Foreign Policy Kyle Anzalone nato

101st Airborne Deployed to Ukraine’s Border ‘Ready To Fight Tonight’

A commander said, "this is not a training deployment, this is a combat deployment"
Screenshot from CBS report.

By Kyle Anzalone / Antiwar.com

The White House has deployed thousands of American soldiers just miles from Ukraine to prepare for war, according to CBS News. Officers speaking with the outlet revealed they were there for combat against Russia.

Brigadier General John Lubas confirmed nearly 5,000 troops from the 101st Airborne recently joined the 100,000 American soldiers already deployed to Europe. Lubas described his troops as being on “full deployment,” and they are preparing to fight Russian soldiers in Ukraine. “This is not a training deployment, this is a combat deployment for us. We understand we need to be ready to fight tonight,” he said.

CBS Reporter Charlie D’Agata was embedded with the American forces as they conducted military drills – at a forward operating base – within four miles of Ukraine’s border. The 101st Airborne is engaged in joint exercises with Romanian forces, simulating Ukrainian soldiers’ combat against Russian troops.

Colonel Edwin Matthaidess said his forces have been “closely watching” the Russian soldiers, “building objectives to practice against” and conducting war games that “replicate exactly what’s going on” in Ukraine.

CBS News reported, “[Russia’s] goal is to cut off all Ukrainian access to the sea, leaving the country and its military forces landlocked.” CBS News did not provide a source for that assertion. The Kremlin has publicly said its war goal is limited to eastern Ukraine.

Lubas declared the division was “ready to defend every inch of NATO soil.” However, Moscow has never threatened to invade a NATO country. Ukraine is not a NATO member. When President Zelensky said Ukraine should be allowed into the North Atlantic alliance last month, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg rejected Kiev’s proposal.

The 101st Airborne is a light infantry division. It carries the nickname the “Screaming Eagles” as the Pentagon utilizes the 101st as a force that can deploy around the world within hours. Lubas described his division as bringing a “unique capability, from our air assault capability… We’re a light infantry force, but again, we bring that mobility with us, for our aircraft and air assaults.”

Romanian Major General Lulian Berdila told CBS News that the presence of American troops was reminiscent of WWII, “The real meaning for me, to have the American troops here, is like if you were to have allies in Normandy before any enemy was there.” The 101st has not deployed to Europe since the last world war.

Kyle Anzalone
Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of Antiwar.com, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.

28 comments

  1. This is just more of the same “fool’s errand” that has informed American policy towards Russia for many years. It seems the Yanks are “itching for a fight” but, frankly, they will probably not do any better in the Ukraine as they have done in Iraq or Afghanistan. Curiously, the American military is both feared and despised in the non-Western world, with its high tech weapons, ability to bomb, and its inclination to use those bombs for total destruction.
    The 101 depends on air superiority, which in the Ukraine, it will not have. We can look forward to many, many body bags coming back to the US.

    1. I’m not saying the US policy is correct here, but to say the military wouldn’t do well is just wrong. They would gain air superiority within days if not hours. The Iraq and Afgan wars… US carried out those two wars halfway round the world for 20 years and as a citizen it did not disrupt your daily life at all. Do you understand how powerful that is? And, the US completely wiped out the Iraqi conventional forces within weeks with very few losses. Russia can barely conduct a military operation on its own border.

  2. One regiment of an airborne division will not turn the tide. This sounds like a bluff. The foolishness simply doesn’t seem to end.

  3. The military appears to be a country unto itself – separate from and not beholding to the citizenry of the USA – as such a rogue state. Is there any more evidence that we need to state emphatically that the USA is a defunct democracy? If our “basically mercenary boots” are on the ground in Ukraine and a single shot is fired killing a Russian soldier – would that be anything less than a declaration of war? I thought it was Congress’s charge – the declaration Of war?

    1. Since the Korean War, the Executive Branch has usurped Congressional authority over war-fighting. That WWIIi could start as a “police action” or some such BS is frightening.

  4. Given Putin’s nuclear plans – dirty bombs and/or tactical nukes. The question seem to be when, not if – it might be time to consider a more direct approach to Putin’s 2007 declaration of war on the West, NATO, the EU and US, and democracy itself.

    It began with Putin then, and it is up to him now as well.

    1. That’s odd. That puts him in a vacuum then doesn’t it? As though whatever the West does or does not do holds zero impact on Putin’s behavior. Really?

      1. @SS

        If there is a vacuum surrounding Putin, it is the absence of facts behind his excuses for the attacks on neighbouring former Soviet States – Estonia, Georgia, Ukraine – for ‘daring’ to behave in accordance with their own interests rather than those of the Kremlin’s dictates.

        Former Soviet slave colonies are trying to move on. I believe that the majority of Russians want to do the same. It is Putin’s reactionary delusions, and his hawkish cabal on the one hand and oligarchic buddies on the other that stand in their way.

      2. DGA is a troll here. He’s not serious, and is in a fantasy bubble as impenetrable as the ones surrounding your average neocon. Pay him no mind.

    2. dga lies tiresome—it is usa that threatens dirty bombs—and only USA has not renounced 1st strike use of nukes—you are not intelligent enough to have a democracy

  5. Good article: the facts plus some background information. It lends itself to positive and negative interpretations.

    It might be worth pointing out that counter to the attitude of most commenters here, people actually living in the Baltics, Poland, and Romania are reassured by their presence.

    It also illustrates to Russian planners that the prospect of annihilation of Russian forces in the Ukraine should Russia unwisely decide to employ nuclear weapons to compensate for its failing conventional army, isn’t a bluff.

    Experience shows that such visible evidence of potential escalation always has a salutary effect on the level of caution and responsibility exercised by Russian planners.

    1. golodf tiresome nazism—US military impotent incompetent—bluffing is the american way—but even fails with non nuclear nations

  6. The citizens don’t want this, the 1% and the rulers might want this – to trim the excess population. Scrooge is stealing lives and dreams, and it is’nt even Halloween yet brandon/biden has got to be the most disliked president yet, what are they doing/scheming?

  7. Nothing short of terrifying! These fools have learned nothing from history Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in the 18th century, Germany’s invasions in WWI and WWII. Its seems every couple of generations we must repeat this nonsense, this may be the last time.

    1. Don’t forget the USA and UK invasion of Eastern Russia in 1918 through 1920 to try and put down the Bolsheviks (also failed) and Napoleon’s 1812 “Russian winter vacation”.

    2. @Gregory Gillis

      1812 is in the 19th century.
      In WW1 Russia initially invaded Germany, but due to poor preparations and inferior material were thoroughly defeated at the battle of Tannenberg and forced to retreat.

  8. It seems that america is very serious about pushing russia into a nuclear bomb event. Next step is to start flying the b-52 s they have sent to europe to fly over the russian army in ukraine air space as they are the american threats of nuclear engagement.

  9. american incompetence amuses Russians—thousands of anglo etc mercenaries have already died in ukraine—most have cowardly fled. USA loses all wars; americans have exposed themselves as weak immoral imperialists bereft of resolve easily defeated—long ago Mao was correct—USA is a paper tiger

  10. The Russian Army will win in Ukraine. They may have made large mistakes and acted incompetently, but they have overwhelming superiority. We were fools in thinking that the geriatric walking corpse was better than the lying orange sweet potato.

  11. This is insane and irresponsible provocation.

    Congress must step up and assert their war power and impose legal and political limits on Biden.

    The US media must stop this war promotion and propaganda – its actually worse than the Iraq lies.

    1. @giligan

      Did you forget what the Taliban did to the Russian?(sorry, they were the Soviet Union back then)

  12. IS THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION F-ing CRAZY? APPEARENTLY SO! God help us all, World War III seems just around the corner. I’m old and ugly, but by granddaughters are young and beautiful: Joe Biden, what about them?

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