Biden: US to strengthen military force in Europe to threaten Russia

MADRID: President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that the US is strengthening its long-term military presence in Europe to bolster regional security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Madrid at the opening of the alliance’s annual leadership summit, Biden said: “NATO is strong and united” and that the steps to be taken during the meeting are “our collective strength will further increase”.
Biden opened his attendance at the summit by announcing that the US will establish permanent headquarters in Poland, send two additional F-35 fighter jet squadrons to the UK, and send more air defense and other capabilities to Germany and Italy.
“Today I announce that the United States will bolster our forces in Europe and respond to the changing security environment and strengthen our collective security,” he said.
Stoltenberg, who earlier Wednesday said the alliance faced its greatest challenge since World War II, welcomed Biden’s announcement.
“This really shows your decisive leadership and strength in the transatlantic bond,” Stoltenberg said, thanking Biden for “you and the United States’ continued support for Ukraine.”
Biden said the US will permanently station the US Army V Corps Front Command in Poland, a move he says would strengthen US-NATO interoperability across the alliance’s eastern flank. The move marks the first permanent base of US troops on NATO’s eastern edge. Biden added that the US is also increasing its rotational deployment of troops to the Baltic region.
Biden announced after arriving for the summit on Tuesday that the US would base two additional destroyers at its naval base in Rota, Spain, bringing the total number to six.
The US currently has more than 100,000 troops deployed across Europe, an increase of about 20,000 since just before Russian President Vladimir Putin began invading Ukraine four months ago.
Biden predicted this week’s meetings would set up a “history summit” as leaders approve a new strategic framework, announce a series of steps to increase defense spending and capabilities, and pave the way for historically neutral Finland and Sweden. to join NATO.
Biden said Putin thought NATO members would splinter after he invaded Ukraine, but got the opposite answer instead.
“Putin was looking for the Finlandization of Europe,” Biden said. “You get the natoisation of Europe. And that’s exactly what he didn’t want, but exactly what needs to be done to guarantee security for Europe.”
Turkey, the last remaining party to approve the Nordic countries’ accession to NATO, reached an agreement late Tuesday on the eve of the summit to support them in joining the 30-country alliance.
While the White House said the US was not a direct party to the negotiations, a senior administration official said Biden spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan on Tuesday to encourage him to pave the way for Sweden and Finland to join. The two leaders will meet Wednesday afternoon to discuss other issues, the White House said.
Biden will also sit down on Wednesday with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who attend the NATO summit as the alliance looks to strengthen its ties in the Indo-Pacific region and tackle China’s challenges.
The White House said the three leaders will also discuss North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

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