Biden: US to strengthen its presence and allies in Europe
The US president said that Washington is enhancing its presence in Europe for the long term to "reinforce regional security" given the Ukrainian crisis.
During the annual NATO summit held in Madrid, Joe Biden said that the US is enhancing its presence in Europe for the long term to reinforce regional security given the Ukrainian crisis.
Earlier on Wednesday, during the opening of the summit, Biden met with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg in Madrid where he said that “NATO is strong and united, and the steps we’re taking during this summit, we’re going to further augment our collective strength.”
Biden also stated that the US is founding a permanent HQ in Poland, as well as sending two additional F-35 fighter jet squadrons to the UK, and further “air defense and other capabilities” are set for 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,” adding that “In Poland, we’re going establish a permanent headquarters, the US Fifth Army Corps, and strengthen the US-NATO interoperability across the entire eastern flank,” Biden announced. Rotational deployments of troops across the Baltics region will also be boosted according to POTUS.
Earlier in the week, a US official said that Washington will announce new long-term military deployments across Europe in response to Russia's threat. The official stated that one such announcement will be the stationing of six US naval destroyers at the US base in Rota, southern Spain, rather than the current four.
Furthermore, US officials stated in May that they will retain 100,000 soldiers stationed in Europe for the foreseeable future. Officials said the numbers may rise if NATO holds further military drills in the region and if the security situation shifts.
This morning I met with President @Sanchezcastejon and thanked him for hosting the NATO Summit and for Spain’s 40 years of contributions to Transatlantic security.— President Biden (@POTUS) June 29, 2022
Together, we launched a joint declaration reaffirming our close partnership on addressing global challenges. pic.twitter.com/OCRbAPnhFI
Since the start of the Ukraine war, the United States has extended its presence in Europe from 60,000 to 100,000 troops, providing troops and military assets to nations along Europe's eastern flank to boost NATO's eastward expansion.
Earlier on Wednesday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg stated that the summit in Madrid is considered “historic and transformative", adding that the leaders "meet in the midst of the most serious security crisis we have faced since the Second World War."Biden agrees with Stoltenberg on the description of the Madrid summit and adds that the steps taken at the summit are supposed to clear the way for historically neutral Finland and Sweden to join NATO.
“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.”
Moreover to NATO’s expansion, the hindrance to Finland and Sweden’s ascension has been solved. Finland's President Sauli Niinisto confirmed on Tuesday that Turkey has agreed to support Finland and Sweden's joint membership of NATO, on the first day of the alliance's summit in the Spanish capital Madrid.
A senior administration source said that Biden talked with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday to urge him to open the way for Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, despite the White House's claim that the US was not a direct participant in the discussions. The White House said that the two leaders would have a bilateral discussion on a number of topics on Wednesday afternoon.
As the NATO summit aims to bolster the alliance's relations in the Indo-Pacific region and confront concerns from China, Biden will also have a meeting with South Korean President Yoon Seok-youl and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The three-way summit, according to the White House, will also include North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.