The US Secretary of Defense has ordered the deployment of 7,000 US service members to Europe, a senior defense official told reporters shortly after US President Joe Biden announced strong sanctions on Russia attack on Ukraine.
Biden said he’d authorized “the deployment of ground and air forces already stationed in Europe,” to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania. He also said he’d authorized “additional US force capabilities” be sent to Germany as part of NATO’s response, including some forces that had been placed on standby several weeks ago.
“This would comprise an armored brigade combat team with associated capabilities and enablers. They will deploy to Germany to reassure NATO Allies, deter Russian aggression and be prepared to support a range of requirements in the region. We expect them to depart in the coming days,” the official said.
In White House remarks, Biden reiterated that US forces “are not and will not be engaged in a conflict with Russia in Ukraine.”
“Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the East,” he added.
Biden also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is disconnected from the rest of the world and wants to revive the former Soviet Union.
“He has much larger ambitions than Ukraine. He wants to, in fact, reestablish the former Soviet Union. That’s what this is about. And I think that his ambitions are completely are contrary to the place where the rest of the world has arrived.”