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U.S. Will Strengthen Its Military Presence in Several European Countries

Biden anuncia que Estados Unidos reforzará su presencia militar en varios países de Europa

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The United States announced Wednesday at the NATO summit in Madrid the increase of its military presence in Europe, specifically in six countries —Poland, Romania, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Germany— in addition to the “Baltic” region, in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Upon his arrival at Ifema, the fairgrounds where the summit is taking place in the Spanish capital, President Joe Biden made the announcement when he was received by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Without specifying the number of additional soldiers to be deployed, Biden recalled that earlier this year, the United States sent 20,000 uniformed troops to Europe, bringing the number of U.S. military personnel in the region to 100,000.

He revealed that he will establish a permanent headquarters of the Army’s Fifth Corps in Poland and maintain an additional rotating brigade in Romania, with 5,000 U.S. troops in Romania.

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Specifically, the country will position an additional brigade combat team on Romanian territory.

Washington is also sending two more destroyer ships to the Rota naval base in southern Spain, bringing the number of U.S. destroyer ships deployed at the base to six.

More rotational deployments

Later, the White House detailed in a statement that it will increase rotational deployments, with armor, aviation, air defense, and special operations forces, to reinforce security in the Baltics.

In the United Kingdom, the United States will reinforce the presence of fifth-generation fighter-bombers, the most sophisticated currently in existence, with the stationing of two squadrons of F-35s at Lakenheath.

In parallel, it will locate in Germany an air defense artillery brigade, a short-range air defense battalion, and an engineering brigade with some 625 soldiers in total; while, in Italy, it will locate a battery of anti-aircraft defenses, with 65 military personnel.

The Pentagon’s Assistant Secretary for Defense and International Security Affairs, Celeste Wallander, said in a telephone interview with journalists that the measures announced today represent the U.S. government’s recognition that the security environment has changed.

Wallander stressed that this change affects, above all, the countries on NATO’s eastern flank that face a high threat from the Russian leadership, which has shown its willingness and ability to launch military attacks against bordering countries.

The U.S. official explained that the reinforcements announced Wednesday will make the steps taken by the United States since the beginning of this year, with the deployment of 20,000 additional troops in Eastern Europe, more sustainable.

Wallander said the move will give the United States the ability to maintain a full rotational presence in the eastern flank countries, especially Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia.

This will also allow the United States to maintain a very rigorous training schedule, especially in Romania, but also in Poland.

Increased combat capability

In sum, with today’s announcement, Washington will be able to sustain combat, defense, and deterrence capability in eight countries on NATO’s eastern flank.

White House National Security Council Communications Coordinator John Kirby added on the same call that his country has not informed Russia of these changes to the U.S. force posture in Europe.

Biden is participating this Wednesday on the first day of the NATO summit, which will last until tomorrow.

Apart from attending the sessions, the U.S. president will hold a trilateral meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday to discuss the security challenges posed by North Korea and China.

Later, Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, after an agreement was reached in Madrid the day before between Turkey, Sweden, and Finland, mediated by Stoltenberg, which unblocks the Nordic countries’ accession to NATO.

Biden gave his approval to the pact between Turkey, Finland, and Sweden before it was announced and after having spoken on the phone with Erdoğan hours earlier.

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