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More U.S. Troops to Deploy to Europe,

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“With three Allies bordering the Black Sea, as well partners Ukraine and Georgia, security in the region is of “vital strategic importance” to NATO, the Secretary General said.

Various tactical vehicles assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment await to be loaded onto trucks at the 7th Army Training Command’s Rose Barracks Air Field, Vilseck, Germany, Feb. 9, 2022. The Squadron will deploy to Romania in the coming days.

More U.S. Troops to Deploy to Europe, Guardsmen Reassigned Out of Ukraine 

FEB. 12, 2022 | BY JIM GARAMONE

Another 3,000 troops from the 82nd Airborne Division will move to Europe in the coming days, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III is temporarily repositioning 160 troops training Ukraine’s military out of the country. 

The moves come in the face of further signs of Russian escalation on its borders with Ukraine, said Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor. Sullivan spoke at the White House, yesterday. 

“As we’ve said before, we are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time should [Russian President] Vladimir Putin decide to order it,” the national security advisor said. Sullivan said this new invasion of Ukraine — Russia invaded the country in 2014 and illegally annexed Crimea — could come at any time.” 

Sullivan said the United States is ready no matter which decision Putin makes. The United States will negotiate if the Russian leader so chooses, or “we are also ready to respond decisively, alongside those allies and partners, should Russia choose to take military action,” he said.  

The response to a Russian invasion would include severe economic sanctions, with similar packages imposed by the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and other countries, Sullivan said. “It would also include changes to NATO and American force posture along the eastern flank of NATO, and it would include continued support to Ukraine,” he said.

A total of 160 members of the Florida National Guard have been deployed to Ukraine since late November training and advising and mentoring Ukrainian armed forces. The troops, assigned to the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, are part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine.  

“They are departing Ukraine and will reposition elsewhere in Europe,” Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said in a written statement Saturday. “The secretary made this decision out of an abundance of caution — with the safety and security of our personnel foremost in mind — and informed by the State Department’s guidance on U.S. personnel in Ukraine.”  

Yesterday, a senior defense official confirmed that another 3,000 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, will deploy to Europe. “This second tranche of airborne soldiers will join in Poland the first tranche of 1,700 soldiers and key enablers that Secretary Austin ordered there on February 2nd,” said the senior defense official speaking on background. “Nearly two-thirds of this first tranche has already arrived. They are commanded by Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue.” 

Deployment of 300 members of the 18th Airborne Corps headquarters element to Germany has been completed, the official said. That element is led by Army Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla. 

“All told, these 5,000 additional personnel comprise a highly mobile and flexible force, capable of multiple missions,” the official said. “They are being deployed to reassure our NATO allies, deter any potential aggression against NATO’s eastern flank, train with host-nation forces and contribute to a wide range of contingencies. They will report to Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, the commander of U.S. European Command.”  

There are more than 80,000 American service members in Europe.  

Diplomacy continues. Biden spoke with Putin this morning. A White House release said Biden spoke very plainly about the costs of another Russian invasion of Ukraine. “President Biden was clear that, if Russia undertakes a further invasion of Ukraine, the United States together with our allies and partners will respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs on Russia,” the report said. “President Biden reiterated that a further Russian invasion of Ukraine would produce widespread human suffering and diminish Russia’s standing. President Biden was clear with President Putin that while the United States remains prepared to engage in diplomacy, in full coordination with our allies and partners, we are equally prepared for other scenarios.” 

Yesterday Biden participated in a conference with the leaders of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Poland, Romania, the Secretary General of NATO and the Presidents of the European Union. “We have achieved a remarkable level of unity and common purpose — from the broad strategy, down to technical details,” Sullivan said. “Whatever happens next, the West is more united than it’s been in years. NATO has been strengthened. The alliance is more cohesive, more purposeful, more dynamic than at in any time in recent memory.” 

Ukraine: 3000 Service Members Deploy 8500 Additional Units to Deploy Named

The United States will move approximately 3,000 service members to Romania, Poland and Germany in response to Russia’s continuing build-up of forces on its western border with Ukraine and in Belarus, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said, with Jim Garamond, DOD reporting

“The current situation demands that we reinforce the deterrent and defensive posture on NATO’s eastern flank,” Kirby  said. “President [Joe] Biden has been clear that the United States will respond to the growing threat to Europe’s security and stability. Our commitment to NATO Article Five and collective defense remains ironclad.” 

Kirby stressed these deployments are prudent and temporary and done in consultation with European allies. He stressed that the forces are not going to fight in Ukraine. “They’re going to ensure the robust defense of our NATO allies,” he said. 

The 82nd Airborne Division is deploying components of an infantry brigade combat team and key enablers to Poland, and the 18th Airborne Corps is moving a joint task force-capable headquarters to Germany. Now, both of them, as you know, are based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

all of these forces are separate and in addition to the 8,500 personnel in the United States on heightened alert posture that I announced last week. 

18th Airborne Corps

DOD Places Variety of Troops on ‘Prepare to Deploy’

JAN. 27, 2022 | BY TERRI MOON CRONK

The 8500 service members ready to deploy to Ukraine include include elements of the 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg [North Carolina] — which regularly maintains high readiness — as well as elements of the 18th Airborne Corps, also based at Fort Bragg; and some elements from Fort Campbell, Kentucky,” Kirby said. “Additionally, from Fort Campbell, elements of the 101st Airborne Division; and from Fort Carson, Colorado, elements of the Fourth Infantry Division have also been placed on increased readiness.”

The spokesman added that more units, which will now have an increased readiness posture, also include elements from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; Fort Hood, Texas; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Robins Air Force Base, Georgia; Fort Stewart, Georgia; Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; and select additional locations across the nation. 


“These units, all told, include medical support, aviation support, logistics support and of course, combat formations,” Kirby said, emphasizing that these forces are on a heightened preparedness to deploy, and have not been activated. 

also include elements from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; Fort Hood, Texas; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Robins Air Force Base, Georgia; Fort Stewart, Georgia; Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; and select additional locations across the nation. 

“These units, all told, include medical support, aviation support, logistics support and of course, combat formations,” Kirby said, emphasizing that these forces are on a heightened preparedness to deploy, and have not been activated. 

Warnings of swift, severe, and united response from the U.S. and Europe if Putin invades Ukraine.

8500 U.S. troops deploy. Medics train for patient transfers from the Battlefield: It’s all about Oil?

Biden stated that troops will not go into Ukraine? So in this game of chess, what are his motives? Economic he said although Ukraine President MOD tells a different story:

UKRAINE FOREIGN MINISTRY: “There have been no radical changes in the security situation recently. The accumulation of Russian troops near the state border began in April last year.”

With a history of War Mongering in Syria, Libya, Yemen, the Obama II administration is on the ready for another proxy War. Question is, does Ukraine count enough to distract Americans In the Wag the Dog scenario? Sure, if it’s all about oil. Biden cuts oil production in the United States, gas prices sky rocket and he is playing poker with European oil.

Biden: You’ve no doubt heard us talk about how the United States, alongside allies and partners, continues to prepare a range of severe economic measures to impose on Russia if it further invades Ukraine.  And, to repeat, we are prepared to implement sanctions with massive consequences that were not considered in 2014. (During Obama/Biden I Administration)

That means the gradualism of the past is out, and this time we’ll start at the top of the escalation ladder and stay there.  We’ve made efforts to signal this intention very clearly.  And I would say the deepening selloff in Russian markets, its borrowing costs, the value of its currency, market-implied default risk reflect the severity of the economic consequences we can and will impose on the Russian economy in the event of a further invasion. 

In addition to financial sanctions, which have immediate and visible effect on the day they’re implemented, we’re also prepared to impose novel export controls that would deal Putin a weak strategic hand over the medium term. 

….financial sanctions which restrict foreign capital, export controls deny something to Russia that it needs and can’t easily replace from anywhere else.

In the case of export controls, what we’re talking about are sophisticated technologies that we design and produce that are essential inputs to Russia’s strategic ambitions. 

So, you can think of these export controls as trade restrictions in the service of broader U.S. national security interests.  We use them to prohibit the export of products from the U.S. to Russia and, potentially, certain foreign-made products that fall under U.S. export regulations. 

And given — the reason they work is: If you step back and look at the global dominance of U.S.-origin software, technology, and tooling, the export control options we’re considering alongside our allies and partners would hit Putin’s strategic ambitions to industrialize his economy quite hard.  And it would impair areas that are of importance to him, whether it’s in artificial intelligence or quantum computing, or defense, or aerospace, or other key sectors. 

Remember, this is a one-dimensional economy, and that means it needs oil and gas revenues at least as much as Europe needs its energy supply.

So remember, oil and gas export revenues are two thirds of the total in Russia and about half of Russia’s federal budget revenues.  So this is not an asymmetric advantage for Putin; it’s an interdependency.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: 

For the last several weeks, as you’ve seen in some of the reports, we’ve been collaborating with our European allies to identify areas where Russia could use energy as a weapon in its aggressive strategy against Ukraine.  These include, for us, contingency planning in the event of a Russian invasion as they attempt to upend the world order, to damage infrastructure, or withholding supplies from markets in a retaliation for sanctions or other countermeasures by the United States and our allies.

We’re working with countries and companies around the world to ensure the security of supply and to mitigate against price shocks affecting both the American people and the global economy. 

A disruption in the physical energy supplies transiting Ukraine would, clearly, most acutely affect natural gas markets in Europe.  And so we’re engaging our European allies to coordinate our response planning, including talking to them how they deploy their existing energy stockpiles, which are, obviously, at significantly low levels this year due to the reduced Russian supplies over the last several months.

We’ve been working to identify additional volumes of non-Russian natural gas from various areas of the world — from North Africa and the Middle East to Asia and the United States.

Correspondingly, we’re in discussions with major natural gas producers around the globe to understand their capacity and willingness to temporarily surge natural gas output and to allocate these volumes to European buyers. 

Russia normally supplies about 40 bcm of gas per year to Europe through Ukraine.  That is the contract that was signed in 2019.  Russia has already cut those supplies through this route by half.  To ensure Europe is able to make it through the winter and spring, we expect to be prepared to ensure alternative supplies covering a significant majority of the potential shortfall.

We’re also preparing to mitigate against more extreme and, I should add, less likely scenarios where Russia would cut off energy supplies through other European routes. 

We’re also engaging with major buyers and suppliers of LNG to ensure flexibility in their existing contracts and storage — and how they manage their storage to enable the diversion to Europe if necessary.   

We’ve analyzed the impacts of potential disruptions, and we’re going to work to ensure Europe has alternative energy supplies under the most likely energy scenarios.

UKRAINE MOD

Biden, NATO have serious problems as Germany is in turmoil over the situation, and Putin and Erdogan of NATO member Turkey are allied.

“We have been clear that if there is any further Russian aggression against Ukraine, there will be a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and Europe…….massive consequences that would befall it (Russia) if it pursues aggression….we provided very significant military assistance to Ukraine.  We’ve been taking action against Russian agents in Ukraine,” Blinken

“We’ve been going after agents of Russia in Ukraine seeking to destabilize the government.  I just approved the transfer of U.S.-origin military technology in other countries to Ukraine.  So we are proceeding on both paths at the same time.  We’ll be ready either way.  The choice is Vladimir Putin’s.

But NATO is not on the same page as the great man of Unity Biden…

“The head of the German navy had to resign because of pro-Putin statements.  This doesn’t look like the Alliance is completely knit together here.”

Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach stepped down as the head of the German navy after publicly saying Crimea was lost to Ukraine and that Vladimir Putin “probably” deserved respect, DW reported.

“What he really wants is respect,” the vice admiral said, speaking in English in remarks that were posted on a video on YouTube.

“And, my God, giving someone respect is low cost, even no cost. … It is easy to give him the respect he really demands — and probably also deserves,” Schönbach said, calling Russia an old and important country.”

After taking heat from NATO, U.S. the Chief said

My security policy statements in a talk show at a think tank in India gave my personal opinion for that moment on the spot. They do not correspond in any way to the official position of the @BMVg_Bundeswehr .

USS Harry S. Truman , now in the Meditteranean (CVN 75) swiftly cuts through the water off the North Carolina coast while conducting Tailored Ship’s Training Availability Two (TSTA II) and Cycle Operations (CYCLIC OPS). U.S. Navy photo by Jeffrey G. Katz. (RELEASED)

We have been clear that if there is any further Russian aggression against Ukraine, there will be a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and Europe. My full interview with @margbrennan on @FaceTheNation:

The White House: Dec 7

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. held a secure video call today with President Vladimir Putin of Russia to discuss a range of issues on the U.S.-Russia agenda. President Biden voiced the deep concerns of the United States and our European Allies about Russia’s escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine and made clear that the U.S. and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation. President Biden reiterated his support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and called for de-escalation and a return to diplomacy. The two presidents tasked their teams to follow up, and the U.S. will do so in close coordination with allies and partners. The presidents also discussed the U.S.-Russia dialogue on Strategic Stability, a separate dialogue on ransomware, as well as joint work on regional issues such as Iran.  

UPDATE:

Diplomacy, Leadership Can Prevent Conflict Between Russia, Ukraine

DEC. 6, 2021 | BY JIM GARAMONE,

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III is carefully watching the situation in the region. “I won’t get into intelligence assessments, but he is staying very keenly and closely informed by senior military and policy leaders here at the department about what we continue to see,” Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said. 

President Vladimir Putin continues to build Russian capabilities on Russia’s border with Ukraine. 

President Joseph Biden will speak with Putin tomorrow. 

Kirby noted that Austin was asked about the situation over the weekend and believes “that diplomacy and leadership can still make a difference,” Kirby said. “There needs to be space for that diplomacy and for that leadership, to come to play, to try to get an outcome here that is stabilizing and that doesn’t result in any sort of open armed conflict.”

The Russian build-up is disturbing as it brings back memories of Russia’s occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. The United States and its NATO allies responded with the European reassurance initiative and based troops in the Baltic Republics, Poland and other frontline states. Nations also began supplying Ukraine with lethal and non-lethal security assistance. The United States has provided millions of dollars worth of assistance to Ukraine in just the last year, Kirby said. 

Other allies have also helped Ukraine defend itself. “But again, I want to go back to what I said before: We don’t believe that conflict is inevitable and that there is time and space,” Kirby said.

The United States continues to see a buildup of Russian military forces in western Russia. “This buildup is concerning to us,” Kirby said. “It is still not entirely clear what Mr. Putin’s intentions are.”

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III escorts Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov through an honor cordon before a bilateral meeting at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Nov. 18, 2021. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

NATO Warns Russia of ‘Serious Consequences’ for Ukraine Actions

DEC. 1, 2021 | BY JIM GARAMONE, DOD NEWS

NATO allies are concerned about Russia’s military build-up along the border with Ukraine, and Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia will face serious consequences if it once again invades the country.

Stoltenberg spoke to the Reuters NEXT Global Conference at the conclusion of the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Riga, Latvia, earlier today.

NATO nations have seen a significant Russian buildup and unusual concentration of forces in and around Ukraine. Stoltenberg also highlighted the increasingly bellicose rhetoric emanating from the Kremlin about Ukraine. “What we do know, is that not only has Russia increased its military presence closer to Ukraine’s borders, but … they’ve used military force against Ukraine before,” Stoltenberg said. “They did that in 2014, when they invaded and illegally annexed Crimea, which is part of Ukraine, and they continue to support the armed separatists in Donbass in eastern Ukraine.”

The secretary general said NATO — the most successful defensive alliance in history — has called on Russia to de-escalate the situation. “We can hope for the best and call on Russia to not once again use military force against a sovereign, independent Ukraine, but we need to be prepared for the worst,” he said.

Stoltenberg scoffed at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assertion that Russia is only responding to Ukraine’s warlike action. “The whole idea that Ukraine represents a threat to Russia is absolutely wrong,” the secretary general said. “Ukraine has been attacked by Russia. Russia is occupying parts of Ukraine. Crimea is part of the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine.”

In 2014, Russia invaded, occupied and illegally annexed Crimea. Russia also provides military support to militant separatists in eastern Ukraine. “On top of that, we know that Russia is responsible for aggressive hybrid attacks [and] cyber attacks against Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said. “So, the whole idea that Ukraine is a threat to Russia is turning the world upside down. It is Russia that over many years now has been responsible for many types of aggressive actions against Ukraine.”

Individual NATO nations — including the United States — have provided aid to Ukraine in its struggle. NATO, as an alliance, has provided training to Ukrainian service members and advised Ukrainian officials on ways to improve their capabilities.

Stoltenberg called the Russian build-up “unexplained and unjustified,” and the NATO nations want the Russians to stop the provocations. “If they do the opposite, and actually decide to once again use force against Ukraine, then we have made it clear … during the NATO Foreign Minister meeting in Latvia today that Russia will then have to pay a high price; there will be serious consequences for Russia,” he said. “And that’s a clear message from NATO.”

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