CSIS

U.S. Troops Being Deployed To Ukraine By End Of Week

On Monday, a U.S. Army brigade commander confirmed in a think-tank discussion that American troops were being deployed to the Ukraine later this week. While attending a Center for Strategic & International Studies event in Washington, D.C., yesterday, Colonel Michael L. Foster, Commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, told attendees:

As we have worked in Operation Atlantic Resolve, the U.S. Army has brought regionally-aligned forces forward to Europe to participate in that and to take part in it. So initially, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division came over last fall. They relieved us and took up responsibility for Atlantic Resolve. They have since been replaced by the other brigade combat team that’s in Europe that has the mission right now. And now that we are in the month of March we are going to change the mission again. 1st Brigade of 3rd Infantry Division will be picking up some of the responsibility for Atlantic Resolve. We’ll be putting elements of the brigade back forward toward that mission. And then additionally as we continue to look forward, we- we meaning U.S. Army Europe and the European Command- we are expanding Operation Atlantic Resolve further to the south. And so Poland and the Baltic States- they’re what we’re now referring to as Operation Atlantic Resolve North. And here later this month we’ll be sending forces to Romania, Bulgaria, and what we’re going to be calling Operation Atlantic Resolve South. And that has the potential this summer to expand to include potentially Hungary, potentially Georgia, at some point in time the Czech Republic. And so by the end of the summer you could very well see an operation that stretches from the Baltics all the way down to the Black Sea. So geographically, you connect countries. You will see a line of deployed U.S. troops. And then very specifically for the brigade, here before this week is up, we will be deploying a battalion-minus from the brigade I’m a part of to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that’s taking place in the eastern portion of their country. So, very unique- a separate event from Atlantic Resolve that kind of certainly tied into deterring Russian aggression.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Colonel Foster added later:

We are training national guard companies with our companies. So we have got them paired up. A U.S. company with a Ukrainian company is the primary avenue for conducting that training. Initially, the plan is to go for 6 months. So through the October timeframe. There have been discussions about how to expand both the duration of that event and the scope. You know, there are other things the U.S. can assist with from a military perspective… So right now what we have got laid out is 6 United States companies that will be training 6 Ukrainian companies throughout the summer, and we have got 3 battalion headquarters elements aligned with 3 Ukrainian battalion headquarters elements to work at that level. But really, nothing above battalion staff level at all.


“Relooking Europe: The Role of Land Forces”
(Eastern Europe/Ukraine deployment discussion really begins @ 13:27)
YouTube Video

Last week, Britain announced it was sending 75 military advisers to train Ukrainian army personnel.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 Europe, Foreign Policy, Government, Military, War No Comments

Authorities Concerned About ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorist Attacks On Anniversary Of Osama Bin Laden’s Death

On May 1, 2011, Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs taking part in Operation Neptune Spear in Pakistan. With the one-year anniversary of his death fast approaching, intelligence agencies are concerned about a possible retaliatory strike(s) by Muslim extremists. Mike Levine wrote on the FOX News website this morning:

Just days before the one-year anniversary of Usama bin Laden’s death, federal authorities are telling partners around the country there is no specific, credible threat to the U.S. homeland but they remain concerned “lone wolf” terrorists could use the date to avenge the former Al Qaeda leader’s death.

In an intelligence bulletin issued late Wednesday, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Northern Command note that terrorist groups such as Al-Shabaab in Somalia, Northern Africa’s Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and the Pakistani Taliban have called for revenge against the United States for killing bin Laden during the May 1, 2011, raid on his hideout in Pakistan.

The bulletin says Al Qaeda or its affiliates would view an attack “on this anniversary as a symbolic victory,” especially in the wake of losses suffered by Al Qaeda through U.S. drone attacks and other efforts overseas.

In addition, according to the bulletin, authorities remain concerned that so-called “lone-wolf” extremists not already identified “will execute attacks with little or no warning on or about the anniversary of bin Laden’s death.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Levine added that the intelligence bulletin cited Al-Qaeda’s emphasis on symbolic dates to launch terror attacks, and that Muslim extremists might be particularly motivated to carry out a strike in retaliation for recent controversies including Koran burnings and the desecration of corpses in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, Steven Chase wrote about the concern over “lone wolf” terrorists on The Globe and Mail (Canada) website. From the article:

Richard Fadden, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, also acknowledged Monday that al-Qaeda’s switch to a sole-actor approach to inflicting damage is presenting a problem for Western anti-terrorist agencies…

Mr. Fadden predicted al-Qaeda’s recent embrace of smaller, leaderless acts of terror is a sign of things to come.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has as recently as last fall published an online magazine called Inspire that called for “open source jihad” and instructed readers to how to carry out their own attacks, he noted. “How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom” was the title of article in the Summer, 2010, issue.

“My colleagues in Britain, Australia and the United States are of the same opinion: We are seeing an increase in the number of people who are acting on their own,” he said.

“When there are a certain number of people involved, there is a possibility of intercepting communications; the chances of errors are far greater. But when there’s one person who’s not talking to anybody, [counterterrorism agencies] have to be really lucky.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

In addition, Fadden pointed out that the “lone wolf” approach not only attracts the ideologically-driven, but those with “serious personal problems” as well- making them more unpredictable.

It might not be a bad idea ratcheting up one’s vigilance in the coming days.

Sources:

Levine, Mike. “Feds urge vigilance 1 year after bin Laden’s death.” FOX News. 26 Apr. 2012. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/04/25/feds-urge-vigilance-1-year-after-bin-laden-death/). 26 Apr. 2012.

Chase, Steven. “Al-Qaeda switching tactics, CSIS warns.” The Globe and Mail. 23 Apr. 2012. (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/al-qaeda-switching-tactics-csis-warns/article2411810/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Politics&utm_content=2411810). 26 Apr. 2012.

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