January 23, 2022

Biden Weighs Deploying Thousands of Troops to Eastern Europe and Baltics

Featuring Jim Townsend

Source: The New York Times

Journalists Eric Schmitt, Helene Cooper

President Biden is considering deploying several thousand U.S. troops, as well as warships and aircraft, to NATO allies in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, an expansion of American military involvement amid mounting fears of a Russian incursion into Ukraine, according to administration officials.

The move would signal a major pivot for the Biden administration, which up until recently was taking a restrained stance on Ukraine, out of fear of provoking Russia into invading. But as President Vladimir V. Putin has ramped up his threatening actions toward Ukraine, and talks between American and Russian officials have failed to discourage him, the administration is now moving away from its do-not-provoke strategy.

...

A former top Pentagon official for Europe and NATO policy, Jim Townsend, said the administration’s proposal did not go far enough.

“It’s likely too little too late to deter Putin,” Mr. Townsend said in an email. “If the Russians do invade Ukraine in a few weeks, those 5,000 should be just a down payment for a much larger U.S. and allied force presence. Western Europe should once again be an armed camp.”

Read the full story and more from The New York Times.

Authors

  • Jim Townsend

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    James Joye Townsend Jr. is an adjunct senior fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program. After eight years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for European ...