Due to recent situations with Russia and the Ukraine, United States military may be asked to help beef up support for allied Eastern European nations by NATO, meaning more of our soldiers could soon be heading overseas to face down our old adversary. In reply, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove stated he wasn’t against the idea.
“[I wouldn’t] “write off involvement by any nation, to include the United States.” General Breedlove admitted to the Associated Press.
Breedlove has been given until Tuesday to bring proposals to the table that reassure the foreign ministers of the 28-nation alliance that members nearest to Russia would have full American support.
“Essentially what we are looking at is a package of land, air and maritime measures that would build assurance for our easternmost allies,” Breedlove continued. “I’m tasked to deliver this by next week. I fully intend to deliver it early.”
When asked if Americans would lead the front-line states closest to Russia, the 4-star U.S. general stated that the contributions from any nation are possible there, including the troops here in the U.S.
Tensions between Russia and the Ukraine over the shady take-over of Crimea has grown even more stressed over the past week, when armed, pro-Russian separatists stormed through the Ukrainian city of Luhansk, taking a government building within the city with an untold number of workers held hostage. The attack, now in its fourth day, came as a sharp response to Arseniy Yatseniuk’s, the country’s acting prime minister, comment on Vladimir Putin’s threat of prepayment of oil in the already cash strapped nation, describing the action as “a plan to pressure and grab Ukraine through gas and economic aggression”.
Along with the threat, Russia’s Gazprom has nearly doubled the price of fuel to the Ukrainians, indicating to many U.S. officials to be a “deliberate series of provocation,” aiming to test the resolve of the U.S. friendly Kiev government. With backing from NATO and the U.S., interior minister Arsen Avakov issued a 48-hour ultimatum requiring all separatist forces to leave the premises or face the consequences. The separatists, armed with AK-47s and other high-powered weapons, did not seem too concerned with the threat, however.
“Let them try [to force us out],” said Sergey Baryshnikov, a lawmaker in the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic who believes the Ukrainian people should turn their backs on the west and remain loyal to Russia.
While polls in the Ukraine show only scant support for the pro-Russian separatists, there is a small number of citizens, closer to the Eastern border of Ukraine, who would prefer to see more autonomy within the government. With the annexation of Crimea by Russian forces just a few weeks ago, fears are high that Russia will choose to grab at more, which could launch Russia and the U.S. right back into Cold War era politics.
So what does this mean for U.S. troops here in America? It means at any moment they may be ordered out of the country and back onto foreign soil. This could be highly demoralizing for troops just coming back from over a decade of war in both Afghanistan and Iraq, whose toll has just begun to be felt here at home. What would these troops be facing should they find themselves on the way to the Ukraine?
“What we see there is a force of about 40,000,” Breedlove said. “I would characterize it as a combined arms army. In other words, this is an army that has all of the provisioning and enablers that it needs to accomplish military objectives if given them.”
When asked how quickly U.S. troops could be rallied, the general stated that things are already set to move, should they need to, and that troops could be on their way in as little as 12 hours. How the troops are used should they arrive on Ukrainian soil, appears to be the real task at hand.
“The tougher piece is, how do we do the assurance piece on the land,”Breedlove declared. “Because these are measures which are more costly (and) if not done correctly, might appear provocative. And everything we are trying to do in the air, on the ground and at sea we are trying to completely characterize as defensive in nature.”
With Russia still a nuclear power in the world, careful steps are expected by the U.S. and allied countries to avoid an even bigger problem down the road.
“There is not a shortage of what we can use. It’s how do we use this in a measured way that indicates defensive capability so that we don’t provoke. And that’s what we will be working on,” Breedlove mentioned NATO’s headquarters in Mon, Belgium.
For the troops just now coming home, we can only pray that Russia and the Ukraine come to peaceful terms with one another before our war-weary vets must trudge the front line once more.
— The Torn Curtain (@TornCurtain1991) April 10, 2014
Look, it’ll be costly to send troops to the south Tasman Sea, but we still must intervene in Ukraine http://t.co/zuxfKxMEoH
— Alex Horton (@AlexHortonTX) April 7, 2014
Want more details on the separatist attack? We got that covered: http://www.inquisitr.com/1205209/ukrainian-separatists-attempt-to-take-control-of-the-countrys-eastern-region/
See what Forbes thinks of the Ukrainian economy: http://www.forbes.com/sites/markadomanis/2014/04/09/no-matter-what-happens-in-the-east-ukraine-is-going-to-default/