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World: The British military is not preparing to fight Russia in Ukraine

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The Daily Mirror reports that 600 British Army combat personnel have been put on alert to deploy to Ukraine. This takes place as Russia consolidates its already significant military presence around Ukrainian borders.

  The British military is not preparing to fight Russia in Ukraine © Provided by Washington Examiner

That said, caution is needed in reaction to the British newspaper's reporting.

After all, the Daily Mirror refers to a unit that is always on high readiness status. Put another way, it doesn't appear that any other British military units have had their alert status upgraded.

The unit in question is the very high readiness advance force from the British Army's 16 Air Assault Brigade. The Army's high readiness force, itself, 16 Air Assault maintains a very high readiness component advance force capable of deployment within 48 hours. That advance force can be supplemented by company-strength formations from the Special Forces Support Group, the Special Air Service, and the Special Boat Service. This force deployed to Afghanistan in August, assisting with the evacuation from Kabul airport.

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Again, however, it does not appear that these units have been put on specific notice to move to Ukraine. A British government official confirmed as much to me on Sunday. Another indication that the Daily Mirror might be misreading the situation comes with its quote "The preparation comes after defense chiefs and the head of MI6 advised [Prime Minister Boris Johnson] that Russian President Vladimir Putin represents a clear and present danger to Ukraine and the West."

That's not a new development. It's a standing British assessment of Putin's revanchist security policy.

This is not to say that Johnson won't deploy forces to Ukraine in the future. While he tolerates Russian illicit finance in London, Johnson is willing to send military signals to Putin. In June, Britain notably deployed a warship within 12 miles of Russian-occupied Crimea. A 10-person British Army engineer element has also been deployed to assist Polish forces securing the Belarusian border.

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This warship activity stands in contrast to President Biden. As of publishing, neither the Polish defense ministry nor U.S. European Command had responded to my request for comment as to whether Poland had requested/the U.S. had deployed forces to the border.

Still, the topline point here is that what the Daily Mirror is referencing is not a new action, but rather an existing condition of readiness. The U.S. Army maintains a similar capability, with a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division and a battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment deployable on 18 hours notice. But that doesn't mean those forces have been told to arrange their gear for Ukraine.

Tensions at the Ukraine-Russian border are real and escalating. But on the front lines, Ukraine stands alone.

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Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Britain, Ukraine, Army, Russia, Foreign Policy, National Security, NATO, Vladimir Putin

Original Author: Tom Rogan

Original Location: The British military is not preparing to fight Russia in Ukraine

EXPLAINER: Is Russia going to invade Ukraine? .
MOSCOW (AP) — Ukrainian and Western officials are worried that a Russian military buildup near Ukraine could signal plans by Moscow to invade its ex-Soviet neighbor. The Kremlin insists it has no such intention and has accused Ukraine and its Western backers of making the claims to cover up their own allegedly aggressive designs. It’s unclear whether the Russian troop concentration heralds an imminent attack or represents an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to persuade the U.S. and its NATO allies to refrain from sending soldiers and weapons to Ukraine, and drop plans for its eventual integration into NATO.

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