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Biden considers sending thousands of troops, warships and aircraft to Eastern Europe Ukraine Russia


U.S. President Joe Biden has begun considering options for boosting America’s military assets in the Ukraine region, including warships and aircraft, senior administration officials said.

It comes after meetings with his top national security aides at his Camp David retreat over the weekend.

The New York Times said Biden was mulling plans to send 1,000 to 5,000 troops to Eastern European countries, with the possibility of increasing the number should tensions flare further.

A senior administration official declined to confirm the numbers on Sunday but said ‘we are developing plans and we are consulting with allies to determine options moving forward.’ 

None of the military options being looked at would see the deployment of additional American troops to Ukraine itself with the president keen to avoid entering another conflict.

Biden is expected to make a decision as early as this week. 

President Biden is considering deploying several thousand American troops together with warships and aircraft, to NATO ally countries located in the Baltics and Eastern Europe

President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are pictured meeting in June 2021

President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are pictured meeting in June 2021

U.S. said it was ordering the departure of eligible family members of staff from its embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, pictured here in 2017

U.S. said it was ordering the departure of eligible family members of staff from its embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, pictured here in 2017

Members of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the Armed Forces, train in a city park in Kyiv, Ukraine. Dozens of civilians have been joining Ukraine's army reserves in recent weeks amid fears about Russian invasion

Members of Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the Armed Forces, train in a city park in Kyiv, Ukraine. Dozens of civilians have been joining Ukraine’s army reserves in recent weeks amid fears about Russian invasion

If the U.S. does decide to send more troops to the region, such a move would be a change of tact for the Biden administration which up to now has been restrained over the situation in Ukraine, partly to avoid provoking Russia into invading the country. 

If Biden approves the deployment, some of the troops would be American while others would be drafted from other countries in Europe.

Commanders have suggested that more air defense, engineering, logistics and artillery forces would be required. 

Besides the troops, Biden could also approve additional aircraft being sent to the region.

After Friday’s talks between the U.S. and Russia, appear to have failed, Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to be ratcheting up the tension, threatening actions towards Ukraine.

In doing so, the U.S. is now moving away from its previous stance of not wanting to provoke a Russian administration sources told the Times. 

During a meeting in Camp David over the weekend, Pentagon officials outlined various options to President Biden, many of which would see American military might move a step closer to the Russian border. 

Sources say that there is the potential to send up to 50,000 should the need arise.

Last week, Biden said he warned Putin that any Russian invasion of Ukraine would see more U.S. troops sent to the region.  

‘We’re going to actually increase troop presence in Poland, in Romania, et cetera, if in fact he moves,’ Biden said. ‘They are part of NATO.’

If Biden approves the deployment, some of the troops would be American while others would be drafted from other countries in Europe

If Biden approves the deployment, some of the troops would be American while others would be drafted from other countries in Europe

A Russian rocket launcher fires during military drills near Orenburg in the Urals, Russia in December. With tens of thousands of Russian troops positioned near Ukraine, the Kremlin has kept the U.S. and its allies guessing about its next moves in the worst Russia-West security crisis since the Cold War

A Russian rocket launcher fires during military drills near Orenburg in the Urals, Russia in December. With tens of thousands of Russian troops positioned near Ukraine, the Kremlin has kept the U.S. and its allies guessing about its next moves in the worst Russia-West security crisis since the Cold War

Members of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the Armed Forces, train in a city park in Kyiv, Ukraine. Dozens of civilians have been joining Ukraine's army reserves in recent weeks amid fears about Russian invasion

Members of Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the Armed Forces, train in a city park in Kyiv, Ukraine. Dozens of civilians have been joining Ukraine’s army reserves in recent weeks amid fears about Russian invasion

People rallying in patriotic support of Ukraine hold a 500 meter long ribbon in the colors of the Ukrainian flag on Unity Day in Kyiv, Ukraine

People rallying in patriotic support of Ukraine hold a 500 meter long ribbon in the colors of the Ukrainian flag on Unity Day in Kyiv, Ukraine

American and NATO flags are seen at a Stand With Ukraine rally in Union Square, New York. Members of the Russian-speaking diaspora and Ukrainian activists demonstrated amid threat of Russian invasion of the Ukraine

American and NATO flags are seen at a Stand With Ukraine rally in Union Square, New York. Members of the Russian-speaking diaspora and Ukrainian activists demonstrated amid threat of Russian invasion of the Ukraine

Ukraine and Russia have been in conflict since Putin responded to the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ousted the pro-Moscow president by seizing Crimea. A protest in NYC pictured

Ukraine and Russia have been in conflict since Putin responded to the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ousted the pro-Moscow president by seizing Crimea. A protest in NYC pictured

The talks that ended in Geneva last week produced no breakthroughs, though American and Russian diplomats vowed to keep a dialogue up, averting the worst-case scenario.

Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow was still waiting for a written response to its demands for security guarantees, something which Blinken said he would not provide.

He also called two of Russia’s key demands aimed at curbing NATO expansion ‘non-starters.’ 

On Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it’s possible Kremlin officials are just ‘going through the motions’ of diplomacy after a week of intense international talks aimed at de-escalating Russian aggression on Ukraine‘s border. 

Blinken made a slew of Sunday news program appearances after returning from diplomatic talks in Europe over the crisis

Blinken made a slew of Sunday news program appearances after returning from diplomatic talks in Europe over the crisis

Even after meeting with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in Geneva on Friday, Blinken admitted on NBC’s Meet The Press that Moscow could still invade the smaller former Soviet state despite the efforts of Western governments.

The US’s chief diplomat also would not rule out possible American military involvement in the worsening conflict, during a separate interview on CNN‘s State of the Union Sunday.

‘It is certainly possible that the diplomacy the Russians are engaged in is simply going through the motions and it won’t affect their ultimate decision about whether to invade or in some other way intervene, or not in Ukraine,’ Blinken told NBC host Chuck Todd. 

‘But, we have a responsibility to see the diplomacy through for as, as far and as long as we can go because it’s the more responsible way to bring this to a closure.’

Blinken did not indicate when he thought a possible invasion would occur — but also would not give a straight answer when asked if Kyiv ‘appears safe, at least in the near term.’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the US embassy in Kyiv on January 19, 2022

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the US embassy in Kyiv on January 19, 2022

‘This is something again that we’re tracking intensely, hour by hour and certainly day by day,’ he said.

Blinken ratcheted up his warnings to Moscow during his interview on CNN, claiming it could take a single soldier crossing the border to trigger a global reaction.

‘If a single additional Russian force goes into Ukraine in an aggressive way, as I said, that would trigger a swift, a severe and a united response from us and from Europe,’ he told host Dana Bash.

Vladimir Putin has placed more than 100,000 troops at the Ukrainian border, and last week Blinken warned that Russia had the capability to double that number in short order. Moscow has said it has no plans to invade Ukraine.

On Sunday, the United States has ordered the families of its diplomats in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv to leave the country ‘due to the continued threat’ of a Russian invasion, the State Department said.

Washington has also authorized the ‘voluntary’ departure of its non-essential embassy staff and urged US citizens in the Eastern European country to ‘consider departing now,’ saying it will not be in a position to evacuate them after any possible incursion by Moscow.



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