There are somewhere between 30,000 and 80,000 troops massing on the Ukraine border. US Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby, Pentagon Press Secretary, said that Russians claim they are performing exercises and the Pentagon plans to hold them to that. Others in the administration said they don’t know what Russia intends.
I know what they intend. They intend to invade! They are not exercising, they are reinforcing and “setting in place, ” according to free beacon.
Late Wednesday, U.S. intelligence agencies warned Congress that an invasion is imminent. Some troop lines are within 10 miles of Ukraine. The size of the forces and the types of forces are alarming. The number of troops far exceeds what is needed to perform exercises and latest reports are that there are 80,000 troops along the border (Mike Turner, R-OH).
Putin’s movements are very similar to those he took right before the conflicts in Chechnya and Georgia.
One theory by military officials is that Russia plans to take control of three major eastern Ukrainian cities of Kharkov, Loans, and Donetsk, and then create a land bridge that would allow easy access to Russia’s recently annexed Crimea, on the Black Sea. Currently, Russia has access to Crimea only by ship.
There is a growing sense of alarm in DC. “I can’t tell you how awful this is,” said one congressional source who spoke to Fox News on the condition of anonymity.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was asked about military action by Russia and said he spoke last week with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu. “I asked him specifically why the Russians were building up their western border, and I asked him specifically what the intentions were as to that buildup,” Hagel said. “He told me that they had no intention of crossing the border into Ukraine.”
Well, that’s good enough for me, how about you?
Intelligence officers have also warned that they see troop and naval movements by the Russians near the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.
Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander said, “We’re all concerned about what Russia is doing on the border of Ukraine,” Breedlove said after the first briefing. “The size of the forces have a message that are not congruous with respecting the borders.”
After the briefing, one committee aide said: “Nothing that happened in the briefing calmed the sense of alarm expressed by members yesterday.”
Eight Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday sent a letter to President Obama asking him to take a firmer stance.
Obama has done almost nothing and he has sent the message to Russia that they will suffer few repercussions if they move ahead.
While Mr. Obama is contemplating Putin’s next move, Putin making his next move.
Last May, in reference to Syria, left-leaning author David Ignatius said this: “The problem of U.S. President Barack Obama can be summed up in a single word: hesitation. The man is short-sighted, confused and diffident. It seems that the gist of his policy is disagreeing with every position of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and that is quarrelsomeness, not policy.
This is what a post-America world will look like.