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U.S. Military Exercise in Ukraine on Friday


OUN/B World War II Ukrain­ian prime min­is­ter Jaroslav Stet­sko and then Vice-Pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush.

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COMMENT: As a Forbes arti­cle notes, despite a Russ­ian-nego­ti­at­ed cease-fire in Ukraine, U.S. mil­i­tary forces will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in a NATO exer­cise in Ukraine. Some thoughts in this regard:

“Hours After Rus­sia Suc­ceeds with Cease Fire, U.S. Mil­i­tary Heads to Ukraine” by Ken­neth Rapoza; Forbes; 9/3/2014. [9]

Okay, now you’re ask­ing for it.

Wash­ing­ton is going ahead with a planned mil­i­tary drill in West­ern Ukraine just hours after Russ­ian pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin was able to con­vince pro-Rus­sia sep­a­ratists to stand down in their fight with the Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary in the east­ern oblasts of Donet­sk and Luhan­sk.  This mil­i­tary drill does not bode well for Friday’s cease-fire dis­cus­sion in Min­sk, Belarus between the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment and the sep­a­ratist lead­ers who will demand auton­o­my from Kiev.

Accord­ing to a Reuters report on Tues­day [10], prepa­ra­tions are under way for a joint mil­i­tary exer­cise this month with more than 1,000 troops from the Unit­ed States and its allies ship­ping into Ukraine for the rough­ly three year old Rapid Tri­dent [11] pro­gram, part of Ukraine’s mil­i­tary tilt towards NATO. . . .

. . . . Anti-war jour­nal­ist John Pil­ger wrote in The Guardian [12] back in April that the mil­i­tary exer­cis­es with Ukraine were part of Washington’s “Man­i­fest Des­tiny” — a long­stand­ing ambi­tion to dom­i­nate the Eurasian land­mass from Chi­na to Europe, a land­mass that Rus­sia con­trols, at least in part, due to its ener­gy resources.

Since the col­lapse of the Sovi­et Union in 19991, NATO has sur­round­ed Rus­sia with mil­i­tary bases, reneg­ing on a promise by Ronald Rea­gan to the Sovi­et pres­i­dent Mikhail Gor­bachev in 1990 that NATO would not expand “one inch to the east” [8]. In the for­mer Sovi­et Cau­ca­sus, NATO’s mil­i­tary build-up is the most exten­sive since World War II, Pil­ger wrote.