The Pentagon ordered 8,500 troops to be on high alert to potentially be deployed to Europe as part of a NATO “reaction force” amid growing concern that Russia could soon take a military step on Ukraine. President Joe Biden consulted with key European leaders, underscoring US solidarity with allies there.
Putting US-based troops on high alert for Europe on Monday dampened hopes that Russian President Vladimir Putin will back down from what Biden himself has said poses a threat to invade neighboring Ukraine.
Beyond Ukraine’s future, at stake, is the credibility of the NATO alliance that is central to US defense strategy but which Putin sees as a relic of the Cold War and a threat to Russian security. For Biden, the crisis represents a major test of his ability to form a joint Allied stance against Putin.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said about 8,500 US-based troops are being put on alert for a possible deployment – not in Ukraine but in Eastern Europe as part of coalition forces in NATO territory – to prevent any widespread Putin aggression. To indicate a unified commitment to stop.
Russia denies that it is planning an invasion. It added that the Western charges are only a cover for NATO’s own planned provocation. Recent days have seen high-stakes diplomacy that has failed to reach any success, and key players at play are making moves that suggest fears of impending war.
Biden has sought to strike a balance between actions taken to deter Putin and actions that could provide an opportunity for the Russian leader to use the vast power gathered on Ukraine’s border.
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