Potential NATO Deployment to Ukraine Sparks Debate and Preparation

World » UKRAINE | May 20, 2024, Monday // 09:50
Bulgaria: Potential NATO Deployment to Ukraine Sparks Debate and Preparation

NATO appears to be on the verge of sending troops to Ukraine, according to a report by the New York Times. The troops will train Ukrainian soldiers, a move expected to deepen US and European involvement in the conflict.

The Ukrainian army is facing a shortage of soldiers, and the war's end seems distant as Russia continues to gain territory. Questions arise about how long Ukraine can withstand a country with approximately 3.5 times its population.

Ukrainian officials have reportedly requested the United States and NATO members to send 150,000 troops closer to the front lines for quicker action, with some Ukrainian soldiers set to be trained in Germany.

The White House has repeatedly emphasized that it will not deploy US troops, including instructors, on Ukrainian soil. This stance was reiterated by a government official on Thursday, citing concerns that such deployment would draw America deeper into the war.

The US government has urged its NATO allies not to send troops, as under the alliance treaty, the United States would be obligated to help defend against any attack on the trainers. So far, the US has not agreed to this, but Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, suggested on Thursday that the deployment of NATO trainers seems inevitable, saying, "We will get there in time."

The idea of sending troops to Ukraine has been under discussion for some time. French President Emmanuel Macron has particularly advocated for more direct European involvement in the war. Recently, the Estonian government also did not rule out sending troops to western Ukraine. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis supported Macron's position in an interview with the Guardian, noting that Lithuanian troops had trained in Ukraine before the war and suggesting a return to this practice.

US forces have already trained Ukrainian troops in Poland, Germany, and the United States. The US maintained a NATO training program in Yavoriv, western Ukraine, but withdrew its troops at the start of the war. US officials now admit that the current training of Ukrainian forces is inadequate and that better and faster training is needed to counter an expected Russian offensive this summer, according to the New York Times.

Training abroad has faced challenges, such as difficulties in comprehensive training over twelve weeks on German soil in maneuver warfare and mine clearance. Large groups of Ukrainian recruits may now be sent to Germany and Poland for training. According to anonymous officials, these soldiers will train at US Army centers in Grafenwoehr, Bavaria, in "combined arms warfare" before being sent to the front lines via Lviv and Kyiv. Additionally, Germany, the UK, and France are reportedly seeking defense companies in Ukraine to help build and repair weapons systems closer to the conflict zone.

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Tags: Ukraine, NATO, troops, US

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