Josh Hawley: 'Mistake' to Send More US Troops to Eastern Europe Anti-war activists demonstrate against the escalating conflict with Russia in Ukraine in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 27, 2022. (Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty)
By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 02 February 2022 11:15 AM
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., on Wednesday morning said it would be "a mistake" for the U.S. to send more troops to Eastern Europe amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
The Wall Street Journal first reported Wednesday that President Joe Biden was directing the Pentagon to send 3,000 U.S. troops to bolster the defense of European allies.
"Sending more American troops to Europe is a mistake. We need to send the opposite signal — that the crisis in Ukraine shows Europeans must do more in their own defense," Hawley tweeted with a link to the WSJ story about the expected deployment.
About 2,000 troops will deploy from Fort Bragg, N.C., to Poland and Germany this week and part of an infantry Stryker squadron of roughly 1,000 troops based in Germany to Romania, a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press.
Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, and is moving troops and surface-to-air missile systems into Belarus, which borders Ukraine and several NATO members, WSJ reported. The Kremlin also has moved several ships near Ukraine's shores in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
Former President Donald Trump told Newsmax on Tuesday night that Biden has handed all the leverage to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"This is not something that ever would have happened if we were there," Trump said of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. "But it's looking to me … like they will make a move.
"At a minimum, they're going to negotiate a lot of good stuff. Because, if they don't make a move, Biden will give them everything."
U.S. military leaders on Friday urged Putin to choose diplomacy over war as tensions continue to rise concerning Ukraine.
"We strongly encourage Russia to stand down and to pursue a resolution through diplomacy," Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley said during a press briefing at the Pentagon.
"Armed force should always be the last resort. Success here is through dialogue."
Putin on Tuesday insisted the U.S. wants war in Ukraine to use as justification for more sanctions on Russia, according to the BBC.
The U.S. might be willing to enter into an agreement with Russia to ease tensions over missile deployments in Europe if Moscow steps back from the brink in Ukraine, according to leaked documents published Wednesday in the Spanish newspaper El Pais.