US orders American embassy families out of Ukraine

AP Photo/Andriy Dubchak

It still isn’t officially a war yet, but the Biden administration is certainly acting like war is on the way. Two new developments in the past 24 hours are causing unrest among some of our allies who are nervously watching the Russian troop buildup on the border of Ukraine. The first was an order for nonemergency diplomatic employees and their family members to evacuate the American embassy in Kyiv. Other family members were similarly instructed to depart and to avoid traveling to Russia over fears of “harassment of US citizens.” Ukraine was critical of this decision, calling it “premature.” (NBC News)

Americans should consider leaving Ukraine “now,” nonemergency diplomatic employees were authorized to depart, and eligible family members were ordered to evacuate Sunday amid Russia’s continued military presence along the country’s border, the U.S. State Department said.

While family members of embassy employees in Kyiv were required to depart, the others covered by the travel advisory were not, a senior State Department official said.

The State Department also warned Americans not to travel to Ukraine or Russia, citing the possibility of Russian military action, as well as “the potential throughout Russia of harassment towards foreigners, including through regulations targeted specifically against foreigners,” a spokesperson said.

In addition to ordering the evacuation of many embassy workers and their families, the White House “advised” other Americans in Ukraine to leave now. The Biden administration has made it clear that they may not be able to evacuate our citizens from the country after the start of a Russian invasion. One gets the sense that Biden’s team is trying to avoid a repeat of the debacle in Kabul when we left so many Americans stranded there last August.

In an even more puzzling move, the White House just announced that Joe Biden is now “considering” sending as many as 50,000 troops, along with warships and aircraft to eastern European nations bordering Russia. The troops would not be stationed in Ukraine itself but in other allied countries close to Russian territory. (Daily Mail)

Biden is considering deploying up to 50,000 US troops as well as aircraft and warships to eastern Europe to counter a Russian military build-up that has sparked fears Vladimir Putin is about to invade Ukraine.

The plan would see between 1,000 and 5,000 soldiers sent to NATO nations such as Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, which border Russian territory.

Troop numbers could then be increased up to 50,000 if the security situation deteriorates, backed up by fresh deployments of ships and aircraft.

Some of the troops and equipment would reportedly be sent to Poland, Romania and other countries that neighbor Ukraine. This is a strikingly provocative move compared to Biden’s previous position of restricting the American response to additional economic sanctions.

Are these proposed troop deployments part of a bluff intended to get Putin to back down? If so, this is a dangerous game that we’re playing. It wouldn’t take much of a “misunderstanding” for American and allied troops to wind up in a firefight with Russian troops. At that point, all bets are off. It’s true that we have allies in the region where we could set up some manageable supply lines, but we’re talking about the possibility of a conflict right on Russia’s doorstep.

While it can hopefully be avoided, it’s hard not to consider the possibility that this sort of escalation could prompt Putin to take other actions. He’s already made threats about sending hypersonic missiles toward the capitals of any European and NATO countries that come into conflict with Russia. If his troops are in battle with non-Ukrainian forces, he may just be crazy enough to do that. We only recently managed to get out of Afghanistan after twenty years, albeit in a grossly incompetent fashion. We certainly don’t need to see a third world war kicking off in 2022.