TANK COMMANDER, COLD WARRIOR, TERROR WARRIOR, & INTEL OFFICER SPEAKS OUT
“The U.S. will spread about 250 tanks, armored vehicles and other military equipment across six former Soviet bloc nations to help reassure NATO allies facing threats from Russia and terrorist groups, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Tuesday.
Carter’s announcement, made as he stood with defense chiefs from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, comes a day after he announced that the U.S. would have other weapons, aircraft and forces, including commandos, ready as needed for NATO’s new rapid reaction force, to help Europe defend against potential Russian aggression from the east and the Islamic State and other violent extremists from the south.
The defense chiefs standing with Carter all spoke bluntly about the threat they perceive from Russia, and the latest military plans provide a show of solidarity across the region and in NATO.
Estonia Defense Minister Sven Mikser said the Baltic leaders aren’t trying to restart the Cold War arms race or match Russian President Vladimir Putin “tank for tank,” but the additional military presences will be a deterrent to Russia and could change the calculous.
“In global terms Russia is no match conventionally to U.S. or to NATO, but here in our corner of the world, Putin believes that he enjoys regional superiority,” Mikser said, adding that Estonia is eager and ready to accept the equipment immediately.
Each set of equipment would be enough to outfit a military company or battalion, and would go on at least a temporary basis to Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania. Carter said the equipment could be moved around the region for training and military exercises, and would include Bradley fighting vehicles and self-propelled howitzer artillery guns.
Germany will be participating in the expanded military effort, but already has U.S. equipment.”
Patrick Murray is a retired US Army colonel. His military career took him out of his native Oklahoma to exotic destinations throughout the world, operating in diverse cultures and missions. He commanded tank units astride the Fulda Gap, staring down Soviet forces just across the border. Soon after, he found himself on the other side of that border, living and working in Moscow for the Defense Intelligence Agency. He speaks fluent Russian and hold advanced degrees in Russian Studies. Patrick worked in numerous US embassies, including as a military attaché in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, during the Balkans conflict. He was part of a military-political exchange program, assigned alongside American diplomats at the State Department in Washington, DC. Later he became the US representative to the Military Staff Committee at the United Nations in New York. During the Iraq War “surge” of 2007, he deployed to Baghdad. Patrick holds degrees from Oklahoma State University and The Ohio State University, is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the Defense Language Institute, where he studied Russian. He has also been a guest lecturer at the Army War College. Patrick often says that there is no statute of limitations on the oath he took to “support and defend the Constitution” so after the army, he sought to continue serving the nation in a different venue. He ran for US Congress in Virginia, where he was twice the Republican nominee. Patrick lives and works in Old Town Alexandria, where he enjoys jogging and biking along the Potomac River and volunteers for his pet causes, including the Board of Directors for Virginia Veterans’ Affairs and the local Animal Welfare League. He is a writer and political and foreign policy commentator, and is president and CEO of Third Wave Communications. His new book, “Government is the Problem” outlines the steps needed to take our country back.