Obama orders American ‘military advisors’ to support Ukraine against pro-Russian rebels

posted at 4:01 pm on July 23, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Officials with the Defense Department have been ordered by the administration to travel to Ukraine where they will perform analysis and provide recommendations as to the level of military assistance that country needs in order to effectively combat pro-Russian militants occupying the area near the eastern border.

According to a report in The Washington Times, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed that military advisors will travel to Ukraine with the mission of working with local forces to “shape and establish an enduring program for future U.S. efforts to support the Ukrainian military through subject-matter expert teams and long-term advisers.”

Another DoD spokesperson confirmed to USA Today that U.S. military officials met with their Ukrainian counterparts this week and discussed ways in which “ways our countries could strengthen our long-term defense cooperation to help Ukraine build highly effective armed forces and defense institutions.”

President Barack Obama revealed earlier in the week that he had approved a plan to send $5 million in body armor, night vision goggles, and communications equipment to Ukraine. American financial support will also help Ukraine supply that nation’s State Border Guard Service.

The more cautious voice in the commentary class are quick to note that neither America nor Russia wants a new Cold War, and the West should be careful not to instigate one. But how is the situation in Ukraine — were two combatant parties armed and financed, to varying degrees, by Washington and Moscow — so distinct from any of the major proxy wars fought over the course of the Cold War?

While noting the absence of an ideological factor motivating the combatants, how is the present “civil war” in Ukraine markedly distinct from “civil wars” fought in Greece or Angola? Why is Ukraine, where militants are trained in Russia and sent to battlefields in Ukraine to fight American-backed indigenous militants so dissimilar from the Afghanistan experience in the 1980s?

Is it merely politically problematic to acknowledge the reality that Russia is reassembling its Soviet sphere by military means and the United States is resisting it, albeit covertly, in a similar fashion?

It seems like a new Cold War to me, and it does not seem an especially productive enterprise to continue denying that fact only to maintain the comfortable fiction that conflict between Moscow and the West is a thing of the past.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Sarah Palin never said, “I can see Russia from my House”. Tina Fey said that in a skit to mock Palin’s comment that parts of Russia can be seen from Alaska. The world roared with laughter. The media promoted the stereotype. Liberals and even some so-called Conservatives repeated it to marginalize her.

What she actually said was, “They’re our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”

What other statement did Sarah Palin make?

“After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”

Sarah Palin

So the Cold War is back on thanks to the obama Administration and Russia is still close enough to be seen from Alaska.

Thanks to all of the liberals and low information voters. Just thanks.

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 5:42 PM

You gotta love the brass here though, saying Crimea “decided” to join Russia and only then did Uncle Vladdy said “yes” to the opportunity. Hahahaha.

MTF on July 23, 2014 at 5:26 PM

We only respect democracy when elections turn out the way we want them to.

ezspirit on July 23, 2014 at 5:44 PM

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 5:42 PM

this

renalin on July 23, 2014 at 5:44 PM

others seem to be ready to pull out the sock and lubricant from the draw. lol

coolrepublica on July 23, 2014 at 5:24 PM

.
The voice of experience… probably the hand of experience too but I’m not around her, so IDGAS.

ExpressoBold on July 23, 2014 at 5:48 PM

NATO has been gobbling up former Soviet-controlled states, and with the Ukraine, the Russians finally said “enough”.

FeedTheHogs on July 23, 2014 at 5:05 PM

But if you point out that every country has the right to look out for its own interests, including Russia like them or not, then you are a troll on the GRU-KGB payroll who hates Obama so much that you’re cheering for fascism and just a whole bunch of keyboard commando stupidity… from such benighted intellectuals who can’t tell the difference between a possessive noun and a contraction.

ezspirit on July 23, 2014 at 5:55 PM

So the Cold War is back on thanks to the obama Administration and Russia is still close enough to be seen from Alaska.

Thanks to all of the liberals and low information voters. Just thanks.

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 5:42 PM

I am sure you don’t know this that is why I am telling you. Whatever fear you have of Russia it’s army should not be on your list of things to be afraid of. Russia’s far East is barely populated and it’s army is barely functional.

Russia’s true military might are it’s nuclear weapons and it’s air force because they got really good planes, but everything else is pretty sh!tty. So don’t stay awake at night worrying about a Russian invasion of Alaska.

coolrepublica on July 23, 2014 at 5:56 PM

“benighted intellectuals” since we can’t edit comments

ezspirit on July 23, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Russia is teaming up with China. Heh, let the Russians buy all that Chinese crap! See how that works for you.

Lonetown on July 23, 2014 at 6:01 PM

coolrepublica on July 23, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Just so you know, I don’t take your comments serious at all because you’ve told so many lies. I also am hesitant to take anything you write seriously because you’re a moron and a shill. But just this once, let’s entertain your errant logic.

I’m typing very slowly for you so it isn’t hard to read. I’ll also use really small words.

Russia is making the obama Administration look like idiots at every step. We have entered a new Cold War with Russia as the stronger in world opinion. Mostly over obama’s fiascos in the Middle East, Syria and Iraq specifically. It would not take much for Russia to pass us economically. A new Cold War with Russia is not a joking matter.

Now, as someone who lied about claimed they used to support Palin, this would have been a prime time for you to say, “Dang, she got that right and I voted the wrong guy in.”

But you never supported Palin.

Because you’re a liar.

Because you lie.

Liar.

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 6:10 PM

from such benighted intellectuals who can’t tell the difference between a possessive noun and a contraction.

ezspirit on July 23, 2014 at 5:55 PM

lol

Definitely not the comment to make a grammar error in. Blaming it on the lack of an edit feature took nuts though. Bravo!

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Russia’s true military might are it’s nuclear weapons and it’s air force because they got really good planes, but everything else is pretty sh!tty. So don’t stay awake at night worrying about a Russian invasion of Alaska.

coolrepublica on July 23, 2014 at 5:56 PM

So what makes you such an expert on Russia’s military capabilities, Miss Tree-Ohhh in Skooo?

dentarthurdent on July 23, 2014 at 6:27 PM

because they got really good planes

coolrepublica on July 23, 2014 at 5:56 PM

How good are they?

lol

darwin on July 23, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Russia’s true military might are it’s nuclear weapons and it’s air force because they got really good planes, but everything else is pretty sh!tty.

coolrepublica on July 23, 2014 at 5:56 PM

And you know this how, exactly? Are you a Russian military expert, or do you just pretend you’re one here?

By the way, there was a huge Russian Air Force corruption scandal just a few years ago.

F-

Del Dolemonte on July 23, 2014 at 6:32 PM

coolrepublica on July 23, 2014 at 5:56 PM

So what makes you such an expert on Russia’s military capabilities, Miss Tree-Ohhh in Skooo?

dentarthurdent on July 23, 2014 at 6:27 PM

She read “Mig Pilot”. But … then decided he was full of it since she knows they have “really good planes”.

As stupid as her comments are, I’m more and more convinced she’s nonpartisan.

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

[The Russians] got really good planes, but everything else is pretty sh!tty.

Intelligence Estimate
Oberkommando des Heeres, 1941

spiritof61 on July 23, 2014 at 6:35 PM

[The Russians] got really good cannon, but everything else is pretty sh!tty.

Intelligence Estimate
Grande Armee, 1812

spiritof61 on July 23, 2014 at 6:37 PM

As stupid as her comments are, I’m more and more convinced she’s nonpartisan.

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

I wouldn’t doubt it – although nonpartisan claimed to be a Haaaahvaaaahd grad – and this cr thing writes like a high school dropout, and has not yet claimed to be from Haaaaahvaaaahd.

dentarthurdent on July 23, 2014 at 6:39 PM

[The Russians] got really good vodka, but everything else is pretty sh!tty.

Intelligence Estimate
Charles XII of Sweden, 1709

spiritof61 on July 23, 2014 at 6:39 PM

The mental lightweight left.

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 6:42 PM

The mental lightweight left.

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Run away! Run away!!

dentarthurdent on July 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Well, I’ve gotta go as well anyway.
Maybe I’ll check back in awhile….

dentarthurdent on July 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM

dentarthurdent on July 23, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Well, obama did graduate from Harvard and he’s an idiot. So, nonpartisan might still be telling the truth. But … coolrepublica always lies … so …

I’m conflicted.

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM

We only respect democracy when elections turn out the way we want them to.

ezspirit on July 23, 2014 at 5:44 PM

I think that is an unintentionally accurate statement about Russia’s oligarchical views of democracy. ‘Twas ever thus, even in Sparta, and your government is certainly entitled to its views, but we would hope Russian views would also respect the opinions of others. Like Ukraine, for example.

MTF on July 23, 2014 at 6:46 PM

spiritof61 on July 23, 2014 at 6:35 PM
spiritof61 on July 23, 2014 at 6:37 PM
spiritof61 on July 23, 2014 at 6:39 PM

lol

darwin on July 23, 2014 at 6:47 PM

I think that is an unintentionally accurate statement about Russia’s oligarchical views of democracy. ‘Twas ever thus, even in Sparta, and your government is certainly entitled to its views, but we would hope Russian views would also respect the opinions of others. Like Ukraine, for example.

MTF on July 23, 2014 at 6:46 PM

But that high sentiment doesn’t apply to Eastern Ukraine, or the Crimea, or the elected Ukrainian government of Yanukovych overthrown by western cash and Maidan violence, right?

sharrukin on July 23, 2014 at 6:53 PM

As stupid as her comments are, I’m more and more convinced she’s nonpartisan.

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

all tards sound alike really.

dmacleo on July 23, 2014 at 7:17 PM

sharrukin on July 23, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Who are you, the supervisor? Where’d the other guy go, back to Internet forum training?

Look, I’m not interested in arguing with Russian intelligence agencies. I have a healthy respect for you guys. But, seriously, don’t you have something better to do than hang out at HotAir and get your message out? CNN will give you a half hour show if your own, I’m sure.

MTF on July 23, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Sarah Palin never said, “I can see Russia from my House”. Tina Fey said that in a skit to mock Palin’s comment that parts of Russia can be seen from Alaska. The world roared with laughter. The media promoted the stereotype. Liberals and even some so-called Conservatives repeated it to marginalize her.

What she actually said was, “They’re our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”

What other statement did Sarah Palin make?

“After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”

Sarah Palin

So the Cold War is back on thanks to the obama Administration and Russia is still close enough to be seen from Alaska.

Thanks to all of the liberals and low information voters. Just thanks.

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 5:42 PM

The real argument for making fun of Palin for that comment was she was trying to tout her extremely limited contact with Russia as their neighbors, and then she mentioned you can see Russia from one of the Alaskan islands.

She stumbled a lot when it came to her knowledge of foreign issues.

V-rod on July 23, 2014 at 8:22 PM

V-rod on July 23, 2014 at 8:22 PM

The only proper response to my comment is … she was correct.

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 8:36 PM

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Russia’s true military might are it’s nuclear weapons and it’s air force because they got really good planes, but everything else is pretty sh!tty. So don’t stay awake at night worrying about a Russian invasion of Alaska.

coolrepublica on July 23, 2014 at 5:56 PM

This quote of coolrepublica giving a descriptions of Russia’s air order of battle to a former military pilot is priceless and will be posted to the QOTD.

corkie on July 23, 2014 at 9:49 PM

She stumbled a lot when it came to her knowledge of foreign issues.

V-rod on July 23, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Nah. She was grilled, and any mistake she made was blasted far and wide. Obama was treated with kid gloves, and his goofs were covered up.

corkie on July 23, 2014 at 9:55 PM

The cold war has already started.

We know that whenever an American soldier died in Vietnam, it was because the Russians were helping to kill them. We also know that whenever a Russian soldier died in Afghanistan, it was because Americans were helping to kill them.

Time for the Russians (who are deep in the Ukraine) to start taking casualties.

Again, the cold war has already started, and the Russians have already claimed their first American — on MF17.

unclesmrgol on July 23, 2014 at 10:56 PM

This quote of coolrepublica giving a descriptions of Russia’s air order of battle to a former military pilot is priceless and will be posted to the QOTD.

corkie on July 23, 2014 at 9:49 PM

I practically pissed myself laughing at coolrepublica’s attempts to lecture Hawk about OPFOR issues. Comedy gold, that was.

Just like every leftard commentator who ever tried to say what was going on in Iraq during the Bush presidency, as if they had L3 and above access to classified intelligence.

But then again, teenagers do enjoy acting like they know *everything*, even as they whine like babies the moment you hold them responsible for anything at all…

Wanderlust on July 23, 2014 at 10:59 PM

The real argument for making fun of Palin for that comment was she was trying to tout her extremely limited contact with Russia as their neighbors, and then she mentioned you can see Russia from one of the Alaskan islands.

She stumbled a lot when it came to her knowledge of foreign issues.

V-rod on July 23, 2014 at 8:22 PM

She negotiated an oil agreement with the Canadian province next door. As for stumbling a lot in knowledge of foreign issues, look at both her putative boss and her rival’s boss.

When Democrats were comparing Palin to their team, they never ever compared her to Biden.

unclesmrgol on July 23, 2014 at 10:59 PM

The first military objective will be to locate and recover our RESET button.

Cicero43 on July 23, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I agree. The Russians are doing way too much damage with it. In fact, pushing that button was probably what caused MF17 to blow up in mid air.

unclesmrgol on July 23, 2014 at 11:04 PM

Hey I have a brilliant idea… Let’s start a fricking war with Russia, who, while no longer a communist nation, is still a FRICKIN NUCLEAR POWER. What could possibly go wrong?

oscarwilde on July 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Strange — the Russians have started flying Bear bombers down the coast of California, and we are a FRICKEN NUCLEAR POWER…

unclesmrgol on July 23, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Thanks. Now I have the ghostly voice of Ted Kennedy screaming “Quagmire! Quagmire! Quagmire! Quagmire! Quagmire! repeatedly in that rotten Kennedy accent.

portlandon on July 23, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Almost certainly rotten, given Teddy’s location.

unclesmrgol on July 23, 2014 at 11:08 PM

The cold war has already started.

unclesmrgol on July 23, 2014 at 10:56 PM

I’d argue that the Cold War started up the moment Russia tried to whack the Orange Revolution candidate for Ukranian presidency, Viktor Yushchenko, during the election in 2004. The Russian invasion of Georgia four years later cemented it in fact; however, Vlad has been whacking internal protestors and unfriendly media types for years. In every case where Russia has acted badly vis a vis a foreign power, the foreign power (e.g., US, UK) has not pushed back in a meaningful way, thus emboldening Putin to continue on his current tragectory.

I agree with Noah’s assessment the other day that we could hurt Vlad by restricting the banking activities of the oligarchs. I’d add to this that as others have suggested, the best long term strategy for keeping the real Bear in his cave geopolitically would be for us to allow the increase of oil and gas production, especially on govt controlled land. Take away Vlad’s ability to get wads of hard currency with his oil and gas assets, and you take away his ability to finance the Russian military.

If only we had the political will to do this…sigh.

Wanderlust on July 23, 2014 at 11:09 PM

I asked for your proof that Putin was responsible for shooting down MH17, and you responded with a bunch of nonsense that evaded the question.

ezspirit on July 23, 2014 at 4:47 PM

A million Russians on the LA Times website, in their broken English, asked the same question. The response, of course, is
a) Where’s your proof that all those bodies were dead for days before being put on that airliner? …and…
b) Where’s your proof that it was the Ukraine who shot down the airliner?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2699170/Is-BUK-missile-launcher-shot-MH17-smuggled-Russia-Motorist-captures-military-truck-carrying-BUK-M1-border-town.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2696847/They-shouldnt-f-g-flying-There-war-going-Ukraine-intelligence-officials-release-phone-calls-claim-PROVES-Russia-shot-Flight-MH17.html

unclesmrgol on July 23, 2014 at 11:12 PM

If only we had the political will to do this…sigh.

Wanderlust on July 23, 2014 at 11:09 PM

We will…. We will….

unclesmrgol on July 23, 2014 at 11:13 PM

What got both us out of Vietnam and the Russians out of Afghanistan were casualties. Not sanctions.

The Russians will always have a market for their oil in Europe, and no matter how cheap we make our oil, we will never beat the Russians on price.

I think we gotta up the casualty count for Russia.

unclesmrgol on July 23, 2014 at 11:15 PM

We were wrong to insert ourselves into the Ukrainian election through Victoria “F the EU” Nuland, USAID and Omidyar Network , and we are wrong to intervene militarily now.

ezspirit on July 23, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Ez, are you a Russian? I read their badly written posts making the same talking points you are now making. I would submit to you that the guy who screwed up the Ukraine was the guy who sent his snipers in to shoot civilian protesters and then awarded them a medal with the exact date the sniper attacks occurred after he annexed the Crimea.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/25/putin-s-crimean-medal-of-honor-forged-before-the-war-even-began.html

unclesmrgol on July 23, 2014 at 11:22 PM

unclesmrgol on July 23, 2014 at 11:12 PM

I will repeat. The burden of proof lies with the accuser. Your musketeer friend said I was moving goalposts and the real question is whether Russia is blameless in starting a new Cold War. In other words, he would not answer me.

A plane was shot down over Ukraine, and the U.S., still smarting from earlier embarrassments, jumped to blame Russia and demanded the EU sanction them.

So, where is the proof that it was Russia?

Supposedly, this makes me an apologist for “thug” Putin. It tickles me to know end to hear our elitist Ivy League sissy boys from our Harvard grad affirmative action president to the worst pilot in the world John McCain who got by on his family’s reputation till his stupidity damn near got him killed talk thus about a man who climbed his way up the greasy pole of Kremlin politics.

Putin is a self-made man and a wily leader who is absolutely unafraid of Obama or NATO. You won’t hear an apology from him about annexing the Crimea or selling gas to the EU or arming rebels. It is exactly the same thing that we do, except we feel it our business to meddle in other nations’ affairs. There are more than enough problems at home for the U.S., and if you poll a majority of Americans, even after this commercial plane flying over a war zone was downed, you will find they agree.

ezspirit on July 24, 2014 at 4:46 AM

Sarah Palin was alinskied. More than any other American politician in my several decades of experience. This good woman from Alaska, governor on her own merits with an 85% approval rating, not a crony, genuinely conservative, with much of middle American flocking to her, scared the hell out of the American nomenklatura. When the progressives weren’t kicking her in the stomach the GOP was slipping a knife in her back.

Viator on July 24, 2014 at 6:59 AM

Want to hurt the russian bear where it will get thier attention

economically
and its easy
let america export all our excess natural gas from fracking to europe. As exporting russian natural gas to europe is Putins moneylife line
Also remember when obama vetoed the missle defense system we were going to put in POLAND.
Well, its time to reverse that mistake
Furthermore american natural gas to europe would hurt putin economically and also his stranglehold on europe would lessen, and also it would mean more american jobs and an improvement in our balance of trade deficit, Plus more tax revenue for our govt.
So its a win win for our side

but you can bet obama will be against it.

sniffles1999 on July 24, 2014 at 8:34 AM

lets face it
nobody is going to do jack chit about that civilian air liner being shot down
oh lots of talk but what else?

And what will “advisors” do in the ukraine anyway?
Russia has armored DIVISIONS that can “accidentally” stroll acrosst the border whenever they want, and NOBODY can do anything to stop them.

so enough with the tough talk as its a joke for obama to make threats, PUTIN is laughing at him.

instead fast track american natural gas exports to europe to stick it to putin in the wallet

oh by the way, does this mean russia is still going to help with that Syrian nerve gas “issue”?
seems everyone forgot about that one.

sniffles1999 on July 24, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Comment pages: 1 2