Pentagon looking to restart Ukraine's top-secret programmes - WaPo
Pentagon looking to restart Ukraine's top-secret programmes - WaPo

USA: The Washington Post reported on Friday that the US Department of Defense is attempting to persuade lawmakers to approve funding for two highly classified programmes in Ukraine that were suspended after Russia began its military operation there last year.

According to the newspaper, if the Pentagon gets its way, US Special Forces operations may resume in 2024.

The Post claimed that the alleged plans would enable US commandos to use Ukrainian agents to "observe Russian military movements and counter disinformation," citing unnamed current and former US officials.

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The programmes, according to the report, are regarded as a form of "irregular warfare" that should be used against enemies with whom the United States is not at war.

The Pentagon has already started making its case for the continuation of these operations, but according to the newspaper, Congress is not likely to decide on the matter until the fall of 2023.

The Biden administration's willingness to allow US commandos to reestablish a physical presence in Ukraine to monitor surrogates' activities is still very much in doubt, the article noted.

The Post claims that American special operations forces may wind up having to supervise operations from a neighbouring nation, a situation to which they have reportedly grown accustomed recently.

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The article stated that some detractors have not been persuaded, so it is unclear whether lawmakers will approve the programmes. According to reports, some of them are worried that these operations run the risk of entangling the US even more deeply in the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

When the surrogates start receiving gunfire, what began as a reconnaissance mission can quickly turn into combat, an official told reporters on the condition of anonymity. It is unclear "how the  defence department is going to change people in Congress' minds about that," they continued.

The programmes are classified, so representatives of the Senate and House Armed Services committees, the White House, and the Pentagon declined to comment, according to the Post.

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Washington has vowed to provide Kiev with arms, cash, and other forms of assistance "for as long as it takes" to strategically defeat Russia since the start of the military conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Moscow, on the other hand, has referred to the conflict as a proxy war that Washington and its allies are waging against it in order to maintain Western dominance.


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