US Rules Out Eastern Europe Troop Cuts Ahead of Russia Talks

State Dept. raises possibility of a further military build-up

US and Russian officials are set to meet for talks on the ongoing Ukraine crisis. Russian officials are not expecting much out of the talks, and US officials are promising not to make any real commitments.

Any obvious deal on the tensions in the region would deal both with Ukraine and the large NATO buildup along the Russian frontier. US officials, however, are ruling this out already, and saying that there is no talk of a drawdown.

Not only that, but State Department Spokesman Ned Price is suggesting that as part of the US “sacred obligation” to NATO, the US is preparing to send yet more troops to eastern Europe if Russia “should further invade Ukraine.”

The “invasion” is a US narrative built around ethnic Russian factions in eastern Ukraine carving out an autonomous region. If it serves to pump even more troops to the Russian border, the US can easily manufacture more putative invasions.

The US build-up in Europe is almost entirely built on the myth of an imminent Russian war. Any diplomatic progress threatens this buildup, which is why the talks are particularly unlikely to accomplish anything.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.