Biden Briefed on Military Options, Pentagon Announces Plans on Deploying Troops to Eastern Europe
Jan. 24, 2022 (EIRNS)—In a story posted on Jan. 23, the New York Times, citing unnamed officials, reported that President Joe Biden had been briefed on military options for deploying troops into Eastern Europe by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley the day before by video-teleconference. The number of troops ddeployed could number 1,000 to 5,000, with the potential for up to 50,000, along with air and naval assets.
Later in the day, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby confirmed that, at President Joe Biden’s direction, the Pentagon is putting about 8,500 U.S.-based troops on heightened alert for potential deployment to Europe. Kirby added that Austin was anticipating the potential for NATO to activate what it calls the NATO Response Force, a multinational force totaling about 40,000 troops. Most of the 8,500 U.S. troops being put on higher alert would be sent as part of that response force, if it’s activated, Kirby said, according to an account on PBS. This is supposedly in response to Russia escalating its “menacing posture” against Ukraine.
So far, none of the military options being considered include deploying additional American troops to Ukraine itself, and Biden has made clear that he is loath to enter another conflict following America’s painful exit from Afghanistan last summer after 20 years, the Times adds. The officials added that if Biden approves the deployment, some of the troops would come from the United States, while others would move from other parts of Europe to the more vulnerable countries on NATO’s eastern flank.