A retired US Army colonel reflects on the crisis in Ukraine

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Concerns continue to grow across the world as Russian President Vladimir Putin threatens to invade Ukraine.

Retired US Army Colonel Michael Pheneger has 30 years of intelligence experience.

He said: “His goal is pretty clear. It wants to move forward and transform the former Soviet socialist republics on its western border into vassal client states that would be essentially dependent on the Russian Federation.

He went on to say, “My background gives me hands-on experience on how to analyze what’s going on.”

In November, more than 150 soldiers from the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, based in Pinellas Park, were deployed to Ukraine to assist the Ukrainian military.

Pheneger added, “It was unclear in November exactly how far he was prepared to go, and part of the job of the United States military is to execute American foreign policy, and our foreign policy is to support the ‘Ukraine.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby posted on Twitter on Saturday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had ordered those troops out of the country out of an abundance of caution.

“Putin has all the options available to him. What we have essentially done by withdrawing our troops is that there is no trip wire that would automatically implicate the United States if Putin invaded Ukraine,” he said.

While Pheneger agrees that our military troops must be protected, he said the focus should now be on what Russian President Vladimir Putin will do in the coming days.

“The question is what Putin would do, and when would he do it, and what risk is he willing to accept,” he said. “I would say we would probably almost certainly see some sort of cyberattack.”

In the meantime, US military troops will be deployed to a safe location in Europe until they can return safely.

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