Pentagon Puts 8,500 Troops on ‘Higher-Alert’ Amid Rising Tensions with Russia
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The Pentagon confirmed that it put 8,500 U.S. troops on “higher-alert” to potentially deploy to Europe amid ongoing Russian aggression at the Ukraine border.
“The United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us, our allies, or partners,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said.
Kirby told reporters that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “has placed a range of units in the United States on a heightened preparedness to deploy, which increases our readiness to provide forces if NATO should activate the [NATO Response Force] or if other situations developed.”
“All told, the number of forces that the secretary has placed on heightened alert comes up to about 8,500 personnel,” Kirby said.
Kirby emphasized that no decisions have been made to deploy, and the actions are “about getting the troops ready.”
“We’re going to be ready. We’re going to be prepared to help bolster our allies with capabilities they might need.
“We’re going to do this in lockstep with them … this is really about reassuring the Eastern flank of NATO.”