– I will move forces to Eastern Europe and NATO countries in the near future. But not too many, Biden told reporters Friday after returning to Washington from a visit to Philadelphia.
The United States already has tens of thousands of troops stationed mainly in Western Europe. But the Pentagon is looking at the possibility of sending a smaller number of reinforcements to NATO countries in Eastern Europe.
Earlier this week, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said 8,500 US troops would be prepared to be deployed if needed to support NATO, which is worried that Russia will invade Ukraine.
Such a deployment of US forces will not only be of military importance, but also of political importance, in that it strengthens US involvement in the conflict.
Fear ripple effects
Ukraine is not a NATO member, but the United States fears that NATO countries bordering Ukraine could be affected by ripple effects if Russia attacks Ukraine.
Russia, for its part, stresses that it has no plans to attack Ukraine, but has deployed around 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine. Russia demands that Ukraine never become a member of NATO.
Last week, Biden warned at a press conference that a Russian attack on Ukraine could have the opposite effect of what the Kremlin wants.
– We will increase the presence of forces in Poland and Romania, among others, if Putin takes action. These countries are part of NATO, Biden said.