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Pentagon Mulling More Permanent US Troops in Eastern Europe

The United States in the past year has committed roughly $1 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, including its most recent package of lethal aid worth $350 million authorized last week.
© Greg Nash
© Greg Nash
Pentagon mulling more permanent US troops in Eastern Europe

© Greg Nash

The Pentagon is deciding if it should add more U.S. troops to NATO-member countries in Eastern Europe on a permanent basis following Russia’s attack on Ukraine last week, a top Defense Department official said Tuesday. 

“We recognize this dynamic situation now requires us to give it another fine-tooth look to see what’s necessary to ensure that we’ve got deterrence of Russia and that we can absolutely 150 percent say that NATO is safe and secure,” Mara Karlin, the assistant Defense secretary for strategy, plans and capabilities, told lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee. 

“So we’re looking at what sort of troop presence, whether it’s rotational or permanent, is necessary given this current security environment, both in the near term and frankly, in the long term,” she added.  

Karlin said the Pentagon will take another look at the 2021 Global Posture review, released late last year. The document, which looked closely at troop numbers in Europe and elsewhere, at the time found forces to be “about right,” in their locations and offered no recommendations for major shifts.  

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