Biden To Deploy U.S. Soldiers

U.S. troops are officially being deployed to Eastern Europe in the near future, confirming a potential deployment previously mentioned by President Biden as a counter to Russian threats to Ukraine. Biden announced the move and reported that “not too many” troops will be heading to Eastern European NATO countries. The numbers will likely be fewer than 10,000, drawing from units that have been made ready to deploy in recent days.

Troops to deploy to Eastern Europe

Russia has amassed somewhere around 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, along with significant numbers of tanks, artillery, and other heavy weaponry.

The United States has been reporting this as a likely invasion force since late last year; the Russians deny this and the Ukrainian government has downplayed the risk somewhat.

Still, Russian President Vladimir Putin has a force on hand which is ready to invade if that is his intention. Ukrainian forces are almost universally considered inadequate for countering a full-scale Russian assault.

The U.S.  troops will not deploy directly to Ukraine, but the hope is that their presence in the region may act as a deterrent anyway and might reassure American allies in the region.

Talks between Biden and the Ukrainian president reportedly have not gone much better than talks between Russian and American diplomats and the troop deployment is unlikely to help the diplomatic effort on either front.

Russia feels threatened by a strong NATO presence just beyond its borders and the Ukrainian government feels that its economy has already been damaged by an excessive American response to the threat.

Diplomatic solution not any closer

Biden has moved very quickly from suggesting that a deployment was possible to making it a reality, something which is unlikely to improve Kiev’s image of a “panicky” White House.

The State Department has warned Americans to stay away from Ukraine and has pulled out the families of all embassy staff.

A source close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported that there was widespread annoyance with the move and a perception that the families would be safer in Kiev than they will be in any “crime-ridden city in the U.S.”

Both NATO and the Department of Defense say that, despite the Western military buildup in Eastern Europe, conflict is not inevitable and the priority remains finding a peaceful solution.

President Biden himself has admitted that NATO is not unified in its desired response to Russia; aggressive economic sanctions might do as much damage to Western Europe as they do to Russia.

The move to deploy troops to the region can only do so much to strengthen Biden’s position in the region given the scale of the Russian military threat. Diplomacy is still the focus for now, and no one has been impressed with Biden’s diplomatic efforts thus far.

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