Biden orders 7,000 US troops to Germany amid Ukraine crisis
The US will deploy some 7,000 troops to Germany, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday as Washington accused Russia of “invading” Ukraine. President Joe Biden has said US troops will not enter Ukraine, and that it will only defend NATO territory.
Biden told reporters that the troops headed overseas were part of the force that was put on elevated alert last month. The Pentagon later clarified that the unit involved is an armored brigade combat team and its support elements.
These troops are on top of the reshuffle of US forces already in Europe that Biden ordered on Tuesday. Some 800 soldiers from Italy were ordered to the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, while 32 Apache attack helicopters went to Poland and another eight F-35 jets to unspecified bases in Eastern Europe.
US forces “are not going to fight in Ukraine,” Biden told reporters. While Washington supports the government in Kiev, Biden said he will send humanitarian aid to Ukraine, on top of some $600 million in military assistance that has already been provided during his time in the White House.
NATO is also activating response plans and assembling a “high-readiness force” – which reportedly numbers less than 10,000 troops – to be deployed if and when needed, according to the US president, who described the bloc as “more united and more determined than ever.”
Moscow announced early on Thursday that the Russian military would enter Ukraine to “demilitarize and de-nazify” the “regime” in Kiev that has spent eight years waging war on the people of Donbass, refusing to negotiate, and threatening to obtain nuclear weapons. Biden described Russian actions as “unprovoked and unjustified” aggression.