The announcement was made on the sidelines of the recent NATO summit held in Madrid. NATO members discussed the continued threat from Russia following the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, as well as pledges to increase defense spending and prepare stronger defenses across the continent, paying particular attention to Eastern Europe.
The two US Navy ships are expected to be permanently deployed, bringing the total number of ships based in the Iberian Peninsula to six.
Speaking about the news, Senator Jim Inhofe said, “Excellent news.
“I have been calling on the United States for years to reinforce our destroyer fleet in Rota.
“This enhanced presence will strengthen our posture and our deterrence capabilities in Europe.”
The navy destroyers are expected to arrive in Spain in 2024, sending a clear message to all that the American presence in Europe – during a period of instability brought about by Russia’s war in Ukraine – is important both symbolically and practically.
Jim Townsend, senior fellow at the Center for New American Security, said, “This is a powerful signal that the United States fully supports strengthening our force posture in Europe.
“The fact that it’s not just China leading our force posture overseas reassures allies that we’re in the game and not just trying to get away with it. market.”
The Navy’s presence in Rota and the increase to just two ships is a powerful move due to the service’s unique ability to carry its warships forward.
Sebastian Bruns, researcher at the Institute for Security Policy at the University of Kiel and former visiting professor at the US Naval Academy, said: “The four, now six DDGs in Rota are an asset, a strong symbol of the rotation of the forward presence – the US Navy being still the only navy in the world to be present forward like that.
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Speaking about why the Navy decided to deploy the additional ships, Mr. Townsend suggested that the war in Ukraine was the catalyst for this decision.
He said, “With the invasion of Ukraine, the Navy has upped its game in Europe.
“I’m sure there’s been a fight over this too on the hands of Europe and Asia both in the Navy and in the Federal Government at large.”
The Russian threat is accompanied by lingering tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly in the South China Sea.
Following the signing of the so-called AUKUS agreement between the US, UK and Australia, China has recently bolstered its own naval presence.
The launch of the aircraft carrier “Fugian” becomes the third such ship in China.
In addition, Beijing has strengthened its ties with Pacific island nations, including the Solomon Islands, where many predict China will build a naval port “brick by brick”.
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Along with pledging to add more ships to the Port of Rota, Mr Biden also pledged to open a permanent military base in Poland.
The forward command post of V Corps will have its base placed on the edge of Eastern Europe.
Additionally, the United States will also send two squadrons of F-35 fighter jets to the United Kingdom, while other air defense units will be placed in Germany and Italy.
US officials stressed that the permanent base applied only to staff units, not combat troops, and was therefore in line with a 1997 agreement between NATO and Russia in which the alliance agreed not to permanently base combat troops in Eastern Europe as it aimed to build more constructive forces. links in the post-Cold War environment.
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