Kirby’s announcement comes after a statement from a senior official within the Biden administration official that “at Pres. Biden’s direction and following Sec. Austin’s recommendation, the Dept. of Defense will reposition some Europe-based units further to the east, forward deploy more U.S.-based units to Europe, and keep the forces on a heightened state of readiness to meet those commitments. These forces will not be fighting in Ukraine,” the official said. “These moves are not permanent. They respond to the current conditions on the ground.”
Of those 3,000 troops being repositioned, “1,000 of those soldiers are currently based in Germany and will be repositioned to Romania soon,” Kirby explained of the White house’s decision. “This group of soldiers is a striker squadron, which is a mounted cavalry unit that has been designed to deploy quickly and to move fast once in place.” The 1,000 troops “will augment” around 900 U.S. troops that are already in Romania, Kirby said.
The other 2,000 troops will be coming from North Carolina’s Fort Bragg to Germany and Poland this week as part of the White House’s move aimed at bolstering the eastern flank of the NATO allies that are closer to Russia and Putin’s troops.
“This force is created to deter aggression and support our defensive capabilities on frontline allied states,” Kirby says. “We expect them to be moved in the coming days” as part of the repositioning Kirby said Sec. of Defense Lloyd Austin has discussed with Romania’s minister of defense.
“We are not ruling anything out with this announcement,” Kirby says to multiple questions that seek answers about the actions from Russia that might have triggered Joe Biden’s decision to send troops to Europe. “We still do not believe Putin has made a decision on invading Ukraine,” said Kirby. “We just simply do not know,” he added.
“We want to be certain that Putin knows if he were move to on NATO it will be resisted and it is going to trigger Article V,” Kirby said.
The troops that are being sent to Europe are in addition to the 8,500 American troops Pres. Biden has placed on “higher alert status,” still awaiting possible activation as part of the NATO Response Force.
“We will be as transparent as we can with you,” Kirby claimed of any future news on additional U.S. troop movements around and in Europe as Russia has continued to amass troops along its border with Ukraine.