U.S. President Joe Biden pledged more American troops, warplanes and warships for Europe on Wednesday as NATO agreed the biggest strengthening of its deterrents since the Cold War in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Biden’s commitment at the Madrid summit “to defend every inch of allied territory” came as the U.S.-led military alliance also set in motion a new plan to reinforce the Baltic states and Poland against any future Russian attack.
With more German, British and other allied troops to be on alert to deploy eastward, the United States is also adding to the 100,000 personnel already in Europe by sending more warships to Spain, planes to Britain, pre-positioned weapons to the Baltics and more soldiers to Romania. “We mean it when we say an attack against one is an attack against all,” Biden said.
However, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi played down a threat of a near-term armed confrontation between NATO and Russia. “There is no risk of a military escalation. We must be ready, but there is no risk,” he said.
The Baltics originally sought permanent NATO bases and as much as a tenfold increase to NATO’s troop presence from around 5,000 multinational soldiers prior to the Ukraine invasion, as well as adding air and maritime defences. What NATO agreed on Wednesday falls short of that, but it means more allied troops in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, more equipment, weapons and ammunition sent to the region, and setting up a system of rapid reinforcements. NATO leaders agreed to move towards putting more than 300,000 troops at higher readiness.

Source: Reuters

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