On multiple occasions this week, AlertsUSA subscribers have been notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding NATO and U.S. government warnings concerning the continued massing of Russian troops around Ukraine and the very real threat being posed to NATO allies.
While the Pentagon appears to be publicly downplaying Russian troop strength saying the number is near 30,000, this is in stark contrast to Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, who says surveillance indicates the addition of up to 80,000 Russian troops, along with large amounts of armored ground vehicles, battle tanks, artillery systems as well as rotary and fixed wing aircraft. European media outlets are reporting figures between 80-100,000.
Additionally, the Pentagon reports that Russian forces are actively concealing their positions and establishing supply lines and logistics centers, a clear indication of a prolonged deployment.
On Tuesday NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated, "We are very much concerned about the Russian military build-up along the borders of Ukraine," and that NATO has all plans in place to provide effective defense of our allies.
NATO's most senior military commander, U.S. General Philip Breedlove, described the Russian force as very, very sizeable and very, very ready and called for allies to mobilize.
On Wednesday the White House announced the U.S. and other NATO nations would be increasing ground and naval forces in Eastern Europe. While no specifics have been released, we can expect these new deployments to be sizable if they are to have any impact.
Following a classified briefing this week by military and defense officials within which the House Armed Services Committee was informed that it is more likely than previously thought that Russian forces will enter Ukraine, members expressed both “urgency and alarm" with the situation and called on the Obama Administration to act.
And in a particularly stunning development, this week the Wall Street Journal is quoting intelligence sources as saying U.S. spy agencies are struggling to intercept Russian radio and satellite communications in which government leaders, military commanders or front-line troops might indicated their military plans.
Readers may be asking themselves how it is that the US government has all of a sudden has lost the ability to monitor Russian communications? Is this not the core mission and competency of the National Security Agency?
Further, is it just a coincidence that Russia's sudden ability to go dark, even to the point of catching the U.S. flatfooted on their plans for Crimea, comes only months after the arrival of former NSA employee Edward Snowden? More astute readers may also be wondering if Russia has shared this new found ability with other potential adversaries, such as China, Iran or N. Korea, and if so, what else are we missing?
AlertsUSA again reminds readers that while mainstream broadcast media outlets continue to keep the American population distracted with 24 hour coverage of lost airliners, Hollywood hookups and other innocuous pop culture stories, the United States is in a very dangerous situation with Russia, including potential for both kinetic and economic warfare and this is not hype or fear mongering.
As an example, Russia has the ability to inflict serious damage on the U.S. without firing a single shot. Take for instance the "petro-dollar" system. Currently, most oil and gas transactions around the world are settled in U.S. dollars. As Russia is the world's largest producer of oil and the second largest producer of natural gas, Putin could simply demand that their sale of oil and gas to Europe or any other country be settled in the Russian Ruble or any other currency, or even gold. They could also pick and choose who settles in what manner. The effect this would have on the value of the U.S. dollar would be staggering, as central banks worldwide would no longer need to keep U.S. dollars, or our increasingly worthless treasury instruments, on hand for international settlements.
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AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor the situation in the Ukraine and will issue additional alert messages to subscriber mobile devices as threats and events warrant.