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Washington Post Says Biden Seeking Rundown of U.S. Military Exercises Aimed at Russia

Nov. 22, 2021 (EIRNS)—According to a Nov. 20 report in the Washington Post, the White House has asked the Pentagon for a rundown of exercises the U.S. military has taken in recent years in Europe to (ostensibly) deter Russia, as well as the justification for each mission. It seems that there’s concern among some White House officials that U.S./NATO military missions near Russia are running on autopilot without any real consideration of the potential geopolitical consequences. The bulk of the exercises in Europe focus on protecting against Russia, but the request, which hadn’t been previously reported, also related to other U.S. military activities on the continent, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, the Post reports further.

The Post goes on to report that the scope of U.S. military missions in Europe has grown in recent years, leading to a slew of exercises, observation flights and maritime operations all aimed at warding off alleged Russian adventurism. Some outside experts, the Post says, have raised concerns that some of the missions have become too provocative and should be reevaluated, even though the senior Biden administration official said the White House isn’t seeking the information from the Pentagon with a view to curtailing the activities. Many of those missions have included Ukraine and Georgia even though the U.S. has no treaty commitments to defend those countries. Putin pointed out in his extended Foreign Policy Board speech on Nov. 18 that U.S. bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons have come within 20 km of Russia’s borders in such exercises.

The White House hasn’t made any decision to modify or curtail the U.S. military’s missions and exercises in Europe, the senior Biden administration official stressed. “The important thing is that all we are looking for is basic information from the last several years of where we have done exercises, how many troops were involved, what policy objectives they were in support of,” the senior administration official said, describing the request from the White House National Security Council to the Pentagon, which was sent earlier this year, as “regular order.”

The senior official said the amount of information about such missions coming from the Defense Department to the White House when Biden took office was nowhere near what it was during the Obama administration, and the National Security Council was looking to restore the information flow.

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