May 25, 2022
Plans to send U.S. forces back into Ukraine to guard the recently reopened American Embassy in Kyiv are “underway at a relatively low level,” General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced on May 23, reports The Hill.
The Wall Street Journal first mentioned on Sunday that officials are mulling plans to send special forces to Kyiv to guard the U.S. Embassy. The effort is a delicate one, as it requires balancing the safety of American diplomats while avoiding what Russia could see as an escalation.
“Some of the things that may have been out there in the media, those are planning efforts that are underway at a relatively low level,” Milley told reporters at the Pentagon, seeming to refer to the Journal’s report.
The Biden Administration last week reopened the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv after closing it ahead of Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
The embassy’s security currently comes from the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, the Journal reported.
President Joe Biden has pledged consistently that no U.S. troops will be sent into Ukraine to help forces there, although there are thousands of service members based just outside its borders in countries including Poland and Romania.
Milley said there are now about 102,000 American troops based in Europe—a more than 30% increase since the war began.
“Last fall the United States military had about 78,000 in [U.S. European Command]—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Space Force,” Milley said. “In a few short months, we bolstered that by over 30%.”
Rsearch contact: @thehill