8,500 US troops ordered to prepare to deploy to Eastern Europe


US President Joe Biden has ordered 8,500 troops to prepare to deploy to Eastern Europe

In a Pentagon press conference this afternoon, Monday, January 24, John Kirby, the US Defense Department spokesman said that the Biden administration has 8,500 troops on standby for deployment into Eastern Europe.

“This is really about getting folks ready to go”, said Kirby, explaining that ground forces make up the majority of the troops. He stressed that in the case of a ‘deteriorating security environment’, or if NATO activates the NATO Response Force, then the US troops are ready to move.

Kirby told the assembled reporters, “There’s not a mission per se, this is about Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wanting to get ahead of the potential activation, and making sure these units have time to prepare”.

This move was “sending a strong message that we’re committed to NATO, and we’re committed to ensuring that our allies have the capabilities they need, in case they need to defend themselves”, added Kirby. He pointed out that there are no immediate plans to deploy, but that the troops are in a state of “heightened alert”.

A message sent to families of US Embassy staff, instructing them to leave Kyiv, has been met with a backlash from Oleg Nikolenko, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson. “We have taken note of the State Department’s decision re departure of family members of US Embassy in Kyiv staff”, he posted on Twitter this morning.
Adding, “While we respect the right of foreign nations to ensure safety and security of their diplomatic missions, we believe such a step to be a premature one, and an instance of excessive caution”.

A State Department official had said over the weekend, “Given that the President has said military action by Russia could come at any time, the US government will not be in a position to evacuate US citizens. So, US citizens currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly”.

The White House confirmed that Biden would hold a secure video call with top European leaders this afternoon, to further discuss plans regarding the conflict in Eastern Europe, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com

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