Saturday, March 15, 2014

Are US forces in Ukraine?

The Rostec group issued a release Friday claiming that one of its communications jammers disrupted a US drone communications link and caused the drone to come down. The US denies that a drone was lost from the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade. The news reports don't get at the interesting questions.

The drone that Rostec claimed was intercepted, the MQ-5B has a mission radius of 150km. There are no non-Ukrainian launch points that such a plane could have launched from. The conclusion seems obvious that the US has forces in Ukraine, whether they were military forces as claimed by Rostec or civilian intelligence agencies deploying the plane. Pentagon spokesman Eileen Lainez refused comment on the incident saying she was unauthorized to speak about intelligence departments.

There is a public US military presence in Ukraine at present. The Open Skies Treaty enforcement plane is currently in Kiev. Nobody seems to be publicly asking the Ukrainian government what US forces are authorized to be in their country. It seems like it's the simple questions that journalists skip asking.