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NATO’s Eastern Flank To Be Fortified By U.S. F-35s, AH-64s, Troops

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“Let me be clear: These are totally defensive moves on our part,” President Biden said earlier today about these deployments. “We have no intention of fighting Russia.”

While the U.S. government has no intention to directly intervene militarily in the crisis surrounding Ukraine, American officials have acknowledged the possibility that a large-scale conflict there could spill over onto NATO territory in Europe. U.S. authorities have said that there are no active plans to conduct any major operation to help American nationals evacuate from Ukraine, but have declined to rule out that potentiality entirely. 

The movement of Embassy personnel between sites in Ukraine and Poland, something the U.S. State Department says will continue to happen on a regular basis, underscores the kinds of more limited contingencies that might arise and require military support.

The overall situation in and around Ukraine remains highly fluid and the risk of a major conflict erupting continues to be very real. “We still believe that Russia is poised to go much further in launching a massive military attack against Ukraine,” Biden said today.

“I hope I’m wrong about that, hope we’re wrong about that,” he continued. “But Russia has only escalated its threat against the rest of Ukrainian territory, including major cities and including the capital city of Kyiv. …there are still well over 150,000 Russian troops surrounding Ukraine.”

In the meantime, “we want to send an unmistakable message, though, that the United States, together with our Allies, will defend every inch of NATO territory and abide by the commitments we made to NATO,” the president said.

These additional U.S. fighter jets, attack helicopters, and troops, only further underscore that commitment amid one of the most serious crises in Europe in decades.

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