A disturbing report has been cropping up on the Internet suggesting that the US Government under the Obama Administration has requested 15,000 Russian troops to provide security in case of contingency operations if a disaster occurs here on US soil. A source we’ve notified in regards to this story says its “nonsense”.
It’s like a scenario out of the movie “Red Dawn”, the original. Russian troops on US soil? It stirs the imagination. The online publication InfoWars.com under the direction of well-known Libertarian Radio Personality and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones first floated this theory this week. You can see the article by Infowars.com contributor Paul Joseph Watson here. Summarizing the story quickly, Watson says that US government and the Russian government officials have renewed a joint agreement to swap experts in contingency operations and emergency management paving the way for Russian security forces to provide augmentation for special security events and natural disasters here in the US.
Quoting the article, Watson writes, “As part of a deal signed last week in Washington DC between the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry and FEMA, Russian officials will provide “security at mass events” in the United States, a scenario that won’t sit well with Americans wary of foreign assets operating on US soil.
“According to a press release by the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense and Emergencies, US and Russian officials met on June 25 at the 17th Joint U.S.-Russia Cooperation Committee on Emergency Situations.
In addition to agreeing with FEMA to “exchange experts during joint rescue operations in major disasters,” the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry will also be providing“security at mass events” in the United States.”
A companion article from the EUTimes supports this claim and increases the fears of conspiracy theorists by stating that as many as 15,000 troops could be deployed to the US FEMA Region III in case of a contingency operation, national disaster or special security event. (Region III is a military zone surrounding Washington D.C.) The article places the responsibility of this request on the lap of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano claiming the request originated in her office and went directly to the office of Russian Emergency Minister Vladimir Puchkov. The full article, that does not have author stated, can be viewed here.
A high-ranking reserve military official and conservative blogger I’ve contacted about the article said the story is bunk and “nonsense”. I’ve excluded his name because I do not have his permission to identify him. The source wouldn’t elaborate, so I’ll provide my own speculation on why this particular story is made up.
While I do not doubt that the US and Russia have a relationship in which they occasionally exchange expertise on crowd control, natural disaster and special security events, the idea of an exchange of troops on foreign soil is not credible. The Russians wouldn’t allow us to do it to them, and we wouldn’t tolerate it here.
Second, the US and Russia have a kind of a chilly relationship these days since the departure of NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Remember the last public exchange between Russian President Vladimir Putin and our own President Obama, at which very few words were spoken and expressions were rather droll and luke-warm. The US is peeved because Russia won’t hand over Snowden outright and the Russians are P.O.’d about Obama’s support of Syrian rebels. Russia supports the Assad regime.
If the two Presidents can’t agree on these issues, they won’t come to a satisfactory agreement on the deployment of 15,000 ground troops. Think about that fact for a second. That is a lot of troops needing a lot of support. That is at least seven light brigades or three heavy brigades, including internal support. Deployment of that many troops would cost many millions of dollars or rubles just for the transportation costs. Day to day operations would cost even more. Who would pay for that? The Russians? Us?
Third: the US military would not stand for that many foreign troops to be deployed on US soil. There would be a mass exodus of talented leaders to the Reserves/National Guard and the conservative governors would be outraged. Such a request for forces would be the most foolish thing an American President could ever do, and as such, is highly unlikely for that reason.
Fourth: can you imagine Russian troops going door to door asking American citizens to turn in their guns? It’s outrageous when local law enforcement and Canadian mounties have done it in our own countries. Foreign troops would likely be shot on sight and Russian military officials have to know that. While DHS Secretary Napolitano may be the biggest dope that ever occupied that office, or any office, Russian counterparts under Putin surely are not that naïve. Putin himself is a former KGB guy; he’s not going to risk his troops where there is no long-term payoff. The Russians remember Afghanistan.
Fifth: the US doesn’t need foreign troops to secure the D.C. area. It’s a military zone. Posse Comitias doesn’t apply there and there are enough DHS security forces and ammunition to do the job. While the administration may not have the capacity to trust conservative leaning warfighters in the US military who’ve taken oaths the defend the constitution, DHS forces may not be constrained by the same oaths. Further, DHS forces wearing police uniforms would engender more trust and obedience of any kind over anyone in military uniform, especially foreign troops who don’t speak English.
Finally, the very fact that this story originated on a conspiracy theorist’s website as renowned as Infowars and Alex Jones makes me more than skeptical. While I must admit sometimes I find myself sucked into these conspiracy theories, after careful thought the black helicopters and FEMA camps kind of slip way under the light of sanity. Jones is 9-11 Truther of the first magnitude and anything he or his compatriots say deserves to be double and triple checked.
I’m not sure what the motivation is for these conspiracy theories, other than they get readership and tell great stories. I would have to tell the reader, beware! Not everything on the Internet is to be taken as gospel. I won’t believe in until some congressman calls Napolitano on the carpet, memo in hand and asks her direct questions about it. Until then, I’ll keep monitoring this story and gauging its credibility or lack there of.