These troops are deployed to inspect and monitor U.S.-provided weapons in Ukraine, confirmed Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder in an official briefing on Nov. 1. The troops will be operating far from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev and are in no way involved with embassy security.
Travis Tritten of military.com asked Ryder, “I’m wondering what the rules of engagement for those personnel are if they are fired on by the Russians or they are targeted by the Russians.”
In a long-winded reply, Ryder never answered Tritten’s question about what the U.S. would do if the Russians fired on any active-duty U.S. troops.
Tritten then said, “This [is] different because they would be working outside the embassy. I would just ask if people should read this as an escalation.”
The AP reported that a Pentagon official would not say where the military advisers are operating or how close to the battlefronts the U.S. troops are getting. The official said U.S. personnel are engaged in “inspections” where security conditions allow, not on the front lines.
On Feb. 24, when President Joe Biden announced sanctions on Russia, adding that the people of the U.S. must make a sacrifice and gas prices would rise, he said, “Our forces are not and will not be engaged in the conflict.”
Since that statement by Biden, the U.S. has intervened militarily in Ukraine with U.S. mercenaries (called contractors in media reports) engaged in the fighting. In addition, U.S. military advisers have been deployed to the Ukrainian military command, supplying military intelligence in real-time and engaging in planning and executing operations against Russian forces. Also, the U.S. has sent some $70 billion in aid to Ukraine, including tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons and ammunition.
While the White House says there are no “combat” troops, this is how U.S. military escalations are launched. The U.S. military invasion of Vietnam began in May 1961 when President John Kennedy sent 500 military “advisers,” not combat troops, to Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City).
With U.S. troops inspecting Ukrainian arms and ammunition at Ukrainian military bases, this puts U.S. troops directly into a war zone, with the possibility of direct engagement with Russia. That makes it possible that the U.S. would engage in a direct shooting war with Russia.
This is definitely an escalation. The U.S./NATO “proxy war” against Russia may be shifting into direct conflict.
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