“These forces will strengthen deterrence and defense in Europe,” Mr. Austin said after meeting his German counterpart, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. “They will augment our existing abilities to prevent conflict and, if necessary, fight and win.”
The change “will greatly improve our ability to surge forces at a moment’s notice to defend our allies,” Mr. Austin said. He did not elaborate on the added troops’ specific mission, saying only that the change would “create more space, more cyber and more electronic warfare capabilities in Europe.”
One of the two new units will involve field artillery, composite air and missile defense, intelligence, cyberspace, electronic warfare, aviation and a brigade support element. The other will be a command to improve the way different countries cooperate during joint operations, the army said in a statement.
The new units will be stationed in Wiesbaden, the headquarters of the U.S. Army Europe.
“In recent weeks, Russia has moved thousands of combat-ready troops to Ukraine’s borders, the largest massing of Russian troops since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014,” Mr. Stoltenberg of NATO said, echoing a statement last week from the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, who called the Russian actions “deeply concerning.”
Pentagon officials say privately that they do not think Moscow is on the verge of an invasion, but concerns have mounted within the Biden administration.
On Tuesday, Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin spoke on the phone for the first time since Mr. Biden last month assented to a description of Mr. Putin as a “killer” during an interview, which sparked a furious reaction in Russia.