3,000 American soldiers are being sent to Europe because there is more and more fear that Russia will invade Ukraine, which is in the middle of Europe.
In an interview with The New York Times, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said that 2,000 soldiers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, will be sent to Poland and Germany. In addition, they are relocating 1,000 American troops who were formerly stationed in Germany to Romania.
“A clear signal that we’re not going to tolerate aggression against our NATO allies,” said Kirby.
The Pentagon says that this is a defensive military action that is meant to keep Ukraine safe from a Russian invasion.
“These are not permanent moves. They are moves designed to respond to the current security environment. Moreover, these forces are not going to fight in Ukraine,” Kirby said.
However, even in the last few days, Russia has kept putting more and more military personnel on the border with Ukraine.
“There is one aggressor here. That aggressor is Russia,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. “They are the ones who are threatening to invade a sovereign country.”
Despite his support for the action, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says he would have like to see it happen sooner and is urging for the United States to impose sanctions immediately.
“Vladimir Putin’s campaign to forcibly redraw the map of the European continent is on the verge of massive escalation,” McConnell said. “To impose serious costs that could actually change Putin’s calculus.”
Military officers said they are still optimistic that Russia will choose to de-escalate the situation. They claim that the outcome of the decision will determine what the United States does next.
“It’s precisely because we can’t be perfectly predictive that we want to be prepared and we want to be ready,” Kirby said.
The 8,500 American soldiers who were placed on high alert will stay on high alert, but they will not be deployed at this time.
According to Kirby, France is also sending soldiers to Romania, where they will be under NATO command. Other NATO allies are also considering sending troops to Romania, and Kirby says that France is one of them.