NEW YORK CITY – President Biden is reportedly weighing the deployment of U.S. troops to NATO allies amid increased tensions with Russia and concerns that Moscow is planning an invasion of Ukraine.
The New York Times, citing unidentified administration officials, reported on Monday that Biden is considering sending troops to allied countries in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, a move that would increase the U.S. military’s presence across the globe at a time when diplomatic conversations between Washington and Moscow appear to be at a stalemate.
Biden met with senior Pentagon officials at Camp David on Sunday, when the top officials presented him with several options that would move the U.S.’s military forces closer to Russia, the Times reported. Officials reportedly told the president he could deploy between 1,000 and 5,000 troops to Eastern European countries, with the option of increasing the number tenfold if circumstances unravel in the region.
None of the options on the table, however, would send additional troops to Ukraine, the Times noted. Administration officials told the newspaper that Biden could decide next steps as early as this week.
Top U.S. and Russia officials have been engaged in diplomatic discussions for days, though no breakthroughs have been met. With talks stalling and concerns of a Russia incursion rising, the Biden administration is beginning to shift from its do-not-provoke strategy, according to the Times.
“We’re going to actually increase troop presence in Poland, in Romania, et cetera, if in fact he moves because we have a sacred obligation in Article 5 to defend those countries. They are part of NATO,” Biden said during a press conference last week.
“We don’t have that obligation relative to Ukraine, although we have great concern about what happens in Ukraine,” he added.
Pentagon and Biden administration officials declined to comment on the new report to The Hill.