ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, West Bank, Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Somalia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Russia...and, now this breaking news from The Department of “What-Could-Possibly-Go-Wrong?”
U.S., allies to stage exercises in West Ukraine as battles rage in East
By Peter Apps
WASHINGTON Tue Sep 2, 2014 1:41pm EDT
(Reuters) - As fighting between the army and Russian-backed rebels rages in eastern Ukraine, preparations are under way near its western border for a joint military exercise this month with more than 1,000 troops from the United States and its allies.
The decision to go ahead with the Rapid Trident exercise Sept. 16-26 is seen as a sign of the commitment of NATO states to support non-NATO member Ukraine while stopping well short of military intervention in the conflict.
The annual exercise, to take place in the Yavoriv training center near Ukraine's border with Poland, was initially scheduled for July, but was put back because early planning was disrupted by the crisis in the eastern part of the country.
"At the moment, we are still planning for (the exercise) to go ahead," U.S. Navy Captain Gregory Hicks, spokesman for the U.S. Army's European Command said on Tuesday...
Per Kossack corvo, in the comments, from the Reuters story...
..."It is very important to understand that a military solution to this problem is not going to be forthcoming," Obama told reporters at the White House last week...
# # #
UPDATE (9:00PM EDT, 9/2/14):
A very tangentially related piece of breaking news...
Reuters is only running a headline under a "breaking news" banner; here’s the story (the only thing that’s coming up in a Google search, for the moment, at least as far as any semi-quotable news source is concerned) from Business Insider.com…
The article provides us with the full statement from the White House...
US SENDS 350 MORE TROOPS TO PROTECT EMBASSY IN BAGHDAD
Sep. 2, 2014, 8:33 PM
President Obama authorized the deployment of approximately 350 additional troops to "to protect diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad, Iraq," according to a statement released by the White House on Tuesday.
The statement made clear that the additional troops would "not serve in a combat role." Obama previously announced he was sending 300 troops into Iraq in late June, with 200 providing security at the embassy, support facilities, and Baghdad's airport, according to Defense One.
This latest increase pegs the total number of troops in Iraq at nearly 1500, according to ABC News' Jon Williams.
Today, the President authorized the Department of Defense to fulfill a Department of State request for approximately 350 additional U.S. military personnel to protect our diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad, Iraq. This action was taken at the recommendation of the Department of Defense after an extensive interagency review, and is part of the President's commitment to protect our personnel and facilities in Iraq as we continue to support the Government of Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). These additional forces will not serve in a combat role.
The President has made clear his commitment to doing whatever is required to provide the necessary security for U.S. personnel and facilities around the world. The request he approved today will allow some previously deployed military personnel to depart Iraq, while at the same time providing a more robust, sustainable security force for our personnel and facilities in Baghdad.
In addition to our efforts to protect our personnel, we will continue to support the Government of Iraq's efforts to counter ISIL, which poses a threat not only to Iraq, but to the broader Middle East and U.S. personnel and interests in the region. The President will be consulting this week with NATO allies regarding additional actions to take against ISIL and to develop a broad-based international coalition to implement a comprehensive strategy to protect our people and to support our partners in the fight against ISIL. As part of this effort, Secretary Kerry, Secretary Hagel, and President Obama’s counterterrorism advisor, Lisa Monaco, will be traveling separately to the region in the near-term to build a stronger regional partnership.
# # #