Hazard pay approved: Pentagon prepares to expand troops in Ukraine

U.S. troops in Poland, near the Ukraine border. In July, President Biden authorized an addition 3,000 reservists to join more than 12,000 troops in NATO countries surrounding Ukraine. Is this troop buildup in preparation for “boots on the ground” in Ukraine? Newsweek reported that in July NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced a support package for Ukraine that would “result in the U.S. eventually sending soldiers to fight in thw war against Russia.”

The Pentagon has approved hazard pay for U.S. troops serving in Ukraine, paving the way for a possible expanded presence. Military Times reported July 27 on the new hazard pay policy. 

Troops who qualify will get back pay as far back as April 24, 2022.

“Grier Martin, who is temporarily serving as the Pentagon’s top personnel official, approved the change in a July 13 memo, which was posted to the unofficial ‘Air Force amn/nco/snco’ Facebook page,” Military Times says.

The approval of hazard pay is seen as a sign that the Pentagon is preparing for a possible expansion of the U.S. military presence in Ukraine. The Biden administration has steadily increased the number of special forces “advisers” and trainers in the country. While calling them advisers and trainers, they actively participate in the war.

Washington has a long history of entering wars this way, from Vietnam to Central America to Afghanistan. The U.S. initially claimed it was not sending “boots on the ground” to Vietnam, but eventually, there were over 500,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam. The U.S. also claimed that it was not sending troops to El Salvador, but eventually, over 500 U.S. special forces were operating in El Salvador, commanding the Salvadoran military dictatorship.

Washington won’t say that it is directly involved in combat in Ukraine. It can be expected to stick to euphemisms (advisers or security details) to describe its activities. The euphemisms are its way of expanding involvement, hoping no one will notice the increasing numbers of troops on the ground.

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