US army interfering in Eastern Europe, Indo-Pacific
The United States is conducting military exercises in the Indo-Pacific region amid rising tensions with China and training Ukrainian soldiers in Europe amid tensions with Russia.
The US Army Pacific (USARPAC) will be taking part in more than 15 major military exercises with several allies and partners across the Info-Pacific, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said Monday.
"Between May and September of this year, the US Army Pacific will participate in over 15 major exercises with multiple multinational and joint partners across the Indo-Pacific," Kirby told a press briefing, revealing that the forces will be executing Operation Pathways across the region and Asia.
Marara, the codename of the first maneuver, kicked off on Saturday in French Polynesia with the participation of 13 nations. The exercise was held in the South Pacific region, and it is set to last until May 21. It will see the participating nations working on improving their interoperability and the ability to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, according to Kirby.
Japan, Peru, Singapore, Thailand, the Phillippines, and Canada will send their military to participate in the exercise alongside the US, which will contribute its USS Pearl Harbor.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in April spoke of deepening cooperation with "Asian allies" as the current crisis in Ukraine has "global implications". According to the secretary-general of the war force in Europe, because China has made it clear that it will not condemn Russia (or join the sanctions on Russia), to NATO, China poses a "security challenge" and must cooperate with Asian allies to target it.
Washington announced it was sending top diplomats to the Solomon Islands and other Pacific island nations in late April amid concerns over China's diplomatic and security ties with the strategic region.
Joining the trip will be representatives from the White House's NSC, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the US Agency for International Development, seeking "to further deepen our enduring ties with the region and to advance a free, open, and resilient Indo-Pacific," National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.
China announced that it signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands amid tensions in the region as the US tries to establish a foothold there.
Interference in Eastern Europe
Kirby also revealed that a group of Ukrainian military personnel had completed its training on the US-made Phoenix Ghost drones at Ramstein airbase in Germany on Sunday.
"The week-long training for Phoenix ghosts took place at Ramstein and it just wrapped up yesterday," Kirby said about a week after saying that some 20 Ukrainians were undergoing a training course on the UAVs.
The Biden administration has so far committed 121 of the Phoenix "suicide drones" to Ukraine amid the ongoing war in the country.
According to the Pentagon, the US delivered the first tranche of the Phoenix ghost drones at the end of April.
Earlier in the day, a senior US Defense Department official revealed that Washington has transferred over 85 out of the 90 M777 howitzers that had been pledged for Ukraine during the ongoing war amid calls from Russia to halt arms shipments to Kiev as it would only make the situation worse.
Before the war in Ukraine, the United States had already given Kiev some $1 billion in economic aid, not to mention the additional $500 million cleared a few weeks ago and the military aid the United States gave to Kiev since Biden took office.
The latest military assistance package, worth some $800 million, made for a total of $2.4 billion in military aid the past month alone, and a total of $3.2 billion since Biden took office, according to figures provided by the White House.
Since the start of the war, the United States has deployed more than 100,000 of its troops to NATO member states, and the European Union also chipped in, sending $500 million worth of arms and equipment to Kiev.
The US is still sending arms to Ukraine despite the Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, warning that the influx of Western arms to the conflict zone in Ukraine was adding fuel to the fire.