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Search Tags: NATO
Secretary Hagel met Thursday with Ukraine Minister of Defense Colonel General Valeriy Heletey to discuss the ongoing security situation in Ukraine. The two leaders spoke on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Wales. Hagel praised the actions of the Ukrainian armed forces in their current engagements in Eastern Ukraine and pledged continued U.S. support for their efforts. Minister Heletey thanked Secretary Hagel for that support, which includes millions of dollars of non-lethal material and assistance.
Standing in Estonia on Russia's doorstep, President Barack Obama says, "this is a moment of testing" for the Western alliance to stand up to the Kremlin. This came as the Pentagon announced that 200 U.S. soldiers would participate in an exercise in western Ukraine starting next week. It's symbolic, but the message is strong. It's the first time American ground troops have been in Ukraine since the crisis began.
Western allies have approved plans to position at least 4,000 troops and military equipment in Eastern Europe, increasing NATO's security commitments to jittery member states near the Russian border. This come just as an important NATO summit that begins Thursday. President Barack Obama will be there and will visit Estonia for meetings with Baltic leaders.
Several European Union foreign ministers have accused Russia of invading eastern Ukraine and said Moscow should be punished with more sanctions. The meeting of the 28-nation bloc's top diplomats in Milan came one day after NATO said Moscow has slipped at least 1,000 Russian soldiers and much heavy weaponry into Ukraine.
United States operations in Iraq and Syria today put the U.S. in an unusual position. By fighting one opponent, the U.S. military is indirectly benefitting another nation it considers an adversary. That is one example of the fluidity of war fighting in the 21st century. Adm. James Stavridis is Dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO. He helped lead a task force on Creative Disruption for the Center for a New American Security. A paper on that task force looks at the disconnect between industry and DoD right now -- and on In Depth with Francis Rose, Admiral Stavridis said there are several answers.
The Pentagon says Russia is not withdrawing its troops from the Ukraine border, despite Moscow's claim that the order to pull out has been given. Rear Adm. John Kirby says small numbers of Russian troops have gone back and forth to forward operating bases near the border, but the U.S. has seen no movement of Russian troops back to their home bases. NATO says Russia has 40,000 troops along the border.
The Pentagon sharply criticized Russia's latest announcement on Thursday, the Associated Press reports. DoD is concerned that Russia is, "starting military drills near the border with Ukraine and called on Moscow to take steps to lower, not escalate, tensions. Moscow has said the drills were a response to Ukrainian operations against pro-Russian separatists and NATO exercises in eastern Europe."
The commanding officer of a Florida-based warship was removed from his post during an overseas deployment after several female crew members alleged that he sexually harassed women aboard ship, according to a Navy report.
Chinese cyber-spies are being accused of setting up fake Facebook accounts to steal military secrets from the West.