“The US Army’s Green Berets quietly helped tilt the battlefield a little bit more toward Ukraine” – TTG

The US Army’s Special Forces, better known as Green Berets, have had a deep impact on Ukraine’s fight to defend itself from a Russian invasion, despite not being directly involved in the conflict. “Ukraine was taken very seriously by Special Forces,” retired Green Beret Sgt. Maj. Martin Moore told Fox News Digital. 

After Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, a move that faced minimal resistance, the Ukrainian military began an effort to modernize its forces to prepare for possible further Russian incursions into the country. The US military also quickly stepped in to help, with the Army’s Green Berets taking on a critical role in training Ukrainian forces. “They immediately set upon a great effort to protect to Ukraine, to provide training,” Moore said. “There’s nobody better at training than Green Berets. These are people that can teach.”

While elite military units such as the Navy SEAL teams garner widespread attention, the Army’s Green Berets are fanned out across the world helping armies prepare for wars similar to the one now being fought in Ukraine. This work is typically done quietly, something Moore said Green Berets prefer. “They do something different,” Moore said. “They go where nobody else is and find out what is possible.”

Moore said Green Berets are a “force multiplier,” improving the combat capability of the international forces they work with. He stressed that they are not about “raids and ambushes,” but about having an “unparalleled understanding of the place” where they are operating. Green Berets are required to learn a foreign language as part of their training and are constantly trained in the political, economic and cultural complexities of the regions in which they are assigned to operate. This unique skill set allows them to partner with foreign forces for training and at times to fight alongside them.

Those skills have been put to use in Ukraine since 2014, with Green Berets and members of the Army’s National Guard advising and training Ukrainian forces at Yavoriv Combat Training Center in western Ukraine. It’s the same facility Russia attacked with rockets on March 13, killing 35. The Americans had already left,  vacating the facility and moving troops deployed there to Germany in February. 

Part of the job Green Berets did at Yavoriv was to train their Ukrainian counterparts to set up militia units that could wage guerrilla warfare against an invading force. The Ukrainian military can now put those lessons to use, with the government actively encouraging its citizens to join the fight against Russian forces.

But the work Green Berets are doing in Europe hasn’t stopped, with forces still stationed in Europe helping prepare partner countries for the possibility of a Russian invasion farther into Europe. Such a move would be a mistake for Russia, Moore told Fox News Digital, arguing that the invasion of Ukraine has already gone poorly in part because of U.S. assistance, and a further move into NATO territory would go even worse. “Russia has a horrible thing waiting for them if they want to push this thing further,” Moore said.

Comment: Nothing to add here. Just doing a little crowing. But I would have given my left nut to have this dream MTT. It surely was a 10th Group mission. And if I was thirty years younger, I might have risked everything, including an almost inevitable divorce, to drop everything and join my counterparts in action. DOL

TTG

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/us-armys-green-berets-have-lasting-impact-on-fight-in-ukraine

https://www.businessinsider.com/ukraine-could-soon-be-using-us-provided-unconventional-warfare-skills-2022-3

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46 Responses to “The US Army’s Green Berets quietly helped tilt the battlefield a little bit more toward Ukraine” – TTG

  1. Pat Lang says:

    Ya beat me to it. DOL

    • Bill Roche says:

      I saw this article today but had no time to comment on it (today was “heart” day; EchoCardio Graph, bloodwork, then a nuclear Stress Test. Next week its off to the Nephrologist. Growing old has its, ahem challenges). I hoped you and TTG would read it w/pride. The article cries out for a story. Robert Rogers and his Rangers set the pattern in New York during the F&I War and the Brits, with Tarleton, continued w/it in N.Y. and later the south. So did Morgan, happily with more success. I would submit a group marshalled into service in some southern state, Virginia or something, who Washington referred to as his “immortals” might merit a character or two. As I understand their history the Rangers didn’t reappear until WW II. Imagine a novel with characters appearing, fading out, and reappearing as US Army Rangers throughout American military history. A ranger from 1778 appears in Vietnam, an Army Ranger from 1943 finds himself organizing a scouting party in the Dakotas. The intelligence angle was always there as one of the original missions of Morgan (and his N.Y. Oneida Allies) was scouting. Contemporary material on Special Forces and intelligence can be taken from your personal experience. Since you need another novel to write …

      • Pat Lang says:

        Bill Roche
        Rangers are assault infantry. Sf is not.

      • Stefan says:

        Bill, there is already a series od books kind of like this written by former Green Beret Barry Sadler. As the story goes the character “Casca” is the Roman legionary who spears Jesus in his side. As he pulls the spear out he wipes some of the blood from Christ on his lips and tastes it. He is condemned to live until the second coming. With his best skill being a warrior, he travels throughout the ages getting caught up in many of the best known conflicts. There are many books, but those written by Sadler stopped when he himself was shot and killed.

      • TTG says:

        Bill Roche,

        I share your interest in the ranger units of the F&I War and Revolutionary War, but as Colonel Lang said, they are not included in the official lineage of Special Forces. For some reason, SF claims lineage to the 1st Special Service Force even though that unit was clearly a ranger or commando type unit. SF is unique, much more akin to the Jedburgh teams of the SOE and OSS.

        But back to the rangers, I still have the dog eared copy of “Northwest Passage” about Major Robert Rogers. We passed it around the team during our Robin Sage exercise. I just read “Valcour: The 1776 Campaign That Saved the Cause of Liberty” by Jack Kelley. The central character is Benedict Arnold, of course and his naval defeat, but strategic victory on Lake Champlain. You might enjoy it.

    • rho says:

      The whole situation sounds much less exciting for a civilian facing the prospect of a great power war that could turn nuclear so close to home.

  2. Babeltuap says:

    Don’t let the Green Berets look at any of their investments in Mediterranean Markets. Mine are frozen and could be devalued to 0 from a letter I received today. And absolutely don’t let them pump gas domestically. Keep their morale high and in the fight!

    • Pat Lang says:

      Babeltuap
      What sort of investments are you talking about?

      • Babeltuap says:

        Pat,

        Gov Thrift Savings Plan. Some of those funds are being impacted by this conflict to the point of evaporation. Green Berets however are likely fairly savvy and moved to G funds months ago. Still losing but at least not all of it.

  3. Pat Lang says:

    Go cower in your basement.

  4. fakebot says:

    Well said. As incredible as the Russian mistakes were, a lot of credit belongs to the incredible work Americans did to prepare Ukrainians for an invasion one day.

  5. Rodney says:

    Folks can’t suddenly decide they want to stop wold powers from rolling over countries because now it’s in their backyard.

    • Pat Lang says:

      Rodney
      What does that mean?

      • Rodney says:

        Probably shouldn’t have posted here as the discussion is at a much much higher level than the average. I just got frustrated with the junior high school level of posts on a different site and got carried away. I also thought it was a good topic for discussion.
        What does it mean?
        There are lots of Brits and some Europeans on this said site posting and reacting to Putin’s invasion, and yet they didn’t care much when it was Yemen or Iraq or Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya, etc. So now that it’s in their backyard, they’re freaking out yet most understand only the MSM fed “facts” and history.

  6. Just another old guy says:

    PL

    We certainly would not be where we are minus the efforts of the SF’s. That being said I have some input with no where to really put it so I am dropping it here. If you don’t want to post it or want it somewhere else that is fine with me. Regards.
    ————————————————————————————-

    Given the very high probability (I believe that it is certain) of Russia losing this war it might be interesting to consider what possible desperate means the Russians might resort to in an attempt to exert pressure on the West in order to get a better deal when the time comes to make agreements.  NOTE: losing is defined as ending up in a worse strategic circumstance than one was in when the war started. Or, alternately, when all combatants end up in a worse position strategically then the ‘loser’ is the one that lost the most.  By this definition Russia is certainly going to lose.

    The main focus of this war is the economic theatre not the military conflict theatre.  One can spend a lot of time on the back and forth of the military conflict as it is inherently more compelling in many ways.  But economics drives the bus.  The military conflict is in a somewhat stalemate situation at this point and the trends are towards the Ukrainians being able to recover substantial amounts of occupied territory.  However the military conflict is likely to last for some time excepting some big change in Moscow taking place which changes the decision making apparatus.

    On the economic front Russia is, to use a base description, getting its ass kicked.  Every day more countries and corporations are choosing, or being forced, to join the extremely large coalition waging economic war against them.  The scales of the economic war exceeds that used against Nazi Germany during WWII.  The military theatre is moderate in size while the economic theatre is a huge effort.  It is easily characterized by referring to it as WWIII.  Over time the Russian economy, and thus Russia as a sovereign state, is going to get crushed by this situation. It will take time to bite but it will tear off limbs eventually.

    However Russia has one giant weapon it can use in this economic war which mostly still is in its arsenal unused.  And this weapon is global in its reach and not meaningfully subject to counters from the West.  That weapon is the global food supply.  If Russia chooses to go all in on the use of this weapon they can guarantee large scale famine across wide swaths of the world for an extended period of time.  A determined exercise of this weapon would put the West into a position of accommodating Russian interests to some meaningful degree or choosing to let a large percentage of the worlds most vulnerable population drift into famine which would eventually result in deaths in the many millions. Could or would the West hold out against this weapon?  I don’t see how.

    At this point in time Russia has stopped all export of agricultural products.  And it has blockaded Ukraine export of the same by sea.  It is still possible for Ukraine to export some volume by rail but it has to compete with the logistics of supplying the military side of the war.  And Ukraine at this time has frozen all agricultural exports in any case.  Russia has not yet targeted the large grain storage facilities in Ukraine – but they could.

    Russia and Ukraine combined account for:
    26% of global wheat exports.
    17% of global corn exports
    31% of global barley exports
    20%~ of rapeseed
    69% of global sunflower/safflower oils exports
    Russia is the worlds largest exporter of fertilizer – they supply 96% of US imports of potassium for example. China is the 2nd largest and Belarus is the 6th largest.  There are many other agricultural exports from these countries also.

    At this time the market on all of the above as well as many other agricultural goods are skyrocketing.  At the country level panic buying is already present as well as hoarding.  Global grain stocks are overall well under historical norms:  corn supply is 34 days, wheat supply is around 20 days for example.  The time to be harvesting winter wheat is approaching as well as preparing fields for summer/fall crops.  In Ukraine this is likely to not go well as one can imagine and they may lose most of this entire years production.  In North America much of the wheat belt is in its 2-3 year of drought and crop yields are going to be down.  There are also negative harvest issues for China this year.

    To sum up, Russia can seriously impact global food supplies on a multiyear basis and, given a serious effort at restricting supplies, could guarantee serious food shortages, to famine, to starvation across much of the world.  As we saw from the Arab Spring, food shortages frequently topple governments.

    Restricting food supplies is a form of WMD.  It is a very powerful weapon. Will they use it and can we withstand it if they do?

    • Pat Lang says:

      All

      Civilians always want to tell you that economics rule all while ignoring the simple truth that if you lose on the battlefield, you lost all.

      • Pat Lang says:

        Another Old Guy
        If you want to be offended, feel free. My point was undeniable. Were Germany or Japan defeated in WW2 by economic pressure. No. They were not.

        • mcohen says:

          Sorry to say this but the old guy is right.in a way
          food security will lead to war,the problem is nuclear war will destroy all farmland.
          I said from day one covid and bitcoin are linked.
          now I add covid was developed as an alternative wmd to nuclear weapons by a country that has nuclear capabilities.
          Thats what I believe.Food security trumps all and modern armies are restricted in the types of weapons that can be used.
          Anything that can kill a human but not contaminate the food supply will be used.
          Anything.
          There is only one solution.Peaceful population control and reduction till supply and demand are equal.This idea has to be heavily reinforced and become mainstream.That must be the lesson that must come from this conflict

          Easter Island is not the answer.Stone heads and no people.

        • Steve says:

          Pat,

          It was economic pressure (lack of resources) that necessitated Germany’s eastward and northward expansionism. Adam Tooze’s “Wages of Destruction” is worth a read if it’s of interest.

        • Philip Owen says:

          Britain was almost defeated in the Battle of the Atlantic to get supply convoys through from Canada and the US.

          But yes. The military makes the enemy yield.

          • Steve says:

            Pat,

            Perhaps had they been fully resourced they wouldn’t have felt the need to expand. Tooze is still worth reading:)

        • Condottiere says:

          Economic pressure may not win a war but it can thwart a country’s ability wage war.

    • Datil D says:

      “On the economic front Russia is, to use a base description, getting its ass kicked”

      Certainly true short term but the financial war might not have ended yet. Surely Putin must have realized the intentions of the proxy war going in. The Kremlin has announced that exports can be bought by unfriendly countries with rubles or gold, think EU buying nat gas by supporting the ruble or giving up their gold. Non sanctioning countries, think wheat to Africa, can purchase in local currencies not dollars or Euros. An energy backed international ruble and a gold backed domestic ruble would look pretty strong to a large swath of the world, now that the US showed them the dollar can be trusted.

      • Philip Owen says:

        The Russian airline Pobeda has set aside 40% of its fleet of 737s to use for spare parts for the remaining 60%.

        All spare parts in all industries will be gone after 3 months.

      • Steve says:

        Datil,

        Forcing “hostile countries” to pay for commodities in Rubles is a big deal.In order to by oil they have to buy the Rubles at an exchange rate favorable to the Russians.

  7. walrus says:

    Col. Lang, How can Russia be said to “Lose all” when it still maintains a nuclear deterrent?

    I have to admire your perspicacity in observing this war – an Australian retired General even picked up your culminating point observation a few days without attribution to you.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-22/russian-forces-culminating-ukraine-what-does-this-mean/100926436

    Assuming that Harpers article is correct and that Putin has used limited rules of engagement is that a mistake? You have commented elsewhere that the goal of the Ukrainian forces should now be to “kill as many conscripts as possible”, should Russia have started out with the intention of leaving no stone on top of another and killing a least the Galician part of the population as well as maximising Ukrainian military casualties? Has Putin been too soft? Apparently Ukrainian troops were disarmed and sent home. Should Putin applied the rules of Raqqa? Has he been too soft?

    • Steve says:

      Walrus,

      Limited force protection has been mentioned by former DIA and USAF personnel in the Ukraine context. Hence the balance of military casualties vs civilian. By contrast there have been fewer aerial bombardments in the weeks of this invasion than there were on the first day of the invasion of Iraq. According to Iraq Body Count (a very conservative methodology) 7,400 civilians were killed in the first week.

      You may recall that McChrystal wanted to do the same when he took over Afghanistan but almost created a mutiny among commanders who didn’t want to suffer tactical losses in pursuit of strategic goals. Something wrong with that calculation methinks!

    • TTG says:

      walrus,

      The idea of a culminating point is not copyrighted. That another professional military man would come to the same conclusion as Colonel Lang is not unusual. It’s corroborating.

      I do think Putin intended to pull off something more like another Crimea by swooping in and seizing the Zelenskiy government the first day. It didn’t happen due to Ukrainian competence and tenacity coupled with Russian ineptness. I doubt the Russian forces could have switched to a strategy of the total destruction of the Ukrainian forces as the next choice. That is just beyond their ability. They can’t even knock out all the Ukrainian S-300s and Bayraktar drones after 30 days of war. Putin could not have applied the rules of Raqqa. His forces are inept.

    • Pat Lang says:

      walrus
      You don’t understand the iron rules of war? When you are attacked you must defeat the attacker if he does not want to make peace. the Russians do not as yet want to make peace. So, send them home in bags.

      • walrus says:

        Col. Lang, Thank you for your forbearance. I am not familiar with the iron rule nor many other things. The whole Ukraine mess sickens me.

        I had thought initially that the Ukraine issue would involve some Kabuki on both sides, maybe an incursion, some symbolic battle for want of a better word, followed by negotiation, peace keeping and more Kabuki.

        While attention is focused on Putin as the instigator and his inept armed forces, what concerns me is the possibility that the Russian populace might take a different view, forgive Putin and call for total war if they get angry enough. We are used, I think, to being in the drivers seat and assume Putin is too. This is potentially the danger if mean Grandpa Biden and his cackling colleagues decide to impose Versailles II on Russia.

        Yes, the Russians will have to make full restitution. What else will Senator Lindsay Graham and his colleagues dream up? That’s when war really does become about money.

      • Philip Owen says:

        Right. The Russians won’t neegotiate until they are losing. Stalemate is not enough. When they crack, they’ll crack big.

  8. Babeltuap says:

    Pat,

    I have a Bronze Star, PH. If I was going to cower I would have done it a long time ago…meh. End of the day all the players are corrupt and rotten to the core. ALL OF THEM. Nobody has the morale high ground. The entire Biden family is a criminal thieves guild and the CIA started a coup in Ukraine but go ahead and ban me, block me. I do not care. Par for the course these days. Everyone is doing it.

    • mcohen says:

      Could be right about biden. zerohedge.com posted an article about hunters laptop and the biolabs in the ukraine.might be linked to covid.
      Who knows.
      The inverted C that russia has formed on the borders of East ukraine is a net to strike and chase anything in the middle.They will probably maintain this for a few weeks while negotiations and such go on.Wonder which area they are chasing

      • mcohen says:

        Leonid Ragozin
        @leonidragozin
        Ukraine’s general staff says Russian troops are trying to establish firm control over a cluster of three villages (pin on the map) southeast of Izyum, on the road to Sloviansk. Meanwhile Russian sabotage groups are active in the area of Barvinkove and possibly Sloviansk

    • cobo says:

      I thought the Colonel’s reply was to “rho says:
      March 25, 2022 at 3:12 am”

  9. Sam says:

    Russia’s military held a big briefing this afternoon, announcing the war was entering a ‘second phase’.

    Here’s a summary of how Russia, at this point in the war, is depicting what it set out to do, why, and where we’re at. (relaying their words, pls don’t shoot msnger).

    Firstly, the generals said Russia had always intended only to ‘liberate’ the Donbas, that was what it set out to do. It had two options: fight a war in the east, but allow Kyiv to replenish its forces, or start off by knocking out Ukrainian military capacities across the country. Over a month of war, Russia has knocked out most of Ukraine’s military capacities, the generals claimed, so can now move on to next phase, which will only be focused on the east, which could involve heavy bombardment. Russia had never intended to capture Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities, the generals said – these are not setbacks in other words, it’s all part of the plan. And the plan was to distract Ukrainian forces while Russia/ Donetsk/ Luhansk made territorial gains in the east.

    https://twitter.com/polinaivanovva/status/1507400322829930500?s=21

    If the theater is gonna be focused on the east, what is this sector look like in a month? Is Team Biden gonna keep at it and not encourage any near term settlement or they gonna encourage Zelensky to give up Donbass?

    If the war continues another month what could the Ukrainians and Russians do to bolster their respective positions? How could the Ukrainians dislodge the Russians?

    • Steve says:

      Sam,

      If Zelensky negotiates away Donbass his life is on the line and probably the safest place for him may be Moscow.

    • Philip Owen says:

      How are they going to retreat? A managed retreat is the most difficult manouvre there is (I am told).

      Will they just abandon the armies in the west to resist as long as they can do so? Will they try and pull out the men? 100 km or more to walk out. Will they try and bring out materiel too?

      Will the men be any good for the Donbass attack? Their morale will be terrible. Better used to suppress any of idea of revolt in Belarus?

      • Leith says:

        Philip Owen –

        According to the UKR Ministry of Defense individual units in the west are being regrouped. And those who have suffered significant loss “have been taken to the Chernobyl district with further relocation to the territory of the Republic of Belarus to hold measures for the restoration of armour.”

        UKR MoD did not rule out the possibility that after being reconstituted those units may return to try to reinforce the blocking of Kiev from the west – or that they may deploy elsewhere.

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