John Kirby, Pentagon Press Secretary, announced that 8,500 American troops were available for rapid deployment to Eastern Europe to support NATO allies in case Russia invades Ukraine.
He said that Secretary Austin had placed a number of U.S. units on a heightened readiness to deploy, which increases the U.S.’s readiness to provide forces in case NATO activates the NRF or other situations arise.”
“All in all, the number of forces that the secretary has placed under heightened alert amounts to approximately 8,500 personnel.”
Although the administration hopes that the move will discourage Putin from starting fighting at the Russian-Ukrainian frontier, reporters quickly scrutinized it, especially if the troops are not going directly towards Ukraine.
Jennifer Griffin, Fox News National Security Correspondent, asked: “If you aren’t willing to send troops in Ukraine, what makes it seem like this will deter Vladimir Putin?”
Kirby responded, “I believe there’s a whole bunch of things that are being looked at by the administration to deter Vladimir Putin” “This is about sending out a strong message to NATO that we are committed to NATO and to ensuring that our allies have what they need in the event of a need to defend ourselves.”
This is, in other words, a performative measure that the Biden administration may have taken.
Transparency is almost always a good thing. However, if you decide to publicly disclose the exact location and number of troops that might be deployed, it could backfire.
There are likely to be more private moves to stop Putin than the ones Kirby shared with the world.
The United States is warning of war, particularly with the State Department telling Americans not to travel in any way to Ukraine and telling Americans to flee on commercial flights.
The U.S. must choose between staying out of conflict and going all-in after the terrible withdrawal from Afghanistan. People were left scrambling because the Biden administration refused to take any decisive action when withdrawing from Afghanistan.
They must be aggressive if they want to control the situation. It will be a waste both of time and human life. Ideally, the U.S. wouldn’t send such a large number of troops as they are considering. It would be absurd to risk the lives of those who would be affected by a European conflict. Biden and Pentagon must decide which path they will take with their military strategy if they do decide that troops are needed.
The U.S. must be seen as the world’s most powerful military, and not as a meddling younger brother who wants to pick a fight.