BERLIN — America will improve its navy presence in Germany by about 500 personnel to raised defend Europe, Protection Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III mentioned throughout a go to to the nation on Tuesday.
The assertion not solely reverses the earlier administration’s plans to withdraw as much as 12,000 of the roughly 36,000 U.S. troops stationed in Germany. It additionally expands the U.S. footprint at a time when Europe is rising uneasy over Russian troop actions close to the border with Ukraine.
“These forces will strengthen deterrence and protection in Europe,” Mr. Austin mentioned after assembly his German counterpart, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. “They may increase our current skills to forestall battle and, if needed, combat and win.”
He didn’t elaborate on the added troops’ particular mission, saying solely that the change would “create extra space, extra cyber and extra digital warfare capabilities in Europe.”
In latest weeks, Russia has massed extra troops on the Ukrainian border than at any time since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea. Pentagon officers say privately that they don’t suppose Moscow is on the verge of an invasion, however considerations have mounted all through the Biden administration.
Final week, the White Home press secretary, Jen Psaki, known as the indicators popping out of Ukraine “deeply regarding.”
The potential for a disaster in Ukraine offers the Biden administration the impetus to take motion on a problem that administration officers say the president already had in thoughts: reversing his predecessor’s resolution to begin a large-scale drawdown of the American troop presence in Germany.
Since taking workplace in January, Mr. Biden has sought to reassure European allies that the times of President Donald J. Trump’s persistent belittlement of NATO and the American alliance with Europe are over, a minimum of for now.
The motion of troops consists of two models which might be scheduled to reach in Germany in September and October, U.S. Military Europe mentioned in a press release. It’s going to embrace 750 relations and 35 positions for native nationals.
One of many models will contain discipline artillery; composite air and missile protection; intelligence, our on-line world, digital warfare and house; aviation; and a brigade assist aspect, the assertion mentioned. The opposite shall be geared toward enhancing multinational operations.
The brand new contingent shall be stationed in Wiesbaden, dwelling to one of many U.S. navy’s most fashionable installations in Germany. It’s the headquarters of the U.S. Military Europe and about 3,000 troops and their households.
The change, Mr. Austin mentioned, “will significantly enhance our means to surge forces at a second’s discover to defend our allies.”
Helene Cooper contributed reporting from Washington.