As Russia escalates its aggression against Ukraine, the Pentagon is preparing to send up to 8,500 American troops to the region. The administration’s shift comes as the United States and NATO allies are preparing for possible Russian military action, according to New York Times.
Troops On Heightened Alert
In light of Russia’s threats against Ukraine, President Joe Biden is considering deploying American military forces to Eastern Europe, according to a senior administration official on Monday, as per NBC News. According to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has positioned 8,500 troops on “heightened alert” to help defend NATO allies. He stated that there have been no deployment orders.
Military personnel is on “high alert,” which Defense Department officials describe as a “tighter leash,” in the event of a deployment order. As a result of the new deployment deadlines, some units that were previously ready to dispatch within 10 days are now told to prepare to dispatch within five days.
The 8,500 Troops On High Alert
According to CBS News, in the event that NATO was to activate the NATO Response Force, the overwhelming majority of the 8,500 soldiers on alert would be deployed. However, if the situation in the country in Eastern Europe worsens, some could deploy unilaterally to support NATO allies on the eastern flank. Additional combat support teams, reconnaissance, logistics, aviation, and transportation are among the capabilities that the Pentagon has put on alert but has yet to identify.
If Russia invades Ukraine, President Biden has already warned that Russia’s economy will suffer greatly if troops cross the border. Biden was scheduled to meet with European leaders via videoconference on Monday afternoon to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, which has worsened in recent days and stimulated the State Department to decrease staff numbers at the US embassy in the Ukrainian capital, in Kyiv, as per The Hill.
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