Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday ordered the deployment of approximately 7,000 additional troops to Europe, amid a Russian war with Ukraine.
A senior defense official said in a statement:
At the direction of the President, Secretary of Defense Austin has ordered the deployment to Europe of approximately 7,000 additional Service Members. 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.
These forces are on top of 5,000 American forces deployed to Europe earlier this month, and the approximately 80,000 U.S. troops in Europe.
Additional U.S. forces inside Europe were moved closer towards the east.
The deployment was announced after President Joe Biden addressed the nation on the unfolding crisis. He said U.S. troops would not be fighting in Ukraine, but said they would reassure NATO allies in the east.
“Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the east. As I made crystal clear, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power,” Biden said.
Earlier on Thursday, NATO members Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania invoked Article 4 of NATO’s funding treaty, requiring allies to hold consultations when the “security of any of the Parties is threatened.”