June 29 (UPI) — Speaking at a key NATO summit in Spain on Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden said that the United States will increase its military operations in Europe and will help create a permanent NATO headquarters in Poland.
Biden made the pledges during remarks Wednesday on the first day of the two-day summit, which is being held in Madrid.
The American president added that the move to increase activity will help NATO defend member states against potential threats from Russia and allies to Moscow.
“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin has shattered peace in Europe and attacked the very, very tenants of rule-based order,” Biden said according to NBC News. “The United States and our allies are stepping up, proving NATO is more needed now than it ever has been, and it’s as important as it has ever been.”
Biden noted that the Pentagon will make new military deployments in Europe to build on the initial groups that were sent to Poland and Romania after the war in Ukraine began in February. Part of the new activity will be a new permanent headquarters for the U.S. 5th Army Corps in Poland, something Russia has opposed in the past.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg greets U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday at the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain. Photo via NATO/UPI
Earlier, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance is facing the world’s “most serious security crisis” since World War II.
Biden also promised to deploy two more F-35 fighter jet squadrons to Britain, send new “air defense and other capabilities” to Germany and make additional rotational deployments in Romania and the Baltic region.
“We have to stay together,” Biden said earlier this week at the G7 summit in Germany, according to The Washington Post. “Because Putin has been counting on, from the beginning, that somehow NATO would and the G7 would splinter. But we haven’t, and we’re not going to.”
Also at Wednesday’s session, NATO formally extended invitations for Sweden and Finland to join. The invitations were made possible on Tuesday when Turkey, who’d opposed both nations joining the alliance, dropped its opposition after discussions among officials of the three countries. All new members must be unanimously approved for admission.
U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at Torrejon Airbase outside Madrid, Spain, on Tuesday ahead of the two-day NATO summit. Photo by Paul Hanna/UPI
Some of the changes that are expected at the summit include updating NATO’s Strategic Concept, which addresses various security challenges. When the concept was adopted in 2010, member states agreed that Russia was a strategic partner. Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that is no longer so.
“I expect that, when leaders agree [to] the Strategic Concept today, they will state clearly that Russia poses a direct threat to our security and, of course, that will be reflected throughout the Strategic Concept,” Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.
The NATO chief also named China as a potential threat, and said that Beijing “is a challenge to our values, to our interests and to our security.”
“China is not an adversary but, of course, we need to take into account the consequences to our security when we see China investing heavily in new modern military capabilities, long-range missiles, nuclear weapons and also trying to control critical infrastructure,” he said.
“The Strategic Concept will reflect that NATO is changing; the world is changing.”
Biden arrived in Spain on Tuesday after the G7 summit in Germany, where he and other leaders vowed continued support for Ukraine.