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DOD’s Mara Karlin: Troop Allocation in Eastern Europe to be Reviewed Amid War

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The Department of Defense is looking at a potential increase of U.S. military personnel in Eastern Europe following the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, Defense News reported Wednesday.

Mara Karlin, assistant defense secretary for strategy, plans, and capabilities, told a House committee that the Pentagon leadership will reconsider its troop allocation plan to deter Moscow from attacking NATO-member countries in the Eastern European front.

“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, and in the long term,” she explained during House Armed Services Committee hearing.

The U.S., which has been supplying Ukraine with anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles and other material, has yet to commit military personnel into the embattled non-NATO member.

However, the superpower has already deployed around 14,000 troops, F-35 strike fighters and Apache helicopters to Hungary, Poland and the Baltics in a move President Joe Biden said was aimed at reinforcing allies’ defense and not engaging Russian soldiers.

Even before the invasion, NATO members near the Russian border have been asking for more military presence in addition to the currently existing alliance battlegroups in Poland and the Baltics for deterrence.