Foreign Policy

Ukraine: U.S. Troops Coming Next Week. Report: Russian Drones on Front

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Today the Pentagon announced that U.S. troops will be in Ukraine next week training with NATO allies.

From the Associated Press:

200 U.S. soldiers will participate in an exercise in western Ukraine starting next week. It would be the first presence of American ground troops in Ukraine since the crisis with Russian-backed separatists began.

The annual exercise, called Rapid Trident, involves forces from 15 nations and will not involve live firing of weapons. A Pentagon spokesman, Col. Steve Warren, said it will be a peacekeeping exercise with training through Sept. 26 in convoy operations, patrolling and methods of countering improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. …

 The Pentagon also announced it has delivered more non-lethal aid to the Ukrainian military, including helmets, explosive ordnance disposal robots, sleeping mats, jackets, radios, body armor and first-aid kits.

Whether this sort of aid is ultimately helpful is questionable. "In a pure armed conflict, Russia will beat Ukraine 100 times out of 100," explains Russian policy expert Mark Adomanis. "The only way Ukraine can win is if it isn't purely military."

Speaking from Estonia, President Barack Obama today called upon NATO, which is hosting a summit in Wales tomorrow, to make "concrete commitments" to protect Ukraine against Russia's "brazen assault."

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Putin today agreed to a cease-fire, but a Kremlin aide was quick to amend that "Russia cannot agree on a cease-fire as it is not a participant in the conflict." Either way, Ukraine's prime minister calls Putin's plan "deceptive," as it involves Ukraine withdrawing troops of its war-torn eastern regions.

Although Russia maintains that it is not responsible for the war, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which has an Observer Mission (OM) on the front

observed a clear reversal in the flow of people crossing the border (more people exiting the Russian Federation into Ukraine). The OM observed an increased military activity principally of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the vicinity of the Border Crossing Points. The OM heard considerable artillery detonations from the Donetsk Border Crossing Point.

And, hundreds of mothers of Russian soldiers are demanding to know what has happened to their sons. Russian media yesterday reported that Russia's entire 1st squadron of the 76th Pskov Airborne Division was killed in Ukraine.

France has cancelled its sale of two warships to Russia, citing its aggression against Ukraine.

And, in related news, the de facto leader of Crimea installed by Russia since it invaded and annexed the peninsula from Ukraine has said some truly worrisome things about homosexuals:  "We in Crimea do not need such people."

NEXT: Gay Russian Activists Concerned About Crimean Conquest

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  1. Russian media yesterday reported that Russia’s entire 76th Pskov Airborne Division was killed in Ukraine

    Wait…what? I know the Maikop Brigade got waxed, en toto, in Grozny, but losing an entire division?! Somebody might notice that.

    1. Lol

    2. Yeah, I know Russian divisions are generally smaller than western divisions, but they’re still around 10,000 men.

    3. Russia has a history of using troops as cannon fodder- but an entire division?

    4. My error. It has been corrected to the “entire 1st squadron the 76th”

      1. OK, that sounds a bit more …. realistic. Thanks.

        1. soon it will be downgraded to ‘a bevy’

          1. A “passel” of soldiers

      2. 76th is a two regiment, professional (no conscripts) division. About 4600 personnel.
        http://www.globalsecurity.org/…..76-abn.htm

        Like the USMC, the Russian Airborne gets to go in first.
        …and take the most causualties.

    5. “Russian media yesterday reported that Russia’s entire 1st squadron of the 76th Pskov Airborne Division was killed in Ukraine”

      Are you sure that’s what it says? My rough translation is that “nude pictures were hacked from the accounts of several Russian tennis stars.”

  2. Some things just scream REALLY BAD IDEA.

    1. This. Do we really need to re-ignite hatred with the second most powerful country in the world? I feel bad for the Ukrainians, but not so bad I want to restart the Cold War.

      1. Well with any luck this time it’ll just turn into an actual war.

      2. China is way more powerful than Russia, but otherwise I agree. How about Europe tr

        1. Maybe China will help out France and buy those boats.

      3. DON’T LET’S BE BEASTLY TO THE GERMANS, ERRRR, RUSSIANS.

        HALF A ‘MO, POOTY, LET’S HAVE OUR HOLIDAYS FIRST!

    2. “Dances-with-Trolls|9.3.14 @ 3:53PM|#

      Some things just scream REALLY BAD IDEA.”

      Really?

      They’ve been doing these exercises for 4 years. Was it a bad idea before now?

      1. I dunno, GILMORE, what might circumstances might be a bit different now as opposed to then?

        1. You’re evading the obvious point and pretending i’m the one being obtuse =

          Why is the continuation of a policy that’s been in place for ~20years, and joint exercises that 15 different countries participate in, in any a reflection of ‘American Provocation’?

          If you actually think the US should unilaterally pull out of all its multilateral defense exercises ‘just because’, then say so, but don’t insinuate that its an ‘obvious’ conclusion and then play stupid when people say that doesn’t make any sense.

          1. There is a low intensity war that looks like it is about to transition into the full thing going on in Ukraine now and unless we are going to 1) get involved ourselves or 2) use Ukraine to wage proxy war against Russia then we should probably be like “Well, we’d love to do those exercises with you like we have always done but you have got a little war problem atm that we’re not keen on getting mixed up in so we’ll be back when you get that all sorted out.”

            If you actually think the US should unilaterally pull out of all its multilateral defense exercises

            That is not what I said. This one. This year. As in the one going on right now in the country in conflict. Move it right next door to Poland and I’m fine with it. Perceptions matter in these kinds of situations and doing things that could inflame them is irresponsible.

            1. “Inflame”

              Yes, i’m sure participating in the same bullshit exercises we’ve done since 2010 with the Utah National guard et al is *sure* to be as equally inflammatory as sending missile cruisers into the Black Sea, or Russians deploying more assets to Kaliningrad..

              The knee-jerk non-terventionism becomes comic at this point.

              Its diplomatic “steadfastness” like this that really tells Poland (or anyone else on the face of the earth) that they have nothing to trust from NATO or US ‘security assurances’; – as per my point the other day.

              Its the “sheldon richman-scale”, where no matter how low you dial the ‘intervention’ meter, its ALL THE SAME, and is equally ‘inflammatory’. Even in the face of a ostensible adversary who has shown complete and utter disregard whatever the Western posture.

              Which again leads to the question i asked before- why should the US ever do military exercises with Taiwan, South Korea, India… ANYONE…if that’s your POV on what constitutes being ‘inflammatory’?

  3. CAPTION – Every single time I see this, I hear:

    “I must break you….”

  4. What could possibly go wrong?

  5. 200 U.S. soldiers will participate in an exercise in western Ukraine starting next week.

    Just the tip?

    1. We promise to pull out…

  6. ‘Russia beats Ukraine militarily 100/100’

    I am skeptical of such ‘experts’ and I don’t think Russia is that strong. Ukraine could fight the guerilla war Russia just can’t afford-their bond yields are north of 9% and rising!

    1. Russia can probably beat Ukraine if they want, but the cost may not be trivial. Even fighting Georgia they lost a Tu-22M Backfire and some other aircraft.

  7. I did “Peaceshield 2003” at Yavoriv Training Area near L’viv….if this Trident thingie is close to that, the only risk these guys are going to have is of severe hangovers if they try to drink with the Ukrainians (I barfed in a sink, next to our Chaplain…) and whiplash, if they go into town and see the young Ukrainian women…

    1. So much this. Only Slovakia. Fantastic trip, 10/10 would volunteer again.

    2. Your injection of reality into this group-froth really aids no one’s righteous indignation.

      Although i do believe there have been a number of excellent B-Movie plots involving National Guard Units accidentally almost-starting-then-averting WWIII during ‘training exercises’

      See The Warmongering American Provocateurs face to face!

  8. Seven strangest libertarian ideas: http://www.salon.com/2014/09/0…..s_partner/ -great news: Medicare and SS are totally working and not going broke. We libertarians only hate them because they’re pwning the private sector so much!

    Bonus Salonderp: WHY UBER MUST BE STOPPED
    http://www.ukprogressive.co.uk…..29603.html

    1. Gosh those comments…

      Also I love the fact that progs like to quote Rand as a libertarian, when she openly despised them and their ideology.

      This point gets lost, all the time.

  9. But, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, BITCHES!!

  10. In Russia, drones front YOU!

  11. Or we could tell the Texas police someone might have had a miscarriage somewhere in the Ukraine and let them take care of it.

    1. Or tell China they can have Russia and we’ll do nothing.

      1. It’s not as much fun when the other guys have nukes, too.

        1. Most of the Russian nukes probably don’t work, anyway, and China has people to burn from their perspective (not mine, I hasten to add).

  12. I think we should stay out of both Iraq and Russia.

    Obama didn’t break Iraq, but he is terrible. I can’t believe he took the bait and we are back in Iraq.

    As for Russia, what exactly are we going to do?

  13. Obama seems to think he has all the time in the world, so he can just make token/symbolic commitments here and there, and maybe finetune them a bit to try to get US involvement juuuust right.

    Which sets us up for either looking like fools for sending a few hundred troops where only thousands would make a difference, or accidentally having a tripwire in place with no plans or ability to followup when it gets tripped.

    The worst of both worlds, IOW. Either go big to fight a total war to unconditional surrender of your enemy, or stay home. Our global cop problems stem from the delusion that we should use our military in any other way.

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