US Puts 8,500 Troops on Heightened Alert Amid Russia Tension


(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon says that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has put about 8,500 troops on heightened alert, so they will be prepared to deploy if needed to reassure NATO allies in the face of ongoing Russian aggression on the border of Ukraine.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Monday no final decisions have been made on U.S. deployments, which depend upon NATO deciding to active its rapid-response force.

The troops would not be sent to Ukraine, which is not a NATO member. Kirby said: “What this is about is reassurance to our NATO allies.”

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