On April 13th, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that 500 additional troops would be sent to Germany.
This will be a permanent deployment.
The US will permanently station “approximately 500 additional US personnel in the Wiesbaden area” of Germany and will be on the ground “as early as fall,” Austin said during a news conference in Berlin.
“This planned increase in US personnel underscores our commitment to Germany, and to the entire NATO alliance,” he added.
Austin’s announcement comes amid US and NATO’s concerns over the increase in Russian troops on Ukraine’s eastern border.
In his announcement, Austin said the new personnel in Germany “will strengthen deterrence and defense in Europe, and they will augment our existing abilities to prevent conflict.”
He said the forces would “create more space capabilities, more cyber and more electronic warfare capabilities in Europe” and “greatly improve our ability to surge forces at a moment’s notice to defend our allies.”
Of course, Austin was asked if this was a message to Russia.
“Let me assure you that it’s a message to NATO, and that message is that we support NATO to the fullest extent.”
“And most importantly, we value the relationship with our partner here in Germany. And so we will continue to strengthen our partnership and our alliance,” he said.
Germany’s Minister of Defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer welcomed the announcement of an additional 500 US troops stationed in Germany as “happy news” and said the US’ commitment to NATO is “a crucial pillar for our freedom and peace.”
“Our cooperation is all the more important, important in times where the security and defense architecture has come under pressure in many parts of the world,” she said.
On the same day, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reiterated that “the United States stands firmly behind the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” during a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Brussels.
The top US diplomat said that support was particularly important in light of Russia taking “very provocative actions when it comes to Ukraine.”
“We’re now seeing the largest concentration of Russian forces on Ukraine’s border since 2014 and that is of deep concern not only to Ukraine but to the United States and indeed to many of our allies and partners,” Blinken said.
US European Commander Gen. Tod Wolters told Congress that Russia has an “inject of a very sizable ground domain force” near the Ukraine border, as well as a “notable air force injection and a notable maritime force injection.”
“It is of the size and scale and scope that is of great concern,” he said.
It appears that interesting times are coming ahead in Ukraine, and Europe as a whole, with the US set on presented at least the illusion of support.
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