But to date, the Biden administration has meticulously argued that this is all they will go. March 22 Jake Sullivan denied that Americans are “currently” training Ukrainians. “Of course we have US troops defending NATO territory,” he continued.
Biden didn’t say that on Monday. After offering comments on the White House’s new budget request, Biden answered a reporter’s question about comments he made at the meeting with the 82nd President implied that American forces would go to Ukraine. Biden denied that he meant it, adding: “We’re talking about helping train Ukrainian troops in Poland.”
Pressed again, Biden said, “I was referring to being with and speaking to the Ukrainian troops in Poland.”
It is possible that Biden meant “American” when he said “Ukrainian” in the second instance, or he exaggerated the extent to which American soldiers are advising Ukrainian forces on how to use government-provided security support.
A recent ad lib by the Polish president regarding Vladimir Putin — “For God’s sake, this man can’t stay in power” — sparked a flurry of speculation and a subsequent purge by the White House that Biden was not calling for regime change.
A Pentagon spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment, nor did Ukrainian government officials. A Polish official would not confirm interactions between Americans and Ukrainian troops.
“There are Ukrainian soldiers in Poland who regularly interact with US troops and that’s what the President was referring to,” a White House official said.
Several congressional staffers on key national security committees said they were unaware of such a training mission. One said the training was classified and therefore could not confirm it was taking place.
Both US and British officials privately said in the early days of the war that Ukrainian troops could eventually be trained outside Ukraine if the conflict dragged on and turned into a grueling insurgency.
Poland has already become the main hub for countries to send their arms shipments to Ukraine. The United Kingdom and American European Command have coordinated flights to Polish military airfields from several countries across Europe, from which Ukrainian troops load the anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, military rations, ammunition and body armor onto trucks and drive them back across the border to sites within Of Ukraine.
The Ukrainians in particular may need training on some weapons, such as Stinger surface-to-air missiles, which they did not have before the invasion but which were sent by the US, Germans and Latvians, among others.
The US-UK-led training effort in Ukraine from 2015 to 2022 took place in Ukraine, but Ukrainian troops regularly participated in NATO exercises across the continent until February’s Russian invasion. A former US military officer who made several trips to Ukraine told POLITICO that Ukrainians’ ability to organize and fight improved rapidly and dramatically after they began working with NATO forces.
“Their infantry, artillery, their innovative skills and their ability to deploy and synchronize drones were quite impressive,” said the former officer, who requested anonymity to speak about the training mission. “Your special forces and airborne troops were excellent. When I got there, part of me thought they were more Soviet than the Russian army. But over time you could see the change.”
Asked directly Monday whether the US is training Ukrainian troops on these new weapons, a senior defense official told reporters the US is focused on providing weapons that Ukrainians already know how to use, “so from our perspective, in terms of.” this type of weapons did not change security support details.”
Those arms continue to flow into Ukraine, the official said. “We continue to deliver every day, not only from the United States, but also from other countries that we help coordinate [with]and that includes additional deliveries on top of the $800 million that the President announced a few days ago.”
https://www.politico.com/news/2022/03/28/u-s-training-ukrainian-troops-poland-biden-00021123?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication US is training Ukrainian troops in Poland, Biden seems to reveal