By Allen Zhong and Tom Ozimek
The United States will create a new permanent army headquarters in Poland and deploy additional land, air, and sea forces across the length and breadth of Europe in response to threats from Russia, President Joe Biden said on Wednesday.
“I’m announcing the United States will enhance our force posture in Europe and respond to the changed security environment, as well as strengthening our collective security,” he told reporters during a briefing joined by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Madrid, Spain.
“We’re going to continue to adjust our posture based on the threat, in close consultation with our Allies,” he added.
The Biden administration said that the United States will take several additional actions including some deployments already announced after the Russian invasion of Ukraine:
- Establish a permanent headquarters for the U.S. Army Fifth Corps in Poland
- Almost Double the number of U.S. Navy destroyers stationed in Spain’s Rota Naval Base. The number will reach four to six once this deployment is completed
- Added 20,000 additional U.S. forces to Europe and brought the total U.S. military personnel in Europe to 100,000
- Position a rotational Brigade Combat Team (BCT) in Romania that will add 3,000 fighters and another 2,000 personnel
- Send two additional squadrons of advanced F-35 fighter jets to Britain
- Add 625 troops in Germany to oversee and carry out air defense artillery operations, combat sustainment support, and engineering missions
- Station a short-range air defense battery in Italy, adding 65 personnel
- Enhance U.S. rotational deployments in the Baltic states including armored, aviation, air defense, and special operations forces
The White House said that the new stationing of U.S. forces in Europe is to “support NATO and to deter any aggression against our Allies.”
“We’re sending an unmistakable message, in my view—and I think yours as well—that NATO is strong, united, and the steps we’re taking during this summit are going to further augment our collective strength,” Biden told reporters during the briefing.
Stoltenberg told Biden the increase demonstrated the U.S. leader’s “decisive leadership.”
“We’re going to make sure that NATO is ready to meet threats from all directions across every domain,” Biden said. “We’re proving that NATO is more needed now than it ever has been.”
The United States has not communicated with Russia about the decisions as there’s no requirement to do so.
“There has been no communication with Moscow about these changes, nor is there a requirement to do that,” John Kirby, the National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, told reporters during a press call.
Polish President Andrzej Duda hailed the decision for a permanent NATO base in Poland, a move that Warsaw has long lobbied for.
Biden “said clearly that for the first time in NATO history, there will be a permanent U.S. military presence in Poland in the form of the Fifth Corps command. It’s a long-awaited decision,” Duda said in a tweet.
Reuters contributed to the report.