In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, US President Joe Biden pledged more American troops, warplanes, and warships for Europe on Wednesday, as NATO agreed to the most significant strengthening of its deterrents since the Cold War.
Biden’s pledge at the Madrid summit to ‘defend every inch of allied territory’ coincided with the launch of a new plan to fortify the Baltic states and Poland against any future Russian attack.
With more German, British, and other allied troops on alert to deploy eastward, the US is also increasing its presence in Europe by sending more warships to Spain, planes to Britain, pre-positioned weapons to the Baltics, and more soldiers to Romania.
‘When we say an attack on one is an attack on all,’ Biden explained.
The Baltic states initially sought permanent NATO bases and a tenfold increase in NATO troop presence from around 5,000 multinational soldiers prior to the Ukraine invasion, as well as increased air and maritime defences.
While NATO’s agreement on Wednesday falls short of that, it does mean that allies will keep more troops in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as send more equipment, weapons, and ammunition to the region and set up a rapid reinforcements system.
NATO leaders agreed to increase the readiness of more than 300,000 troops.