The Pentagon isn’t happy…
Those going are told they are on their own…
In joining the fighjt and adding their knowledge and experience?
They ARE Americans….
The Ukrainians welxcome them…
The Russian won’t if they are captured …
They WILL drop a problem in President Biden’s lap….
And it isn’t just Americans heading there….
“A lot of veterans, we have a calling to serve, and we trained our whole career for this kind of war,” he said. “Sitting by and doing nothing? I had to do that when Afghanistan fell apart, and it weighed heavily on me. I had to act.”
All across the United States, small groups of military veterans are gathering, planning and getting passports in order. After years of serving in smoldering occupations, trying to spread democracy in places that had only a tepid interest in it, many are hungry for what they see as a righteous fight to defend freedom against an autocratic aggressor with a conventional and target-rich army….
A number of mainstream media outlets, including Military Times and Time, have published step-by-step guides on joining the military in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government instructed interested volunteers to contact its consulates this week.
Several veterans who contacted the consulates this week said they were still waiting for a response, and believed staff members were overwhelmed.
On Thursday, Mr. Zelensky claimed in a video on Telegram that 16,000 volunteers had joined the international brigade, though it is unclear what the true number is. The New York Times was not able to identify any veterans actively fighting in Ukraine.
The outpouring of support is driven, veterans said, by past experiences. Some want to try to recapture the intense clarity and purpose they felt in war, which is often missing in modern suburban life. Others want a chance to make amends for failed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and see the fight to defend a democracy against a totalitarian invader as the reason they joined the military…..
Of course, war is rarely as straightforward as the deeply felt idealism that drives people to enlist. And volunteers risk not only their own lives, but also drawing the United States into a direct conflict with Russia….
“At best, they can expect to be prosecuted as criminals,” Mr. Konashenkov said. “We are urging all foreign citizens who may have plans to go and fight for Kyiv’s nationalist regime to think a dozen times before getting on the way.”
Despite the risks — both individual and strategic — the United States government has so far been measured in its warnings. Asked during a news conference this week what he would tell Americans who want to fight in Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken pointed to official statements, first issued weeks ago, imploring U.S. citizens in the country to depart immediately….
A group of 10 special operations forces veterans are staging in Poland and preparing to cross into Ukraine, where they plan to take up President Volodymyr Zelensky on his offer to “join the defense of Ukraine, Europe, and the world,” according to a US Army veteran arranging their passage.
The group, composed of six US citizens, three Brits, and a German, are NATO-trained and experienced in close combat and counterterrorism. They want to be among the first to officially join the new International Legion of the Territorial Defense of Ukraine that Zelensky announced Sunday, according to text messages reviewed by BuzzFeed News. Two former American infantry officers are also making plans to come to Ukraine to provide “leadership” for the group, the Army veteran recruiter said….