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US destroyers on patrol in Black Sea

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Is this serious or trivial, the US positioning a guided missile ship near the Ukraine and Russia? It would not be unlikely that the US has positioned more assets than a visible surface ship in the Black Sea. It is equally likely that the Russians have that US ship in its sites. That is what makes this nontrivial. Risks have escalated.

What is the military sense in deploying surface ships if the US and NATO have no intention of using them? Is it just for show? Does anyone believe that Vladimir Putin will be frightened from his intention to seize more Ukrainian territory?

Missing from all of this is that the Ukrainians themselves must restore a stable government. Ukrainians must put some backbone in their national military protective force. The Ukrainian government and military permitted the Russians to capture entire regions by armed foot soldiers barely firing a shot.

So, before NATO and the US get too carried away, reassess. The first line against Russian force is to beef up the Ukrainian forces to be able to defend themselves. That requires immediate shoring up of protection in areas where Russians are a clear minority and where Ukrainians must demonstrate the will to fight.

If that doesn’t happen, NATO and the US have no mission here.

American sailors are sitting ducks in the Black Sea. What is the military purpose for that?

“U.S. Navy ship to arrive in Black Sea by Thursday

By Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent
updated 10:36 PM EDT, Tue April 8, 2014

The USS Donald Cook, pictured docked in Spain in this February file photo, has now been sent to the Black Sea.

Washington (CNN) -- The Navy warship USS Donald Cook is scheduled to enter the Black Sea no later than Thursday as part of the latest U.S. military effort to demonstrate support for Eastern European allies concerned about Russia's troop buildup along its border with Ukraine.

The movement of the guided missile destroyer was confirmed to CNN by two U.S. military officials who declined to be identified because a formal announcement has not been made. The ship will conduct exercises and port visits while in the Black Sea. The guided missile destroyer USS Truxtun took part in scheduled exercises in the Black Sea last month and departed March 21.

NATO members Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey have Black Sea coastlines, as do non-members Ukraine, Russia and Georgia.”



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