Biden: US Boosting Force Posture 06/29 06:28
President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the U.S. is enhancing its military
presence in Europe for the long haul to bolster regional security after
Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
MADRID (AP) -- President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the U.S. is enhancing
its military presence in Europe for the long haul to bolster regional security
after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Madrid at the
opening of the alliance's annual leaders summit, Biden said "NATO is strong and
united" and that steps to be taken during the gathering will "further augment
our collective strength."
Biden opened his participation in the summit by announcing that the U.S. is
establishing a permanent headquarters in Poland, sending two additional F-35
fighter jet squadrons to the UK and will send more air defense and other
capabilities to Germany and Italy.
"Today I'm announcing the United States will enhance our force posture in
Europe and respond to the changing security environment as well as
strengthening our collective security," he said.
Stoltenberg, who earlier Wednesday said the alliance was facing its biggest
challenge since World War II, welcomed Biden's announcement.
"This really demonstrates your decisive leadership and strength in the
trans-Atlantic bond," Stoltenberg said, thanking Biden for the "unwavering
support from you and from the United States to Ukraine."
Biden said the U.S. will permanently station the U.S. Army V Corps forward
command in Poland , a move that he said would strengthen US-NATO
interoperability across the alliance's eastern flank. The move marks the first
permanent basing of U.S. forces on NATO's eastern edge. Biden added that the
U.S. is also stepping up its rotational deployments of troops to the Baltic
Biden announced after arriving for the summit on Tuesday that the U.S. would
base two additional destroyers at its naval base in Rota, Spain, bringing the
total number to six.
The U.S. currently has more than 100,000 servicemembers deployed across
Europe, up by about 20,000 since just before Russian President Vladimir Putin's
invasion of Ukraine began four months ago.
Biden predicted that meetings this week would make for a "history-making
summit" as leaders were set to approve a new strategic framework, announce a
range of steps to boost their defense spending and capabilities, and clear the
way for historically neutral Finland and Sweden to join NATO.
Biden said Putin thought NATO members would splinter after he invaded
Ukraine, but got the opposite response instead.
"Putin was looking for the Finland-ization of Europe," Biden said. "You're
gonna get the NATO-ization of Europe. And that's exactly what he didn't want,
but exactly what needs to be done to guarantee security for Europe."
Turkey, the last remaining holdout to approve the Nordic countries'
accession into NATO, reached an agreement on the eve of the summit late Tuesday
to support adding them to the 30-nation alliance.
While the White House said the U.S. was not a direct party to the
negotiations, a senior administration official said Biden spoke with Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdoan on Tuesday to encourage him to clear the way
for Sweden and Finland to join. The two leaders are set to meet Wednesday
afternoon to discuss other issues, the White House said.
Biden will also sit down Wednesday with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol
and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who are attending the NATO summit as
the alliance looks to strengthen its ties in the Indo-Pacific region and
address challenges from China.
The White House said the three leaders would also discuss North Korea's
nuclear and ballistic missile programs.