond to the changing security environment as well as strengthening our collective security,” Biden said.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who asserted the coalition was confronting its greatest challenge since World War II due to Russian aggression toward Ukraine, addressed the U.S. president’s statement at the beginning of the summit.

“This really demonstrates your decisive leadership and strength in the trans-Atlantic bond,” thanking Biden for the “unwavering support from [him] and from the United States to Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.

Biden stated the U.S. will send additional rotational troops to Romania and the Baltic states, as well as establish a permanent headquarters in Poland for the U.S. 5th Army Corps, an action initially devised by the Trump administration.

The U.S. has committed to sending two F-35 squadrons to the United Kingdom, orchestrating further air defense and other activities in Germany and Italy, and increasing naval operations in Spain, raising the number of destroyers there from four to six.

Biden declared that the decision is intended to prepare NATO to meet possible air, land, and sea threats.

“In a moment when Putin has shattered peace in Europe and attacked the very, very tenets of rule-based order, the United States and our allies are stepping up, proving NATO is more needed now than it ever has been, and it is important as it has ever been,” he said.

The U.S. president succeeded in resolving one problem ahead of Wednesday’s meeting by insisting that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan agree to allow Finland and Sweden to join NATO.

On Tuesday, foreign ministers from the three countries signed a memo to establish that Turkey will agree to the Scandinavian countries joining NATO by passing the last obstacle to entering the alliance.

Biden encouraged Erdoğan to “seize this moment and get this done in Madrid,” a senior administration official said. Biden was scheduled to meet Erdoğan on Wednesday.    

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