Biden announces new measures to bolster NATO security against Russian threat

President Biden on Tuesday said the Pentagon will send additional Navy destroyers to Spain as part of U.S. efforts bolster NATO defenses in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine.  

In talks with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Biden promised to increase the number of Navy destroyers stationed at Rota Naval Station in Spain from four to six.  

“As I said before the war started, if Putin attacked Ukraine, the United States would enhance our force posture in Europe and respond to the reality of a new European security environment,” he said alongside Sánchez after the two met.

“Together, the new commitments will constitute an impressive display of allied unity and resolve and NATO’s 360-degree approach to our security.” 

Biden, who is in Madrid as part of a three-day NATO summit, said the additional destroyers are just one of several announcements that he and allies would make during the gathering.  

National security adviser Jake Sullivan referenced those announcements earlier aboard Air Force One as Biden was flying to Madrid, telling reporters they will respond to a “more acute and aggravated Russian threat.” 

“The United States will be making specific announcements tomorrow on land, sea and air on additional force posture commitments over the long term beyond the duration of this crisis, for however long it goes on,” Sullivan said. 

Among those expected announcements is a plan to extend the presence of American troops in Poland, who were initially stationed there following Russia’s Feb. 24 attack against Ukraine. 

The Pentagon deployed at least 4,700 U.S. troops to Poland, which borders Ukraine, while other American forces were repositioned in Germany and Romania ahead of the invasion.  

The troops have added to a significant U.S. force presence increase in Europe — from about 80,000 troops to roughly 100,000 since late February.  

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said the alliance plans to significantly increase its quick-reaction force “to well over 300,000” soldiers, a huge boost from the force’s current 40,000-person standing.  

“We will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance up to brigade-levels. We will transform the NATO Response Force and increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000,” Stoltenberg said at a Monday news conference. 

Tags Biden Jake Sullivan Jens Stoltenberg Jens Stoltenberg Joe Biden Joe Biden NATO Pedro Sánchez Pedro Sánchez
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