America’s message to Moscow

The U.S. can’t stop a Ukraine invasion, but it can raise the cost

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Editorials

January 27, 2022 - 9:45 AM

Service members and officials gathered at the 35th headquarters at Fort Leavenworth on Jan. 22 for a departure ceremony to support the soldiers and their families as the Kansas and Missouri-based units deploys to Southwest Asia for one year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom – Spartan Shield. Photo By Capt. Titus Firmin

The U.S. put 8,500 troops on alert Monday with the possibility of deploying them to shore up NATO defenses in Eastern Europe, and allies are sending ships and fighter jets. The West is finally getting more serious about deterring Russian aggression, and let’s hope it’s not too late for Ukraine.

President Biden is considering the troop deployment, along with ships and aircraft, to NATO allies like Poland and the Baltic states that are closest to the Russian threat. Go ahead and send them, sir. Mr. Biden’s strategy of restraint, in the hope of not provoking Vladimir Putin, hasn’t worked. Mr. Putin has been adding to his own deployment of troops on three different fronts on Ukraine’s borders.

Ukraine isn’t a member of NATO, and the U.S. troops wouldn’t deploy there. But their arrival in Eastern Europe would send a message that the U.S. would get involved militarily if Mr. Putin makes a play for the Baltic states or otherwise moves against NATO nations. The Russian navy is planning live-fire exercises off the coast of Ireland, which isn’t a NATO member.

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