U.S. President Joe Biden arrives in Spain Tuesday, June 28, for the NATO summit and is greeted at Madrid's Torrejon airport by Spanish King Felipe VI.
READ MORE: Seven decades after it was founded, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is meeting in the Spanish capital this week with an urgent need to reassert its original mission: preventing Russian aggression against Western allies.
Turkey has objected to Sweden and Finland's bid to join NATO, citing what it considers to be their lax approach toward groups Turkey deems national security threats, including the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, and its Syrian extension.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has insisted that he will only allow the Nordic pair to enter NATO if they change their stance on Kurdish rebel groups that Turkey considers terrorists.
American support for Syrian Kurdish fighters in combating the Islamic State group has also enraged Turkey for years.
Until late last year, only about 5,000 NATO troops were deployed in the Baltic states and Poland on a rotational basis.
Now, hundreds of thousands of troops are on heightened alert, with 100,000 US troops in Europe, and 40,000 under direct NATO command, supported by air and naval power.
Leaders of the world's most powerful military alliance are aiming to increase support for Ukraine's fight against the Russian invasion, boost forces on NATO's eastern flank and set priorities for the coming decade — with a new emphasis on checking China's growing international ambitions.
The summit is set to agree to stockpile weapons and equipment in Eastern Europe and to dramatically increase the number of troops based in the region or on standby in their own countries as a rapid-reaction force.
There will also be more support for Ukraine to upgrade its military — still reliant on Soviet-era equipment — to modern NATO-standard gear. (AP)
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