U.S. Deploying 3,000 Troops to NATO Countries in Eastern Europe Amid Russia’s Military Buildup

US Soldiers - Ukraine - Russia Conflict 2022

… distinct from the 8,500 American troops who were placed on heightened readiness as part of the NATO Response Force …

U.S. Deploying 3,000 Troops to NATO Countries in Eastern Europe Amid Russia’s Military Buildup

McCain Institute reports:

US Soldiers - Ukraine - Russia Conflict 2022
U.S. Soldiers, assigned to Bull Troop, 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, maneuver a Stryker armored vehicle during a situational training exercise at the 7th Army Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Jan. 11, 2022. (U.S. Army photo by Markus Rauchenberger)

The Dept. of Defense (DOD) announced Wednesday that the U.S. will deploy an additional 3,000 troops to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries in Eastern Europe amid Russia’s ongoing military buildup on Ukraine’s borders.

The deployment will involve troops currently in Europe and in the continental U.S. and is being done on a bilateral or trilateral basis at the invitation of the governments involved. It’s distinct from the 8,500 American troops who were placed on heightened readiness as part of the NATO Response Force.


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An Army Stryker squadron with 1,000 troops who are currently in Germany will go to Romania in the next few days, where they’ll join 900 servicemembers already in the country.

An additional 2,000 troops from the 82nd Airborne Division and the 18th Airborne Corps will deploy from Fort Bragg, North Carolina in the next few days. That movement includes an infantry brigade combat team from the 82nd who will go to Poland and a joint-task-force-capable headquarters unit element of the 18th who will be deployed to Germany. (Both the 82nd Airborne Division and the 18th Airborne Corps also have other troops on heightened readiness as part of the NATO Response Force.)

The U.S. and NATO aren’t moving troops to Ukraine, which isn’t a member of the alliance, as efforts to help Ukraine’s military have been limited to training support and the provision of equipment like shoulder-fired anti-tank and anti-air missiles. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told the press that the deployments are to “reinforce the deterrent posture on NATO’s eastern flank” and “to ensure the robust defense of our NATO allies.”



The Latest on Russia’s Military Buildup

Over the last several months, Russia has undertaken a significant military buildup on Ukraine’s border with well over 100,000 troops in close proximity to the border and more personnel in staging areas where they could quickly be moved to the front.

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The buildup is larger than what occurred before Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine and launched an invasion of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine in 2014, where it still supports a separatist insurgency. The ongoing conflict has led to more than 14,000 deaths to date.

The Russian military presence has grown to more than 130,000 troops in areas near Ukraine’s border in recent days and is expected to grow larger as troops arrive in Belarus for what Russia says are planned exercises.

Russia’s buildup also involves advanced equipment, including several short-range Iskander ballistic missile brigades and some of its S-400 surface-to-air missile system. It also has a significant naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea, where Russian warships from the Baltic Fleet and Pacific Fleet are linking up.

It’s still unclear whether Putin has decided to attack Ukraine, and he has said he has no plans to do so. Kirby said on Wednesday that U.S. officials still don’t know whether Putin has made up his mind whether to re-invade Ukraine. However, the multi-pronged buildup of military assets gives Putin the ability to threaten Ukraine by land from the south via Crimea, from the east via the Donbas, or the north from Belarus; and by sea through a potential amphibious landing from the Black Sea.

Russia is reportedly laying the groundwork for a “false flag” operation to use as justification for an attack on Ukraine. On January 27th, the U.S. announced sanctions against several Russian-backed officials who were being recruited to undermine Ukraine’s government and to prepare to take over the country’s government and control the country’s critical infrastructure during a Russian occupation. The British government said it also has gathered intelligence about an effort by Moscow to install a pro-Kremlin leader in Ukraine through a coup.

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