Thursday, April 4, 2024

"US troops in Moldova in emerging Plan B for Ukraine"

 From Asia Times, April 5:

Moldova could be envisioned as staging area for US and NATO forces in the event of a Russian victory and break up of Ukraine 

Big trouble may be brewing in little Moldova, which is starting to look like a staging area for the European Union to offset an emerging Russian victory in Ukraine. Whether such a plan, if attempted, would succeed is not clear. But Moldova is not the most stable country in the world with the nation split between pro-EU and pro-Russian elements.

US troops are now in Moldova with Romanians, ostensibly for a military exercise called JCET 2024 (Joint Command Exchange Training). The exercise started on April 1 and will continue until April 19.

According to a Moldovan Ministry of Defense statement, “The aim of the exercise is joint training and exchange of experience between Moldovan, Romanian and American special forces, as well as to increase the level of interoperability between the participating contingents. This year’s event will also be attended by representatives of the [Moldovan] State Protection and Security Service and the Pantera Special Forces.” 

These exercises are not new but they taken on new urgency now because of the developing situation in neighboring Ukraine.

The US sponsors what it calls the Moldova-US Strategic Dialogue in Chisinau, Moldova’s capital. The dialogue focuses on areas of

cooperation including justice sector and anti-corruption reforms, human rights, promoting a pluralistic media environment and rights-respecting media policies to counter disinformation, energy diversification and resilience, defense modernization and transformation, civil protection, border management, cyber security, countering cross-border threats, combating illicit trafficking in weapons and ammunition, countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related materials, humanely addressing the needs of refugees and expanding people-to-people ties.

The United States has made nearly US$320 million available in new economic, security, and humanitarian assistance to help Moldova. This assistance includes $30 million in non-reimbursable budget support disbursed in December 2022 for electricity purchases. According to the US State Department:....