Analyzing the U.S. and NATO Presence in Ukraine – After Leaked Document Surfaces from Department of Defense
Another document was leaked on Tuesday from the Department of Defense. This latest release lists the number of NATO forces currently inside Ukraine including US special forces.
BREAKING: LEAKED US DEFENSE DOCUMENTS SHOWS WESTERN FORCES ON THE GROUND IN UKRAINE! …And Countries ARE NAMED in Leaked Document!
This document, based on what you see, appears to be Unclassified. If there is a classification marking in the upper right hand corner, it is obscured. As you can see, it primarily provides a summary of the Composition & Disposition of the U.S. forces — air, maritime and soldiers — in the European theater. There are 92,000 U.S. military personnel in the European AOR (i.e., Aera of Operations), but they are not in Ukraine.
The image also shows the US/NATO Special Operations Forces in Ukraine (you can read Jim Hoft’s report on this here) and the total US presence in Ukraine, which is 100 persons. According to the image of the document published on Twitter, the Department of State has more people in Ukraine than the Department of Defense. There are 71 people listed as State Department (i.e., DoS) and 29 military personnel. Of those 29, 14 are SOF aka Special Operations Forces. the remaining 15 consist of the Defense Attache (DAO), personnel with the Office of Defense Cooperation (essentially traffic cops handling the flow of U.S. military aid to Ukraine) and the Marine Security Augmentation Unit (MSAU), which provides security for U.S. diplomatic facilities.
What about the CIA? Yes, they are there, but I do not know if they are listed under State or DOD or both. The briefing slide pictured above is quite explicit that the total U.S. official presence in Ukraine is 100 souls (and that includes the Ambassador).
I do not believe that the U.S. SOF personnel are there on a combat mission. They are most likely involved in providing training for special Ukrainian units and in providing advice in a liaison role to the Commanders of Ukrainian Brigades deployed on the Eastern front. I believe the SOF forces of the UK, France, Latvia (LVD) and the Netherlands (NLD), are carrying out the same kind of duties as their U.S. counterparts.
What I find surprising is that France and Latvia have more SOF personnel in Ukraine than the United States. Latvia outnumbers France with a total of 17 personnel.
Some may argue that this is a fabrication intended to mislead about the true number of American diplomats and military personnel in country. Not true. One of the purposes for putting these kind of numbers in a briefing is to ensure that the Commander of U.S. European forces knows how many official Americans are in Ukraine in the event an emergency evacuation is ordered and the military has to rescue them.
This is just another Peggy Lee moment, i.e., Is that All There Is? Yes. This slide debunks the story circulating among the blogger/Telegram channels that the Russians killed 200 NATO personnel in a missile strike in March.
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Author: Larry Johnson