Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine
President Joe Biden announced Tuesday the United States will send two new destroyers to the Rota Naval Station in Spain. This brings the total number of US destroyers based there 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 Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. “Together, the new commitments will constitute an impressive display of allied unity and resolve and NATO’s 360 degree approach to our security.”
The move comes as the US is expected to make announcements during this week’s NATO summit in Madrid to ramp up the American force posture as it looks to counter a “more acute and aggravated Russian threat,” according to national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
“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. Those will help increases the United States’ and NATO’s maritime presence,” Sullivan said aboard Air Force One as Biden was flying to Madrid.
“By the end of the summit what you will see is a more robust, more effective, more combat credible, more capable and more determined force posture to take account of a more acute and aggravated Russian threat.”
Sullivan said the whole of NATO was also planning to agree on specific targets for increased funding for the alliance from their national budgets.
300,000 troops: This follows NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg’s announcement Monday that the US-led military alliance will enhance its battle groups in the eastern part of the alliance up to brigade levels, saying it would be the “biggest overhaul of our collective deterrence and defense since the Cold War.”
“We will increase the number of high readiness forces to well over 300,000,” he said, adding it will include “more pre-positioned equipment, and stockpiles of military supplies; more forward-deployed capabilities, like air defense; strengthened command and control; and upgraded defense plans, with forces pre-assigned to defend specific allies.”
According to the NATO website, the NATO Response Force comprises about 40,000 troops.
“These troops will exercise together with home defense forces. And they will become familiar with local terrain, facilities, and our new pre-positioned stocks so that they can respond smoothly and swiftly to any emergency,” Stoltenberg added.
CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite contributed reporting.
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