US officials have told media outlets that the Pentagon is working to create a new military command to arm and train Ukrainian soldiers, a move that is likely to deepen American involvement in the Ukraine-Russia war.
The command would be based in Wiesbaden, Germany – where the US Army keeps its European headquarters – and be made up of 300 staffers led by General Christopher Cavoli, who heads up the military’s European Command, American media reported quoting unnamed officials on Thursday.
“The changes, which aim to give a formal structure to what has been improvised since the war’s onset, are roughly modeled on US train-and-assist efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past two decades,” the New York Times reported.
The new unit would look to make major alterations to the current train-and-equip program for Kiev, the report said. However, Wiesbaden will remain a key component in the scheme, as most Ukrainian troops currently being instructed on American weapons are doing so in or near the city.
The threat of a wider war looms
“This is a serious development,” said Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, American economist and author.
“As I have said over and over, the Kremlin’s go-slow limited military operation is a fatal mistake resulting in a wider war. An operation that should have been concluded in a week is now in its seventh month and seems destined to continue indefinitely as the Kremlin does nothing to disrupt the Ukrainian government’s war effort or the endless supplies of weapons that the West pours into Ukraine. The long-running conflict has allowed Western propaganda to portray the Russian military as unsuccessful and to convince Western decision-makers that Russia can be defeated in Ukraine. This conviction has led to ever higher states of Western involvement,” added Dr. Roberts, who was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal.
“With the Pentagon’s creation of a ‘Ukraine Command,’ we move closer to the introduction of US troops. In fact US military forces are already involved. They train Ukraine’s soldiers at the US Army’s European Headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany, thus committing Germany to the intervention in Ukraine. US military personnel provide targeting information for Ukraine’s attacks on Russian positions. Yet, despite the growing involvement of US/NATO, the Kremlin holds on to its limited operation, dangerous in its failure and miscalculation, as Russia’s dilly-dallying has convinced the West that the Kremlin has no stomach for real conflict, encouraging Washington to take another step toward sending troops by forming a ‘Ukraine Command,’” he added.
“Putin’s emphasis on legalisms might be the undoing of Russia. The Kremlin could have avoided the Ukraine conflict by doing in 2014 what it is doing, belatedly, in 2022–accept the Donbass Russians’ request to be returned to Russia. The Kremlin could have avoided the US/NATO military commitment to Ukraine by knocking out Ukraine before the West had time to react,” he stated.
“Blunders have a cost, and the cost of the Kremlin’s blunders is developing into direct conflict between US and Russian soldiers,” he observed.