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President Joe Biden is reportedly ordering the Pentagon to move more thousands U.S. troops to several eastern European nations to bolster NATO defenses amid the ongoing Russian military buildup along Ukraine’s borders.
According to U.S. officials who spoke with the Wall Street Journal, about 2,000 U.S. troops will deploy from Fort Bragg, North Carolina to Poland and Germany, while about 1,000 troops comprising a Germany-based infantry Stryker squadron will move over to Romania. Both Poland and Romania border Ukraine to the west.
The Associated Press reported a similar deployment plan, with 2,000 U.S. troops to Germany and Poland and 1,000 troops to Romania.
CNN reported U.S. officials said the U.S. troop deployment could see up to 2,000 U.S. troops in Poland and “an additional few thousand” to southeastern NATO countries, including Romania. The Wall Street Journal also reported Biden is expected to make other moves of forces inside Europe.
CNN reported the Pentagon is expected to formally announce the military movements on Wednesday morning.
The reported military movements come about a week after Biden ordered about 8,500 U.S. troops be placed on “heightened preparedness to deploy” with NATO-allied nations. The Wall Street Journal said Biden and the Pentagon will move to place even more U.S. troops on standby to deploy, beyond the 8,500 announced last week.
The U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal that the military movements are intended to deter Russia from attacking Ukraine. Biden reportedly signed off on the deployment after meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley on Tuesday.
It is unclear if the U.S. troops deployed throughout eastern Europe could be called into a potential conflict within Ukraine. A few hundred U.S. military trainers and special operations troops are reportedly deployed within Ukraine but none of the new forces have been authorized to enter the country, according to the U.S. officials who spoke with the Wall Street Journal. The officials also said the deployments are expected to be temporary.
Last week, the U.S. also began shipping weapons, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, to Ukraine. In the first three shipments, the U.S. sent around 260 tons of weapons to Ukraine. In an additional three shipments over the last few days, the U.S. has delivered an additional 245 tons of weapons, bringing the total weight of U.S. weapons sent to Ukraine to about 500 tons.
The United Kingdom, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have also begun shipping weapons, including Javelins and anti-aircraft missile launchers to Ukraine.