Biden orders 3,000 more troops to Poland amid Ukraine crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) – A senior defense official says President Joe Biden has approved the deployment of 3,000 more U.S. troops to Poland. They will join 1,700 other members of the 82nd Airborne Division who have been heading to Poland in recent days.

Combined, the 4,700 soldiers comprise an infantry brigade intended to reassure fellow NATO member Poland of a U.S. defense commitment amid the crisis in neighboring Ukraine.

This comes as the Biden administration is escalating its warnings about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying it could take place within days.

The White House said it doesn’t know if Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a decision to invade. But, it said Putin has assembled all the elements to do so quickly and told Americans in Ukraine to leave within the next 48 hours.

The stark warning accelerated the projected timeframe for a potential invasion.

Many analysts believed Putin was unlikely to act until after the Winter Olympics in China end on Feb. 20. The heightened U.S. rhetoric followed new intelligence that showed another increase in Russian troops near the Ukrainian border and the start of a major Russian military exercise in neighboring Belarus.