Will Biden Send US Special Ops Troops to Protect the US Embassy in Ukraine?

Will Biden Send US Special Ops Troops to Protect the US Embassy in Ukraine?

Normally, U.S. Marines protect most U.S. embassies overseas. Known as Marine Security Guard (MSG) detachments, they are trained and equipped for the mission of internal security. At the embassy they are directed by State Department Diplomatic Security (DS) agents, usually an RSO and his assistant RSO (Regional Security Officer).

DS agents are unique in that they are both federal law enforcement and officers (diplomats).

Still, in friendly and peaceful environments the Marines and DS agents generally rely on the host nation to provide perimeter security.

That’s not the case in today, as Kyiv remains under threat of artillery and missile fire. (RELATED: China Learning From Russia’s Ukraine Failures)

The Wall Street Journal notes, “the embassy in Kyiv was all but shut by the time Russia invaded Ukraine Feb. 24, its diplomatic staff largely relocated 340 miles west to Poland, with a small group making short trips to a makeshift diplomatic post in Lviv, just inside the Ukraine border.”

Last Wednesday, the American flag was raised at the newly reopened embassy.

So, Marines are currently not protecting the embassy in Kyiv. For now, the embassy and its limited number of personnel are being protected only by State Department diplomatic security.

In the wake of the 2012 terrorist attacks against the U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, which claimed the lives of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, the Department of State established the Office of Special Programs (SP) as part of the nascent High Threat Programs (HTP) Directorate within the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). (RELATED: Why American and Russian Nuke ‘Doomsday’ Planes Are Suddenly in the News)

It is unknown if the DSS’ new Foreign Emergency Support Teams (FEST) are currently helping with security in Kyiv, but the Pentagon is reportedly considering restoring a Marine security guard detachment and/or sending some type of military special operations forces to protect this warzone embassy.

All the while trying to avoid the appearance of sending U.S. troops to Ukraine and provoking Vladimir Putin.

As The Wall Street Journal reports:

President Biden has yet to be presented with the proposal. But if he approves it, troops would be deployed only for the defense and security of the embassy, which lies within range of Russian missiles, U.S. officials said. Their presence inside Ukraine would mark an escalation from Mr. Biden’s initial pledge that no American troops will be sent into the country.

But what exactly is the security threat? The WSJ adds:

The Kyiv embassy is a traditional European diplomatic installation, rather than a fortified complex as seen in some other parts of the world where security threats are more longstanding.

Officials see as unlikely an attack on the embassy like the 2012 assault on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans including the top diplomat. But they are generally uneasy about sending American diplomats into an active war zone.

Also weighing on officials at the State Department and Pentagon is the evacuation of the Kabul embassy last summer.

While the Pentagon weighs its options to defend the embassy in Kyiv, they are likely considering another Marine security force called FAST. FAST (Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Teams) are highly trained Marines who deploy across the world to serve as security at United States government installations, especially those naval bases with nuclear weapons.

Whatever forces Biden chooses, being able to secure and rapidly help evacuate American diplomats out of harm’s way will likely be their primary mission.

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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.

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