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President Joe Biden is stepping up US military deployments across Europe in the coming months, the White House announced on Wednesday.
According to a White House fact sheet, Biden has ordered additional bases, troops or assets in Poland, Romania, the UK and the Baltics. Poland will receive a permanent headquarters for the US 5th Corps; two additional F-35 squadrons are being sent to the UK, and Romania and the Baltics will see increased rotational deployments.
The United States also placed an air defense artillery brigade and a short-range air defense battalion in Germany. Italy will also receive a short-range air defense battery. The two deployments total 625 and 65 personnel respectively.
The United States also said it was working with Spain to increase the number of warship destroyers stationed in its port of Rota from four to six.
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“All of these credible combat forces and enablers are supported by significant investments in the long-term American presence in Europe,” the White House wrote, adding that the United States continues to spend $3.8 billion a year to “European Deterrence Initiative”.
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The increase in deployments comes in response to Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine. While the US has said it will not deploy troops to directly defend Ukraine, US troops would be involved if Russia attacks a NATO country.
NATO also expanded its membership in response to the invasion, with Finland and Sweden applying to join the alliance. While Turkey initially opposed their entry, it gave the go-ahead for the addition on Tuesday.
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The United States and NATO have not directly intervened to defend Ukraine, but they have offered billions of dollars in military support in recent months. The United States passed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine in May, which included $26 billion in arms and security funding.