Russia and the United States will begin their controversial first joint anti-terror military exercises on American soil shortly at Ft. Carson in Colorado. A special unit of Russian paratroopers departed for the United States over the weekend and will be working alongside American land forces as part of the war games.
The Russian and U.S. special units will engage in joint gun practice as well as mountain training, parachute exercises, and demolition techniques training. About 20 Russian soldiers will be participating, with most of the sessions taking place on the Ft. Carson Army base and at a mountain training area several hours away.
Russia Today reports, “Russian paratroopers will first familiarize themselves with American small arms, military equipage, munitions, communication and reconnaissance equipment, parachute systems, and types of landing operations.”
By the end of May, the exercises will graduate to active combat training, wherein the forces will be asked to find and destroy a mock large base of international terrorists.
“The Russian soldiers are here as invited guests of the U.S. government; this is part of a formal bilateral exchange program between the U.S. and Russia that seeks to develop transparency and promote defense reform,” Cmdr. Wendy L. Snyder, U.S. Defense Press Officer for policy, told The New American in an e-mail. “This is the first time that American and Russian special operations troops have participated in a bilateral exercise.”
“Aside from typical military training, the exchange will include discussions on the rule of land warfare, developing appropriate rules of engagement, and employing cultural literacy and competency in the tactical environment,” Snyder explained. “This type of training is routinely conducted by 10th Special Forces Group.”
Snyder indicated that the exercises, lasting approximately three weeks, are for the purpose of training and improving skills of the special forces related to the war on terror.
Analysts have raised concerns over the scheduled war games. Paul Watson of PrisonPlanet.com observes that the presence of Russian troops on U.S. soil revives fears of “global UN peacekeeping troops being used to quell unrest inside America.”
Watson adds that the war games further increase concerns that the United States would have to “rely on foreign mercenaries to restore order, confiscate weapons or even incarcerate citizens during a national emergency, because of the likelihood that Americans would refuse to carry out such orders against other Americans.”
The drills are scheduled to end on May 31, with a break on May 27 for the Russian paratroopers to attend an American baseball game in Colorado Springs.
Russia earlier conducted a joint naval training exercise with Communist China in the Yellow Sea, involving air defenses, anti-submarine warfare, electronic countermeasures, and “sensitive technologies.”
The unprecedented Chinese/Russian naval war games were touted as a “strategic partnership” between the two nations. Those involved in the drills said they were intended to help achieve future collaboration in addressing “regional threats.”
The IntelHub notes that the controversy surrounding the drills is heightened by the recent WikiLeaks revelation that President Obama used Russian money to fund his 2008 presidential campaign.
Internal emails among the staff at Stratfor — a Texas-based private intelligence firm — exposed a variety of sketchy details involving the 2008 election. One in particular, sent by Fred Burton, Stratfor’s VP of Intelligence, states, “The hunt is on for the sleezy Russian money into O-man’s coffers. A smoking gun has already been found. Will get more on this when the time is right. My source was too giddy to continue. Can you say Clinton and ChiCom funny money? This also becomes a matter of how and when to go out.”
Burton is well known among those who have access to some of the most highly classified intelligence information. He was formerly Deputy Chief of the Department of State’s Counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Services (DSS).
At the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul in March, President Obama was caught on an open microphone reassuring Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the NATO missile defense systems. "This is my last election," Obama told him. "After my election, I'll have more flexibility."
"I understand," Medvedev responded. "I will transmit this information to Vladimir [Putin]."
Obama’s statement makes two significant underlying points. First, the President is apparently beyond confident that the victory is his.
Forbes observes, “Well, he wouldn’t have any ability to act on U.S. foreign policy if he wasn’t an elected official, so it seems fair to reason that the president is feeling positive about November.”
Second, the President has ultimately admitted that a re-election for him will mean that the gloves are coming off. Answering to either Congress or the American people will not be important to him in a second term.